Acura RLX

Unusual smells coming from your vehicle may seem annoying to you, but they can be signs of a more significant underlying problem. There are many possible causes of car smells that can stem from various parts of your vehicle. You may notice different smells based on the issue, such as the brakes or the air conditioning compressor. If you're wondering what that foul odor is coming from your car may be, we provide some answers.

Burned Rubber

A burning rubber scent in your vehicle can be due to several causes. It can be caused by the brakes wearing out or by an oil leak. If the brakes are worn out or overused, friction may be created between the discs and the brake pads. If you notice a burning scent coming from the brake area, it's probably time to get the brake pads replaced. You may also notice a burning smell if there is an oil leak coming from the engine. Leaking oil will ultimately hit the exhaust pipe, which causes it to burn when the car is running.

Gym Clothes

A distinctive musty smell coming from the cabin is an indication that your air conditioning compressor may need to be aired out or replaced. Condensation and, ultimately, mildew can accumulate in the air conditioning unit. Fortunately, you may be able to easily fix the problem by turning off the A/C unit and running the fan to let the system dry out.

Burned Carpet

A burning carpet smell can also be an indication of a brake problem. If your car smells like a burned carpet, the brake pads may be overheated. This problem can be caused temporarily by excessive braking, but it can also signify that the brake pads are worn out. Sometimes you may notice the smell if you drive with the hand brake in use.


A sweet syrupy smell may not be the most unpleasant of all car odors, but it can be the sign of a major problem. This smell comes from a coolant fluid leak. You might notice the scent after your engine has been running or even a few minutes after you turn it off. The coolant fluid leak may come from the cylinder head, radiator, or a failed intake manifold gasket. A syrupy smell that is strong inside the car may be a sign that there is something wrong with the heater core.

Sulfur or Rotten Eggs

A rotten egg smell alone might prompt you to bring your car to a mechanic. The underlying problem can be an issue with the catalytic converter. It typically happens with the catalytic converter does not sufficiently process hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust.

If you notice any of the strange smells above, contact us as soon as possible for an appointment.


Acura Of Peoria

9190 W. Bell Rd.
Directions Peoria, AZ 85382

  • Phone: 844-872-4551

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