Olympia Auto Repair

What Can Cause Your Car to Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

There's nothing worse than opening your car door and realizing the smell lingering in the air is coming from your vehicle. When something pungent wafts from your car's cabin, your first instinct might be to start searching the interior for the source. But if the smell is a sulfuric, rotten eggs smell, it's a sign of something more serious than a forgotten bit of lunch rotting under your seat.


What causes a vehicle to smell like rotten eggs?

The most common cause of a rotten egg smell in your car is a faulty catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is an essential part of your car's emission system that removes harmful gasses from your car's emissions before they can be released into the environment. When it stops working, all those gases are released into the air, turning your car into a stink bomb of sulfuric gas.


If your catalytic converter is broken, it will need to be replaced by a qualified mechanic, but there are a few other causes that can lead to a rotten egg smell. Sometimes a failing pressure sensor can cause problems with the catalytic converter, causing it to malfunction. If you've fallen behind on regular maintenance, old transmission fluid can also emit a smell much like rotten eggs.


The only way to know for sure what's causing your car's odor issue is by bringing your vehicle to a trusted mechanic.


Is the smell harmful?

Unfortunately, yes. The reason your car has a catalytic converter is to remove these gases from emissions because they are bad for the environment and for people. Besides being unpleasant to drive around with a constant odor, the gases responsible for the smell are bad for your health.


Running with a malfunctioning catalytic convertor is also bad for your car's health. If not repaired quickly, there is a risk of fire that could damage your car beyond repair.


How do I get rid of the smell?

The good news is that once the problem is fixed, the smell will go away on its own, with no deep cleaning required.


If you need catalytic converter repair, give Olympic Transmissions & Auto Care in Olympia, WA, a call today!

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