Why Does My Car Smell Strange?

Sometimes cars can make some funky smells but it's not just inconvenient -- and maybe a little embarrassing. If your car is smelling weird, it means there's something wrong. The good news is the type of smell will probably tell you what the problem is.


If it smells like something is burning, that's because it probably is. It might be worn-out brake pads, a burned-out electrical fuse, or an overheated A/C compressor.

It if smells like burning rubber, it could be oil or fluid leaking onto a hot engine, or it could be a loosened belt or rubber hose. In any case, it's best to take your car in to get it checked out.


This is very serious! If you're smelling exhaust fumes inside the car, there is likely a leak in the exhaust system, which means it's leaking deadly carbon monoxide fumes inside the car. That can be quiet and deadly for humans and pets, and it has to get taken care of right away.


If it smells musty, that can turn into a real problem for your health. A musty smell, like an old basement, might indicate that the air filter is moist and releasing spores of mold into the car. Mold can jeopardize your breathing and for some who are particularly sensitive, it can cause some more serious health issues. It's a simple thing to fix and not worth the risk.

Rotten Eggs

This would be a difficult smell to ignore! That rotten egg smell comes from sulfur and it likely means there's something wrong with your fuel system. The catalytic converter, fuel filters, and fuel pressure sensors can get worn out and sulfur gas can end up leaking into your car, which can be dangerous on top of being smelly.

The problem might be that you need to change your transmission fluid but to air on the side of caution, don't wait to find out and get it checked out.

If your car smells weird, it might be trying to tell you something so don't ignore it. If you need a vehicle inspection to check out a strange smell, bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!

Written by Trinity Auto Haus