Your car should have a neutral smell. If you notice your car suddenly develops a strange smell and you are sure you didn't leave any food in the car, a peculiar smell usually means something is wrong with your vehicle, and it needs repair. Here are what four different smells could be telling you about your car.
Smell #1: Rotten Eggs
If you smell rotten eggs when you are driving around, that means your catalytic converter is not working properly. Your catalytic converter is designed to take the harmful emissions produced by your engine and turn them into less harmful gases. When your catalytic converter is not working correctly, that can result in the smell of rotten eggs as your engine's gases are not getting cleaned up as they should.
Smell #2: Syrup
If your vehicle smells really sweet or smells like syrup, that is usually a sign that your engine's coolant is leaking out. The coolant helps your engine operating at a safe temperature.
Don't just check the coolant level in your radiator whenever you feel like it; you should only do that when your engine is cool. When your engine is hot, opening the radiator cap can let out some damaging steam.
Smell #3: Gasoline
About the only time you should smell gasoline is when you are filling your car up with gas at the gas station. If you can smell gasoline when you drive around, that generally means you have a leak in your fuel tank, fuel injector, or a pipe that carries the fuel to the engine. Leaking gas can be extremely dangerous, so if you smell gasoline when driving around, make an appointment with your repair shop right away. They will be able to quickly pinpoint where the gas is leaking from and fix the issue, allowing you to stay safe on the road.
Smell #4: Hot Oil
The oil in your vehicle should be enclosed, which means you shouldn't smell it. If you smell hot or burning oil, that generally means you have a leak somewhere in the oil circulation system. The oil could also be leaking out on a hot part of your vehicle, such as on top of the engine or on the exhaust system, further amplifying the smell. Check your oil levels to make sure they are not low as you don't want to drive around with low oil. Then, get your vehicle in to your mechanic. You may have a loose ring or small part that needs to be changed to stop the oil leak. With an oil leak, generally, the sooner you fix it, the smaller the problem will remain.
If your vehicle starts smelling strange and develops an unfamiliar odor, call your mechanic, let them know what odor you are smelling, and get your vehicle in for an inspection. Your mechanic can give you more advice about needed Nissan repairs or other repairs.