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Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

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Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

Most vehicles start out with a "new car smell," but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown, says the Car Care Council.

"Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you'll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

  1. The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.
  2. The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.
  3. The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.
  4. The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car's cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.
  5. The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.
  6. The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one and, if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter not converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide properly. This smell can also be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

"When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor," concluded White.

Source: Car Care Council

What People Say About Us

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    , 08/28/2020

    The transmission cooling line on my Ford F-150 truck burst near Union Station last Friday. Not knowing DC, I asked the tow truck driver to take the truck to a nearby shop that he felt was reputable. Miguel and his team fit me in to their hectic schedule that day. The transmission turned out to be too far gone to be saved. But his team managed to patch the line well enough that I got the truck back to Fredericksburg from DC without having it towed. Miguel was a life saver for me that day. I highly recommend Auto Tech Service.

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    First time customer- car was making a noise that I thought might be the brakes. Dropped car off at 9 am and had a call with a quote for new brakes by 9:30 am. The job was done the same day at a very reasonable price. I will be going back to these guys and would recommended them to anyone else.

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    Amazing service! I took my car in for an oil change, and brought in headlights & taillights for them to change. They did everything the same day and changed my lights for free! Turns out I had brought in the wrong kind of headlight, but they installed one they had on hand and asked me to bring them a replacement whenever was convenient for me to "reimburse" them for the part. Said he didn't want me to be pulled over for having a burnt out headlight. I couldn't believe it! Kind, friendly people who are quick, efficient, and reasonably priced. You can't beat it!

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    I have been there a few times with my personal truck ('96 Dodge Dakota) and work vehicle ('12 Nissan Pathfinder). I have always been confident in their work.

  • reviewicon

    Just today was the very first time we dropped off our vehicle at this place. My husband was there around 7:30/8am and was the first customer to arrive. He left our Jeep commander, 2007, and a few hours later, we received a call from the mechanic. The issue we had was so severe, too intricate of work required, and that is exactly what he told us as well. “Best you take the car to the dealer” with a thorough explanation as to why. He DID NOT charge us anything and we greatly appreciate that. We will, unfortunately, have to take it to the dealer, but we will take our car back to this place for any future issues.

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    I went in today with the oil leak problem in Chevy Cruze, he first did a diagnosis and later fixed the problem saying it was just a minor issue. He also helped me with the front headlight fixing a loose wire. And the EXTRAORDINARY part was he did not charge me anything. My experience today was WONDERFUL and they are simply AMAZING, TRUSTWORTHY and HONEST, in other words, THE BEST. I am going to recommend Auto Tech Services to all my friends.

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