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Strange Odors -

Burning Plastic:
Short circuit in the electrical system.

Sweet Smelling Odor:
Indicates a coolant leak.
If the temperature gauge or
warning light doesn't indicate
overheating, drive carefully to
the nearest service station, keeping
an eye on your gauges.

If the odor is accompanied by a hot,
metallic scent and steam from under
the hood, your engine has
Pull over immediately.
Continued driving could cause
severe engine damage.
Your car should be towed for repair.

Gas Odor inside your Car:
Leaking or disconnected fuel line,
defective evaporation control
Open the windows open and turn the
fan on high to the fresh-air position.

Burning Rubber:
Rubber hose touching a hot engine,
hot tire due to locked brake shoe.

The smell of burned toast:
Usually signals an electrical short
and burning insulation.


Burning Oil:
Leaking oil on hot engine parts,
low engine-oil level,
transmission overheating
(low transmission-fluid level).

Smell of Rotten Eggs:
This usually indicates a problem in the
catalytic converter or other emission
control devices.

Exhaust Odor Inside Car:
Leak in exhaust pipe under the
passenger compartment.
Open the windows open and turn the fan
on high to the fresh-air position.
These toxic fumes are extremely

If you experience any of these,
check with your mechanic for
professional advice or service.

Exhaust Smoke -

Freshly started cars may emit some
white smoke as condensed water vapor
in the exhaust system is burned off.

If the white smoke continues after
your car warms up, it could indicate
an internal coolant leak.

White and Grey smoke may indicate
a blown head gasket, a cracked or
warped cylinder head, or a
cracked engine block.

Grey color indicates possibly the
transmission fluid is burning.

If excessive oil enters the combustion
chamber, a blue gray colored exhaust
will result.

Blue smoke may indicate the piston
rings are faulty and has allowed oil
to move from lubricating engine

Black smoke can indicate either an
ignition or fuel-system problem.
The engine could be flooded with

If you experience any of these,

check with your mechanic for
professional advice or service.

Strange Sounds -

Strange noises are often an early
warning sign.
Listen to them closely and you may
avoid costly repairs.
Here are some common sounds
and their meanings:

Clicking Sound:
(a rhythmic tapping, similar to the
click of a retractable ballpoint pen)
Loose hubcap; defective wheel bearing;
bent or loose fan blade; low
engine-oil level;
outer CV joints beginning to fail.

Squealing Sound:
(high-pitched whine, as if something
is tearing)
  Under-inflated tires, misaligned wheels,
or serpentine belt.

(a pounding or banging, as though
two objects hit together)
Light knocking or "pinging" -
 fuel octane may be too low.
Check your Owner's Manual or mechanic
for recommended octane level.
Heavy knocking could indicate a bad
connecting rod or worn crankshaft
main bearing.

Clunking Sound:

(a dull banging or thump, as if
something were being dropped)
Defective universal joint or rear
low transmission fluid;
motor mounts.

Low Pitch Metallic Thumping:

Loose exhaust pipe; worn crankshaft

Screeching or Squeak:
(scraping metallic sound, often continuous)
Worn brake pads or other brake

If you experience any of these,
check with your mechanic for
professional advice or service.

Drops or Puddles -

Green or yellow oily fluid is coolant.
This leak could be caused by a bad
water pump or a leak in either the
radiator or a hose.

A dark spot usually indicates your engine
is leaking oil and needs repair.

Power-steering fluid is amber.
It may indicate a leak in the
power-stealing hose or pump.

Transmission fluid is red.
Red spots may indicate that either front
or rear automatic-transmission seals
need replacing.

Clear but Oily:
An oily liquid with little color but a
strong odor could be brake fluid.

Clear Water:
Clear water is no need for concern.
It's probably normal condensation
from your air conditioner.

Be sure to tell your mechanic the
location of the leak, how much leaked,
the color, and when you noticed
the leak.

While we attempt to insure these
tips and
information is complete
and accurate,
these tips are merely
a recommendation
to help save
you time, money and
to stay safe
on the road.

Check with your mechanic for
advice or service.