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865-272-3379 | 106 Melton Lake Dr Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

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 Our Customers Are Saying

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Thousands of miles from home the dreaded check engine light came on. We took our Honda to them. They got us right in and identified the problem, got it repaired and we were on our way. About 8 miles down the road the check engine light came back on. Back we went. Seems that Hondas are particular beasts and don't work with after market parts. They stood behind their work, replaced the parts with OEM parts at no cost. Good honest hard working folks. If your car breaks down around Oak Ridge, take it to People's Choice.

, 08/22/2021

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Blazer 2004, bought new, only owner. My car had all kinds of little problems here & there. Took it in to have it "gone over". Left it a week while on vac. They went through everything. Got it back and couldn't be happier. Runs awsome, like new. Jerry Hunter was my mechanic, great guy! Staff was also great & professional. Cost me a bit, but well worth not having to l?k for a new car with a new car payment. ???

, 08/21/2021

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Had my breaks, rotors and a fuel pump sensor replaced. The work took a little longer then planed but I had it back the next day. However, I still had issues. When I called with my concerns I was in Knoxville already, having drove straight there after getting my car. Jessica listened to my concerns, made arrangements immediately to have it towed and within a few hours they had resolved the issue. I trust the mechanics there, and simple mistakes like tightening the drums too tight happens. But for me, someone who is not mechanically inclined and smells burning rubber it is an anxiety moment. But the staff handled it well, the tow company was professional and fast. I have no problems with bringing my car back again or referring other to them.

, 08/10/2021

Highly recommend People's Choice for your car repairs. Very knowledgeable staff. Everything was explained in detail. My car was a nightmare for them. One problem led to another. I was kept up to date with everything that was going on with the repairs. They did a lot of work from timing assembly replacement to engine replacement, starter replacement and now sway bar link. My car is great. I'm enjoying driving it again. Can't say enough about People's Choice great staff and the crucial part each one plays in their team. Thanks so much! I will be doing business with them again. They have also worked on both of my daughter's cars with great results. I will be recommending them to anyone that has car issues.

, 07/09/2021

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Peoples Choice saved the day. After waiting half the day for another shop to fix the brakes on my Mother-in-law's car, we found out they hadn't even touched it yet, even though we had an appointment. We called People Choice, explained the situation, and and they assured us they had the parts in stock and could fit us in immediately. They had her back on the road in no time. (Review from March 2021)

, 06/16/2021

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Great diag and insisted it happen before the work I asked for was done, found issues, my second opinion just confirmed those issues and im making an appointment with peoples choice to do the work.

, 06/11/2021

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