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Feel, Hear, See, Smell 4

When you have a problem with your car you detect it with one of your senses. Either you feel something wrong, hear something, see something or smell something wrong. This is one of a series of articles that will help you interpret what you are sensing and come up with some possible cause of the problem.

This week we'll look at some of the things you can smell are wrong with your car. As you drive most of the smells you smell will be coming from other cars. But your car may be making a smell that can lead you to a potentially serious problem.

As with any car problem, the causes can range from a mere inconvenience to major repair. Here are some things to look for when you have a car that doesn't quite smell right.

You should note that these are the most likely causes of a particular problem, but not necessarily the cause of the problem you are experiencing. Some of the possible causes listed may not even apply to your vehicle.

  • The Car Uses More Fuel Than Normal; Strong Odor Coming From The Exhaust:
    You notice a tank of gas doesn't last as long as it used to. Also the exhaust smells like rotten eggs. You may have also noticed that the car doesn't have the same amount of power as it once did. This type of problem seems to get worse once it develops and can lead to other serious problems, such as not starting.

    Possible causes:
    1. The engine's coolant level may be too low: Refill cooling system with proper type of coolant for your engine.

    2. If you have a carburetor, the choke may not be set properly, or the choke may not be working correctly: Check automatic choke linkage and choke heater operation. Repair, replace or adjust as required.

    3. The engine may have mechanical problems: Check vacuum lines and fittings for leaks. Check engine compression. Check for broken fittings and mounts.

    4. The fuel pressure regulator may be operating at too high a pressure: Perform fuel pressure test and repair or replace faulty component(s).

    5. The ignition timing may be set wrong: Check and adjust ignition timing.

    6. There may be a fault in the computerized engine and emission control systems: Scan injection and emission control system for Diagnostic Trouble codes. Replace or repair as required.

    7. The engine's thermostat may be stuck closed: Replace thermostat.

    8. The fuel injectors may be stuck partially open: Clean or replace fuel injectors.

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  • The Car Uses More Fuel Than Normal; Strong Gas Odor Coming From The Car:
    You notice a tank of gas doesn't last as long as it used to. You also smell raw gasoline, especially when you stop the engine. You don't find obvious signs of a gas leak such as puddles under the car. You may have also noticed that the car doesn't have the same amount of power it once did. This type of problem seems to get worse once it develops and can lead to other serious problems such as not starting.

    Possible causes:
    1. The fuel lines may have a leak: Replace leaking fuel lines and/or fuel line fittings.

    2. The engine may have mechanical problems: Check vacuum lines and fittings for leaks. Check engine compression. Check for broken fittings and mounts.

    3. The fuel pressure regulator may be operating at too high a pressure: Perform fuel pressure test and repair or replace faulty component(s).

    4. The ignition timing may be set wrong: Check and adjust ignition timing.

    5. The fuel injectors may leak: Clean or replace fuel injectors.

    6. The gas cap may be faulty: Replace gas cap.

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  • There Is A Rotten Egg Smell Coming From The Exhaust:
    Whenever you run the engine and are not moving, you notice an awful smell from the exhaust. The smell is like that of rotten eggs. Not only do you notice this, so does everyone around your car. You may also have noticed that your gas mileage has been worse lately.

    Possible causes:
    1. There is a problem with your electronic engine control system: Scan injection and emission control system for Diagnostic Trouble codes. Replace or repair as required.

    2. The ignition timing may be set wrong: Check and adjust ignition timing.

    3. Your fuel pressure regulator is bad: Replace the fuel pressure regulator.

    4. The engine may have mechanical problems: Check vacuum lines and fittings for leaks. Check engine compression. Check for broken fittings and mounts.

    5. The engine is running too hot: Check cooling system, thermostat and cooling fanes for proper operation.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

  • There Is A Strong Gas Smell Coming From The Exhaust:
    Whenever you run the engine and are not moving, you notice the smell of gas from the exhaust. The smell can be strong enough to make you think you have a gas leak. Not only do you notice the smell, so does everyone around your car. You may also notice that your gas mileage has been worse lately.

    Possible causes:
    1. There is a problem with your electronic engine control system: Scan injection and emission control system for Diagnostic Trouble codes. Replace or repair as required.

    2. The ignition timing may be set wrong: Check and adjust ignition timing.

    3. Your fuel injectors are clogged or dirty: Clean or replace fuel injectors.

    4. The engine may have mechanical problems: Check vacuum lines and fittings for leaks. Check engine compression. Check for broken fittings and mounts.

    5. You have a vacuum leak: Check vacuum lines and fittings for leaks. Repair as required.

    6. If you have a carburetor, the choke may be stuck closed: Check automatic choke linkage and choke heater operation. Repair, replace or adjust as required.

Additional Information provided courtesy of
ALLDATAdiy.com and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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