Car Smells and What the Issue Could Be

Lexus GX

There are times your vehicle must see a mechanic for routine maintenance or service. Some issues to be looked at are usually determined through suspicious smells coming from different parts of your car. Depending on these smells, you can easily find out what the issue could be. Below is a list of some of the car’s most smells and what that might mean.

Burned Rubber

When you detect the smell of a burned rubber in your vehicle’s cabin, then one of the culprits here is the drive belt. This typically occurs when one of the accessories, such as the air pump, water pump, or generator is locked. The belt rotating on a frozen pulley will cause a burned rubber smell.

Burned Carpet

The smell of a burned carpet is very typical with car brakes. If you have used the brakes extensively, this one type of smell would be very evident. The burning carpet odor is mostly a result of overheating brake pads. This smell also can be from the worn brake pads that need replacing.

Gym Clothes

When the locker room smell develops in your car, note that there is an issue with your car’s air conditioning system. The mildew grows in the air conditioning evaporator. Here the problem can be solved by turning off the A/C and running the fan to help dry out the system. If the process does not work, a good mechanic can determine options for repair.


The syrup odor in a car means that there is a leakage somewhere. Confirm the coolant fluid is intact. This smell can be apparent when your car is warming up or after it has been running for a while. The leak can come from various sources, including a radiator hose or a failed intake manifold gasket.

Rotten Eggs or Sulfur

The smell of sulfur smell occurs when the car runs, and the most likely cause is the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in the car’s exhaust system. This smell is usually contributed by small amounts of sulfur in the vehicle’s gasoline, which failed to convert to sulfur dioxide.

If the vehicle continues producing these unusual scents, contact our Lexus dealership in Evansville for a proper inspection and repair. Our expert techs regularly perform maintenance or repairs with abnormal car smells. Bring in your vehicle for reliable service today.