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Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

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Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

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 People Say About Us

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    The folks at the Blacksmith European Motorworks really take care of their customers and their cars. I have a 1986 Volvo that has needed many repairs in the last year and they helped me every step of the way. Stephan and his team rebuilt my whole exhaust system so that I could pass smog for a fraction of what I thought it was going to cost. They really look out for the customer and never give up on the cars that they love. This will always be my first choice for any service big or small.

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    Blacksmith European Motorworks provides honest, reasonable priced service, with great results. My Volvo S40 just had it's tune up the the guys there are very honest with you. If it is just an oil change that is what you get. If they detect upcoming problems, you are informed and are given the information needed to either have work done then or wait a couple months. This honesty is something I treasure, plus they outstanding job they have done with my car.

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    I came from Seattle, and my 9.5 Saab started oil leak. I took my car to Blacksmith European auto shop and received warm welcome. Immediately my car checked and diagnosed and source of problem found. I recommend this shop to all Saab owners.

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    They repaired my car as scheduled, helped me understand the safety features, and followed up as promised. I don't feel crazy for owning a Saab in this shop, or at least I feel comfortable with it. It is a very comfortable waiting area, and there are a variety of good restaurants nearby, so I would go back for regular service from people who I believe would notice anything else that might become a problem.

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    I can't say enough good things about our experience at this shop. My teenage daughters just bought a used Volvo a few months ago, and when it needed repairs we brought it in to Ken. As usual we were extremely satisfied from start to finish. We have known him for many years and he is always very professional and trustworthy. His shop is clean and the waiting room is very pleasant. The repairs were done quickly and the girls were happy to be back in their car! I highly recommend Blacksmith European Motorworks

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    Blacksmith European Motorworks is the poster image of authentic customer service. At the front counter, Ken gives attention to ensuring that the customer understands the work order and that the pricing is fair. Behind the scenes, Blacksmith's highly-qualified mechanics are treating every car like it is their own. If your need is major work or simply a tune-up, stop in, you won't be disappointed. And, no, I am not family or friend; I am, truly, a super satisfied customer. Thanks Blacksmith European Motorworks!

Call us for service: 949-753-1575

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