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Most vehicles start out with a "new car smell," but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown, says the Car Care Council.

"Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you'll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

  1. The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.
  2. The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.
  3. The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.
  4. The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car's cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.
  5. The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.
  6. The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one and, if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter not converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide properly. This smell can also be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

"When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor," concluded White.

Source: Car Care Council


what our customers say

Top notch service. Will go to great lengths to ensure your vehicle is maintained to factory specifications and standards. Establishes a personal connection to their customers and can be easily reached regarding service. A great example: recently got 4 new tires and had heard a noise, Kevin told me to come by tomorrow and he immediately took the car out, identified it was simply a stuck rock. Moral of the story is he wasted no time to diagnose and identify a problem even that small, and get you back in your car as soon as possible. Your not going to find better service, guaranteed. I don't always leave reviews, but when this level of professional service is given, a great review is well earned. Will always be going to Complete Auto Center for service on my vehicles. Nobody makes it more painless and simple than Kevin.
P
, 02/25/2021

Took my car here after a failed safety inspection. Kevin gave me an estimate(hundreds less than the chain auto shop) then went above and beyond to make sure I was taken care of. Kevin is friendly, knowledgeable, honest and diligent. I've found a mechanic I can trust. I will be taking my cars here from now on.
R
, 02/25/2021

I needed my inspection and was worried by brakes would fail. Kevin was extremely helpful over the phone and when I brought my car in, he said the brakes did need replacing and he could do it that day! Price was below other quotes I had gotten and my car was done in just a few hours. These guys are fast and very friendly! You can't go wrong with Complete Auto Center!
R
, 02/25/2021

I came in yesterday with a malfunctioning air conditioner without an appointment. I was told that they werent sure if they could fit me in but they would do their best. Then, they immediately went out, diagnosed the problem extremely quickly and i was on my within the hour. The staff was courteous and professional, the work was done quickly and everything that was happening was explained to me very clearly and directly. 10/10 would absolutely bring my car back for any and all repairs.
D
, 02/25/2021

I'm always skeptical when I see a place with all 5 star reviews but this place deserves it. Great staff, good prices, and helpful instructions.
D
, 02/25/2021

Kevin was awesome! He provided me a quote for changing my spark plugs and allowed me to bring my own parts. He was very kind throughout the whole process and didnt talk down to me at any point during all of our interactions. What is even better is they are a small business and appreciate every customer they have. I brought my car in around 3 anticipating it not being done until late the next day. Instead, I got a call the next morning saying they completed the job and price ended up right as he had estimated. I will definitely be taking my car here for any future work as well as my partners car.
A
, 02/25/2021

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