Do not underestimate odd smells in your car. More often than not, it’s not just because of dirt that you haven’t had the time to clean. This usually indicates that something is not right with your car, especially if you’re getting a burnt smell. Moreover, these odors can not only be irritating but also harmful for your health. So try to pay more attention to your car when it starts giving you all these odd smells and act accordingly. Here are the usual culprits behind the smell your car is giving off and what you can do about them.
1. Cigarette Smell
Cigarette smoke isn’t only stinky, it’s also quite sticky in that it forms a resin on surfaces. That resin is called tar, and though it’s not the same stuff that’s used to pave roads, it does share a couple of similarities. The first step to removing this smell is to stop smoking in the car. Next, open all the doors and windows on a nice, warm, windy day. Then go over every surface with a 50/50 water and vinegar solution. That should be able to cut through the resin. If you have trouble, add a couple of drops of dish soap to the mix. Allow to dry completely before closing the doors
The distinctive smell of mildew flooding out of your air vents is usually caused by a buildup of bacteria and mold. This can happen to older cars that have had bacteria growing behind the dashboard for years and in cars that rarely run the air conditioning, as they don’t enjoy the drying effects that it provides to excess water on the coils. So if you do your own car cleaning, make sure you clean your car AC vents too.
Moldy or mildew smell is often due to A/C evaporator. But sometimes it can also come from leaky heater core especially when you see fog on the inside of your windows or water leak if the fog is accompanied by a musty smell. Strong indication of this is when your seats and carpeting are also wet.
Spilled drinks or food you had while driving creates odor that can really make your head hurt. Everyone is guilty of eating in the car because of busy schedules this can’t be helped. However this is one downside of that. So if the smell that’s bothering you smells like spoil food, check under the seats first. There’s a fair chance your groceries or fast food that fell managed to roll under those. While you’re at it, you might wanna do an overall check for snacks that may have been in there for a while or any trash that causing foul odor and start cleaning. If you don’t have time, you can always take your vehicle to car servicing here in Singapore for a thorough car cleaning.
4. Leaky Organism
Dribbling oil on the exhaust manifold won’t just cause bad smell but can also create thick blue smoke which often indicates that the leak is really bad. They key is to find out why you’re having oil leak and where it’s coming from to get it fixed accordingly. If you have no idea how to do this yourself, you can always seek car servicing here in Singapore.
If you haven’t had any sweet drink or food in your car and accidentally spilled it but you’re getting a sweet scent it’s probably your antifreeze. If the smell is concentrated inside the vehicle accompanied by a filmy fog form on the windshield when the heater is on and you’re seeing antifreeze on the floor inside your car, you’re looking at the heater core. You might want to look for car heater alternatives if bypassing the leaky core would be too much on your budget at the moment.
5. New Car Smell
New car smells are sort of poisonous; it is not something to be idolized in the form of a scented tree. Those so called “new car smells” are called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and they are the same smells common in refinished rooms and new houses. Carpet glue, chemicals from making vinyl, drying paints, and hardening plastics all do something called off-gassing. You really don’t want to breathe that stuff; it’s one of the things that causes sick building syndrome, and it is potentially carcinogenic.
However, don’t make the mistake of using an air freshener in an attempt to eliminate this odor. Using air fresheners doesn't eliminate the foul odor, what it does is overpower that smell. So the bad smell is still there but it’s simply being masked by the air freshener. The problem is that the scent that air freshener produces, though pleasant, can be dangerous to your health because they’re made up of chemical compounds. So you’re practically just layering another smell that’s just as harmful. You can make your own air freshener but if you’re not interested in air fresheners and you simply wanna get rid of the awful car smell, you can use coffee beans or baking soda. They may not make your car smell flowery or fruity or those kind of smell that store bought air freshener produces, but they absorb bad car scent.
If your car is carburetor it’s normal to smell a hint of gas but if your drive fuel injected vehicles you shouldn’t be able to sniff any. So, getting a really strong gas odor should send you into investigation mode to look for the culprit because this smell is not good in any way. Leaky fuel lines, stuck injectors, bad fuel pressure regulator, and other issues can cause leaks which can get to the entire engine and brings raw gas scent. Take your car to car servicing right away when this happens to get the problem fixed.