Cars can be somewhat mysterious machines for those who don't fully understand the common problems that occur or maintenance that's needed. As a car owner, it's important that you understand that your car will tell you when some things are wrong. You just have to know how to pay attention to it. For example, there are many situations where you may need auto repair and your car will alert you with various odors. Here are a couple of odors you might notice and the problems that those odors may be signifying.
Sweet, Hot Odor
If you can smell a sweet, hot odor either at the front of your car or in the cabin when the fan is running, that's a key indication that you have a coolant leak. When coolant burns, as it would when it hits hot engine components, it releases a sweet, almost syrupy, hot odor.
Even if you haven't noticed any coolant beneath your car, it's important that you address this type of odor. You'll want your auto repair technician to examine the cooling system and determine if the leak is from the radiator, cooling hoses, or overflow tank.
Ignoring this type of leak can be hazardous to your engine. Over time, the coolant level will continue to drop, leaving your engine unprotected and eventually overheating. This can cause serious damage to the engine.
Hot, Burned Rubber Odor
Some less-experienced car owners can dismiss hot rubber odors as overheated tires. However, while your tires will get hot on the road, they don't typically produce a burning, hot rubber odor.
When you smell something like this from your car's engine, that's a warning sign that there's some damage happening to one of the belts in your engine compartment. In the early stages, it often appears as glazing, but the belt can ultimately burn and crack, leading to failure.
Don't dismiss a rubber odor from the engine because a burning belt is often due to a pulley that's not functioning and is causing the belt to stick. You'll want to address both right away to avoid any potential mechanical failures that could be even more costly.
These are two of the most common odors that drivers may misinterpret or dismiss with a vehicle. The more you understand about what those odors mean, the sooner you can reach out to an auto repair technician to have the problem resolved. Talk with your local technician today for any more help or clarification.
For more information, contact an auto shop that offers repair services for your specific vehicle, such as BMW auto repair services.