Follow Your Nose to Safe Driving (Part 1)

March 31, 2015

Follow Your Nose to Safe Driving (Part 1)


You can see some problems. Others you can feel. You also can SMELL them! If you want to take good care of your car and ensure its safety, follow your nose. Your car can alert you to problems through the odors it emits.


That sweet smell, like maple syrup, probably means that you have a leak from the radiator or heater hose. If the odor is more noticeable from the outside of the car, it could be a leaky radiator or the cap. If you smell it from inside the car, it could be the heater core.


A dirty sock or musty odor when you turn on the heater or air-conditioner may suggest that mildew is growing inside your air conditioner. Turning off the air conditioner and running the fan on high may help dry out the system. With the spring thaw, a musty odor may also indicate a wet dirty carpet. Give it a thorough vacuuming and remove the floor mats for a while to let the carpet dry out.


The smell of rotten eggs could mean that the battery is going bad or you may have a clogged catalytic converter.


Does your car smell like a gas station? You may have a leak from a fuel line or the fuel tank hose. Or maybe you just left the gas cap off. You’ll also smell gasoline if your engine is flooded because you were having trouble starting your car.  Or, the fuel injection system or the carburetor may be leaking gas.


That hot oil you’re smelling may not be French fries. It could be a leaky crankshaft or leaky valve cover. If it’s the crankshaft, you’ll see oil on the pavement. If it’s the valve cover, you’ll see smoke coming from the exhaust.


Whatever the smell, if it does not go away once you have checked the possible cause, go to your service station as soon as possible and ask the experts to tackle the problem and experience the sweet smell of success.


NEXT TIME: Don’t burn the toast (and other burning odors).

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