What is that Odd Smell coming from my BMW?

We couldn’t tell you how often a customer calls us in a panic because there is an odd smell coming from their BMW; we ask these customers to describe the scent, and based on their description, more often than not, we will have a pretty good idea what’s going on with your car!

Below you will see some examples of different scents, and what issues they can represent:

  1. If you’re smelling burning rubber, could indicate a number of issues ranging from: drive belts, all the way up to loose hoses. If the hoses become loose, they tend to rub up against the drive pulleys, which is why you’re smelling burnt rubber. If the engine department is hot, do not reach in to untangle the loose hoses, bring it in to us immediately!
  2. Maybe you’re smelling oil? If so, you could have an oil leak that is seeping through your exhaust system; common signs of an oil leak is smoke coming from the engine area, or oil on the pavement.
  3. A gas leak is usually indicated by the smell of gas; a gas leak indicates that your BMW will need a repair in either the fuel tank or injector line or even both! If you smell fuel you should bring in your BMW to us immediately, because a gas leak can result into a possible fire.
  4. Are you smelling a sweet syrupy scent? This could indicate issues with your engine coolant; this is usually related to the car’s cooling system.
  5. The scent of burnt carpet usually indicates some sort of brake issue, which is a huge safety hazard. If you’re smelling burnt carpet, please bring in your BMW right away and have the brakes checked!
  6. The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one, and it can indicate some serious problems with your BMW; it often means there’s a problem with your catalytic converter. Or it can indicate a poor running engine, which leads to the catalytic converter overloading and malfunctioning.

For more information on odors, and what they indicate about your BMW, please give Boston Motor Werks a call at 617-489-0291. We offer free over the phone estimates!


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