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540-636-4040 | 232 S Royal Ave Front Royal, VA 22630

Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

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 Our Customers Are Saying

reviewiconFront Royal, VA

I stopped by Rick's during the snow last week because my oil pan shield was dragging on the ground. Even though the sign said they were closed, they helped me. I went back yesterday to have a new shield installed. I think I've found my new home to work on my car. The customer service and the work are the best! They are definitely a great example of people helping each other, especially this time of year. Thanks Rick Jasper, and all the other employees.

, 12/23/2020

reviewiconFront Royal, VA

Just moved in the area. Called Rick's Auto for Safety Inspection. Spoke to Jasper and he advised me to be there at 7:50am to fill out the paperwork and he could do the inspection at 8am, when they opened. Outstanding service, they did the Safety Inspection and I was out of there at 8:30. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff, specially Jasper. Will take all my autos there for maintenance and service.

, 12/10/2020

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Rick, Jasper, Mark, & staff, Just wanted to let you all know about the fantastic job you all did on my '92 Ford E-150 Mark III van. It literally runs and sounds brand new. The engine is so quiet I can barely hear it. The hesitation when you give it throttle is gone and everything is performing as it should now. Thanks again for keeping all my vehicles running great. Take care and we'll see you all down the road when I need service again.

, 08/24/2020

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My family just purchased our 2nd vehicle from Rick's. The 1st one is still running strong . We noticed a Explorer on the lot that was clean and runs smooth. And the price was more than reasonable we could not pass it up. Perfect vehicle for our daughter who will be commuting to school.

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Took my car in for grinding sound in my brakes got me right in and fixed my up. Great staff. Honest and family oriented. I will definitely go there again. Thank you!

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Great service there today. A very friendly staff in the office also. Thank you for your customer service. We do not see enough of that these days.

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