Pour something into your car, such as coffee or soup, and you have a pretty good idea of ​​what makes it smell weird. (Here’s how to put one together for use with your car.) But if the origin of the odor is unclear, it is likely to come from the engine, says Jill Trotta, vice president of sales for RepairPal և ASE Industry Protection:. certified technician և not a good sign.

“The smell of the car is a clear indication that something is not right,” says Trota. “So you never want to ignore the weird smell when you drive.” Here are some of the most common car odors, he says, և What if you can smell them?

If your car smells of rotten eggs

What can happen? Catalytic converter

“The smell of sulfur can indicate an imbalance in the air-fuel ratio of your engine,” says Trotta. If you have problems with fuel injection, unburned fuel may turn on your catalytic converter և emissions will have nowhere to go. The end result? Your car will not work.

What to do: Take a look at your car immediately. You can save the catalytic converter if you find the problem early.

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If your car smells of mold or mildew

What can happen? Air conditioning

Your car air conditioner works by removing moisture from the air. The extracted water goes to the box behind the panel, which has a drain. Holders or papers can go into that box ակել close the drain. Calm water will eventually cause mold, which is a costly repair task. (Plus, the water will often find another way out of the box, usually on carpets և floor mats). Fungus-causing moisture can also build up in your pipes if you do not run your air conditioner regularly.

What to do: If you smell mold, check it out. To prevent moisture build-up, run the air conditioner for a few minutes every two months, even if you do not need to freeze. This also helps to lubricate the oil seals and bearings in the compressor, which will make it last longer.

If your car smells of maple syrup or fruit candy

What can happen? Refrigerant

The sweet smell coming from your engine is probably a coolant coming out of the cooling system, which means you probably have a leak. This can cause damage to your car, including causing your car to overheat.

What to do: If coolant leaks, you can damage the engine while driving. Take your car to a nearby repair shop.

If your car smells like sharp smoke or burning oil

What can happen? Oil spill

Oil spills are dangerous for two reasons. First, if it hits the exhaust, there may be a fire. Low oil levels can also damage the engine. If you notice an odor shortly after the oil change, the leak may be from a loose drain plug or filter that is not properly secured, or an oil cap that is not screwed tight enough. Leaking oil from a bad gasket or seal can cause problems, such as oil dripping on a time zone or crankshaft seal. In any case, this is not something to be ignored. “It can completely take your engine off,” says Trotta.

What to do: Return your car to a mechanic և check the oil level.

If your car smells like burnt carpet

What can happen? Overheated rotors or brake pads

If you go down a steep hill and keep your foot on the brake, even if it is light, this odor may indicate that the brake pads or rotors are overheated. This can cause premature wear of the brakes or, in extreme cases, brake failure. (Here are 5 signs that you need new brake pads.) The smell can also be caused by dragging or sticking the brake pads, or the brake pads are too thin (in which case you may feel that the brakes are “spongy”). If the odor persists և you did not drive while traveling or lowering for a long time, let your brakes check as soon as possible. Be aware, too, that if you have just replaced your brake pads, it is natural that they will stink for the first few hundred miles.

What to do: When descending hills, turn the brakes on.

If your car smells of exhaust or smoke

What can happen? Exhaust leak

Exhaust emissions that occur in the interior of a car can quickly increase the amount of carbon dioxide to dangerous levels.

What to do: Roll down the windows immediately and cross the side of the road when you can safely do so. Turn off the engine. Take the car to your repair shop.

If your car smells like burnt rubber

What can happen? Sliding belts or superheated rubber

This can cause the engine belt to slip. It can be a powerful cooling or steering system tube that rubs against the belt and starts to melt.

What to do: Wait until your car cools down, then open your hat, check your belts, your socks. If the odor persists, pick up the car to check.

If your car smells of burning plastic

What can happen? Short circuit in power lines

When the plastic insulation is worn (or chewed by an animal in the engine), the exposed wires can rub against each other և causing a short, which can cause a fire. Other types of shorts can directly melt or burn plastic. However, it can be as simple as a plastic bag that has fallen on the exhaust gases and melted from the heat.

What to do: Pull securely. If the problem is in the exhaust bag or other plastic, do not hold it, as it is probably too hot. If you can not find the odor or it still remains, take your car for diagnosis և repair.

If your car smells of gas

What can happen? Gas leak

This is one of the most dangerous odors և it could mean that something is leaking from the engine or exhaust gas, such as a fuel pipe. A fire may start if raw fuel comes into contact with a hot exhaust system or rotating engine components. If you have a car from the 1970s or earlier, the long-lasting smell of fuel after the engine is off may be normal. If the odor is strong, however, do not wait for it to be tested.

What to do: Pull securely և switch off the engine immediately. Take your car to a car dealership.

The sweet smell of success comes with the addition GEICO Emergency Road Service Your car policy for assistance in the event of an accident. The best part is that you can ask for help on the go GEICO mobile application!

Read more: Winter is coming. help prepare with our extreme weather driving guide.

By Elise Pierce