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What do unpleasant car smells tell you?

The smell of gasoline

The smell of gasoline can indicate a fuel leak from the tank or from the fuel injection system in the engine. You will most likely notice this smell while the car is parked, and it can be very dangerous because gasoline is flammable. Don’t delay visiting a service center!

The smell of hot oil

This occurs when oil leaks onto the heated exhaust manifold. If you detect a very unpleasant smell of burning oil, it is possible that there is a leak at the crankcase cover, and in that case, you may see stains on the pavement.

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The smell of damp laundry

If you sense the smell of damp, dirty laundry, there is a good chance that moisture or mold has appeared in the air conditioning system or heating system. Turn off the air conditioning, switch on the ventilation, and set it to maximum.

Sweet smell

A sweet smell indicates a coolant leak. Pay attention because a lack of coolant can lead to engine overheating and various issues. Do not open the radiator cap while the engine is hot.

The smell of burning

If you detect a smell similar to burnt carpet, it is likely that the brake pads have overheated. If you notice this frequently during normal driving, it could indicate brake problems.

The smell of burning rubber

The smell of burning rubber may be a sign of a loose belt or hose. Due to this issue, you may lose engine cooling or the power generated by the alternator. If the engine is hot, avoid approaching the engine compartment.

The smell of burned toast

If you sense a smell reminiscent of burnt toast, it is possible that there’s a short circuit in the electrical system or insulation around the wires is melting.
Our advice is to seek assistance from one of our partner service centers through the TotalEnergies Service Concept if you notice any irregularities in your car’s performance.