Why Does My Car Interior Smell So Bad?

There’s something about the “new car” smell that we all want to linger on for years. A regular visit to the carwash is key to having a fresh-smelling car. However, some circumstances can trigger foul smells to spread inside a freshly cleaned car. Several factors could be behind how there are foul smells in the car interior. Why Does My Cars Interior Smell So Bad

Common Bad Odour in Cars and What Causes Them

A bad smell has no place in any car and can also be an indication of a deeper problem affecting your vehicle. The following are common reasons behind a smelly car interior:

  • Burning rubber – A burning rubber odour inside the car is a clear sign that there is something wrong. This smell could be coming from a loosened rubber hose or the belt under the hood. At times, the burning smell can also be from an oil or fluid leak, or a damaged or worn-out drive belt.
  • Exhaust smell – Exhaust fumes can also slip inside the car. When this happens, it indicates that there is leaking in the exhaust system or that the vehicle’s windows or doors are poorly sealed. Our mona vale mechanics recommend quickly getting into the root cause of why the car interior reeks of exhaust fumes. Leaving an odour inside can cause serious health hazards 
  • Musty-smelling car air conditioning – Excessive moisture is usually to blame for a sour or musty-smelling vehicle. If this smell lingers inside the car, it is best to have an expert take a look and do the appropriate repair. Prolonging can lead to health issues due to mouldy air. A mechanic with years of experience dealing with car air conditioning systems can provide the best assistance in determining which factor is causing the sour or musty odour.
  • Rotten egg smell – If no one has been eating boiled eggs or there are no stored eggs inside the car, a problem with the vehicle’s fuel system could be the reason behind the rotten egg smell. A damaged or worn-out catalytic converter, fuel filters and fuel pressure sensors are common causes behind this issue as it lets sulphur gas leak into the cabin. 
  • Smells like gas – A gas-like smell is a common odour after a trip to the petrol station. However, it is best to check each corner of the vehicle if it continues to linger for days. If this is the case, the odour is likely an indication of an issue with the gas cap, or a leaky fuel tank or injector. 
  • Other unusual smells – Burning smells do not just come from loose belts. It could also be due to a burned-out electric fuse, an overheating A/C compressor or worn-out brake pads. In some cases, burning plastic is also experienced in cars. When there’s an unusual smell inside the cabin, it is always best to bring the car to a trusted Northern Beaches mechanic.

DIY Fixes for Foul Bad Car Smells

It is always best to get into the root of the issue to eliminate bad odours in cars. However, cars that usually have a funky smell need not be abandoned. Several, albeit with some being temporary, DIY fixes are available to remove foul smells inside the car. Here are the most recommended approaches to get rid of this odour:

  • Baking soda – Sodium bicarbonate has been among the most useful products known to man. It is also simple to use and very effective in dealing with bad odours, and believe it or not – clearing blocked drains. All a car owner needs to do is clean the car before sprinkling baking soda all over the vehicle’s interior. Once fully covered with baking soda, vacuuming comes after the car interior has been soaked for at least an hour.
  • Carpet cleaner – If it is a leaking clutch fluid or you stepped on the gas after filling up the tank, a carpet cleaner is the best DIY to remove the smell. A specialised product should be used in cleaning. Utilising the proper product helps achieve the expected outcome quickly.
  • Charcoal – Charcoal is nature’s toxin absorber. It is commonly used in water filters but is also effective in cleaning the air. Car owners can maximise what it offers by placing a bag of charcoal briquettes and leaving it inside the car overnight. Activated charcoal absorbs anything floating in the air due to its porous nature. 
  • Vinegar – Vinegar is best for removing overpowering smells. Like using charcoal, it is also easy to use it to remove foul smells. Car owners only need to leave a small cup of vinegar inside the car overnight. The evaporation of vinegar limits the spread of strong odours. For those who want the scent of vinegar to stick around, it could also be sprayed but it must be diluted with water.
  • Air fresheners – When you want a fresh-smelling vehicle, an air freshener is always the answer!

Who Can Fix It?

A mechanic with years of experience can provide the biggest assistance in this case. Given that the foul odour is caused by a malfunctioning car component, they can have it diagnosed and repaired in no time. These professionals have spent years or even decades providing car service or car repair to thousands of vehicles of all kinds and brands. 

Contact the Top Northern Beaches Mechanic Now!

At Peninsula Auto Clinic, we have years of experience dealing with all issues affecting cars. From slipping clutches to bloated car batteries, we have the experience and knowledge to get things done properly and in the quickest possible time. We ensure that every Mona Vale mechanic who handles your car has the necessary experience and knowledge to attend to any vehicle inspection or car repair. Everyone has completed the requirements set by NSW Fair Trading and holds an Australian mechanic licence.

Our team has been helping car owners with a wide range of automotive services and repairs, including pink slip inspections, tyre replacement and repair and car battery replacement and repair. Contact Peninsula Auto Clinic now to experience why car owners continue to trust us as their preferred Northern Beaches Mechanic until this day!