We are not accepting customers for Maryland State Inspections at this time.

Types of Unusual Vehicle Smells


If you've ever been in your car and smelled something strange, you're not alone; but do you know what that smell is? It's probably something minor, but it could also be a sign of a bigger problem. In this blog post, we'll discuss the most common smells that drivers experience in their vehicles and what they can indicate. Keep in mind that if you're experiencing a strange smell, it's always best to have your car inspected by a professional auto repair shop!

Unusual Vehicle Smells

Here are some of the most common unusual vehicle smells and what they can indicate:

  • Burning Oil Smell - If you notice a burning oil smell, it's probably due to an oil leak. Oil leaks are common in older vehicles, but can happen in new cars too. If you see smoke coming from under the hood or notice that your oil light is on, pull over and call a tow truck - you'll need to have your car taken to an auto repair shop right away.
  • Sweet Smell - If your car smells sweet, it could be a sign of a coolant leak. Coolant leaks are often hard to spot, so if you notice this smell, it's best to bring your car in for an inspection. A coolant leak can quickly lead to engine damage, so it's important to have it fixed as soon as possible.
  • Burning Rubber Smell - A burning rubber smell is usually caused by a loose belt or hose. If you notice this smell, check to see if any of your belts are loose or if any hoses are leaking. If you can't find the source of the problem, bring your car into an auto repair shop and have a technician take a look.
  • Rotten Egg Smell - This is probably the most unpleasant smell on this list! If your car smells like rotten eggs, it could be due to a problem with the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter helps reduce emissions from your car, so if it's not working properly, you'll likely notice the smell when you start your engine. This is a serious problem that should be fixed by a professional auto repair technician as soon as possible.


If you need a vehicle inspection performed to check out a strange smell, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today! Our experienced technicians will be able to quickly diagnose the problem and get your car back on the road. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call today.

Cottman of Waldorf is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Cottman of Waldorf (301) 645-4055 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.