Ford F-150 Interior

Your vehicle running depends on an electric system and different fluids, such as gas and engine oil. All these produce a particularly distinctive smell that you are most likely used to by now. Sometimes, however, you might notice extreme odors that you are not used to. Here, we provide you with a list of different car smells and what they mean about your car's condition.

Burned Rubber

If you smell burned rubber in the cabin, several reasons could be behind it. Excessive friction in the drive belt or loose hoses coming in contact with the hot engine can cause this smell. Other causes to look out for is leaking oil. When oil leaks onto a hot surface, it may also cause a burning rubber smell.

Gym Clothes

This smell is common, especially when you turn on the air conditioning system. Mildew usually grows in the A/C evaporator where moisture condenses. Turning off the A/C and running the fan to dry the system should eliminate this problem. If this does not alleviate the smell, our technicians can get it done for you.

Burned Carpet

The braking components commonly cause the smell of burned carpet. This odor comes about when the brakes overheat. It is most common when you have been using the brakes extensively. Worn out brake pads can also cause a burned carpet smell.


The smell of maple syrup is often pleasant. However, in your vehicle, it's usually an indicator that coolant fluid is leaking. It is caused by ethylene glycol in the coolant. You'll likely notice the smell when your car is running or a few minutes after being turned off. The leak can be from the cylinder head, an intake manifold gasket, a radiator hose, or even a heater. The radiator cap or radiator can also leak producing this smell.

Sulfur or Rotten Eggs

This smell indicates that your catalytic converter is failing. The cause of this smell is the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust system. The catalytic converter fails to convert into sulfur dioxide, which creates the foul smell. Replacing the converter should solve this problem.

Our experienced team at Serramonte Ford is always at your service whenever you need any repairs or service. Pass by our dealership in Colma, CA, for all your car needs.


Serramonte Ford

999 Serramonte Blvd.
Directions Colma, CA 94014

  • Phone: 844-869-7236

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