2020 Nissan Sentra Interior

When something is not right with your car, it might let you know by producing unusual odors. Unpleasant odors in your car are certainly not enjoyable, and they might mean that there are more serious underlying issues with major components. We offer some helpful information to pinpoint the cause of your car's bad smells.

Burned Rubber

The smell of burning rubber can sometimes signal a problem with the brakes, such as the brake pads wearing thin. If this happens, the brake pads rub against the brake rotors, causing friction and a burning smell. The brake pads will need to be replaced if they're too thin. The burning rubber smell can also be caused by an oil leak when dripping onto a hot exhaust pipe.

Gym Clothes

The smell of old gym clothes may be unpleasant, but it can also be fairly easy to correct. The scent of gym clothes generally means an accumulation of mold or mildew in the car's air conditioning system due to moisture build-up. You may be able to correct the problem by turning off the A/C and letting the fan run to dry out the system.

Burned Carpet

A smell of burned carpet can also signify that something is wrong with your car's brakes. Sometimes, the problem is just caused by a temporary issue, like when you've been using the brakes extensively or driving down a steep hill. You may also notice this scent if you accidentally drive around with the hand brake or emergency brake engaged. The car may also start to smell like burned carpet when the brake components are aging, such as the brake pads wearing thin.


The smell of syrup may indicate leaking coolant fluid. This is especially true if you notice that the smell starts when the engine runs or shortly after you've turned the car off. The leak may come from several sources, including the cylinder head or radiator.

Sulfur or Rotten Eggs

A sulfuric smell can be a sign that your car's catalytic converter is not working as it should. This problem can happen when the catalytic converter does not properly process hydrogen sulfide in the car's exhaust system. If you smell sulfur from your car, service is required immediately.

If you notice any of these unpleasant smells, contact our Nissan dealership today for inspection and repairs. Our team of certified technicians is ready to help you identify the issue and keep your car odor-free.


Cerritos Nissan

18707 Studebaker Rd
Directions Cerritos, CA 90703

  • Phone: 844-866-2607

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