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402-333-9999 | 1307 S 120th St Omaha, NE 68144

Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

Most vehicles start out with a "new car smell," but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown, says the Car Care Council.

"Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you'll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

  1. The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.
  2. The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.
  3. The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.
  4. The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car's cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.
  5. The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.
  6. The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one and, if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter not converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide properly. This smell can also be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

"When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor," concluded White.

Source: Car Care Council


What Our Customers Are Saying

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I just can't say enough good things about Dave and Mike Jensen and their amazing team. A true generational family business with decades of experience (and we've been taking our cars there for a couple of those decades!), these guys are always honest and incredibly thorough. On one occasion, they researched the repair they were doing on my Buick and discovered an old service alert that meant I could possibly get reimbursed for some of the repair. They helped me submit the paperwork and remained available throughout the process until my refund was successfully processed. They didn't have to do that, I already paid them. But that's the kind of personal service and attentiveness you get from them. Highly recommend!

, 09/14/2021

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Thanks again for a fantastic job on my car. You guys are top-notch. I appreciate it. Thanks

, 09/03/2021

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I've been using Jensen for 10+ years. They shoot you straight and give the best service around. Getting to talk directly to the owners in my book is the best part. They truly care about their customers. Also their front guy Rodger is full of knowledge and I feel like I can ask him anything. I've sent all my friends to them and they get the same service I do.

, 08/04/2021

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I had a big problem with my BMW's timing chain and variable drive system, and Jensen Service & Diagnostic was able to work with my extended warranty company, keep me apprised of repair status, and complete some very difficult disassembly, reassembly and testing. Hats off to Jensen Service & Diagnostic for their professional and personable approach, they are very trustworthy and a pleasure to work with.

, 03/26/2021

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Jensen Service & Diagnostic is very trustworthy. Our 2011 Toyota Corolla was leaking oil. The dealership said it would cost $2,142 to repair. We sought a second opinion from Jensen Diagnostic. They said it was a minor repair....basically it just needed an oil change for $37. It was completed the same day and hasn't leaked oil since. Jensen Service & Diagnostic saved us more than $2,000! We are very grateful.

, 02/17/2021

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We were recommended by a different mechanic to visit Jensen Service for a big electrical problem our car was having. I am so glad we had them look into it because they were able to find the problem within the day and had it fixed and running like new again that same week. Prices are fair as well! Would recommend these friendly guys and we plan to use them again in the future for any vehicle repairs. It's a huge relief finding a mechanic you can trust! Thank you Jensen Service!

, 12/23/2020

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