Why does my car smell?

by | Aug 20, 2020 | Surfaces


Since so many of us are working from home these days, and with many weekends and after school activities put on pause, your car probably isn’t seeing the action that it used to when you were driving more frequently. Maybe it’s been a few days or even a week since you last drove, but all of a sudden, you might be noticing strange or unfamiliar odors in your car that you’d previously been nose-blind to. What are these?

If your car is giving off an unpleasant odor, it’s important to get to the bottom of it quickly. Something could be wrong, which might lead to expensive repairs down the road, or perhaps there’s an even more serious problem that could be affecting your health.

In this article, we are going to learn about the most common causes of odors in your car, VOCs, and how to eliminate these unwanted odors with EnviroKlenz.

What’s causing the smells in my car?

In order to know what’s causing the odors you might be smelling, it’s important to identify what kind of smell it is. Here’s a list of different types of odors, and what each may mean:

Musty Odors

This probably means that mold or mildew has formed in your air conditioning unit. Read more here: is mold in a car dangerous? 

Sweet Odor

Antifreeze has a sweet smell, so if it’s sweet you’re detecting, you might have a leak. Breathing antifreeze is toxic, so it’s essential to get that looked at by a mechanic right away.

Burning Odor

This could be caused by an oil leak, worn brake pads, or leaving the emergency brake engaged while driving. If you’re driving a car with a manual transmission, this can also be a result of riding the clutch pedal.

Rotten Eggs

May be an indicator that your catalytic converter might have gone bad.


Can be caused by an overheated clutch plate in a manual transmission. In an automatic, this might be caused by an accessory drive belt that’s slipping or getting chewed up by a broken pulley or hose rubbing against a moving part.


This one is very serious, as it can indicate a short circuit. Short circuits are the main causes of car fires.


If you smell this any time other than when you first turn on your car, it’s important to get this checked out. This could indicate a possible gas leak.

Rotting fruit

Honestly, it’s probably just old food. Time to clean the interior!

Is ‘new car smell’ harmful to us?

Everyone loves the smell of a new car, so much so that there are air fresheners called “new car scent” that try to mimic it. Is “new car smell” harmful to us, though? It turns out; it actually might be.

Some of the chemicals that are responsible for the scent of a new car include ethylbenzene and formaldehyde. These are found in paints and glue and are linked to headaches and allergies.

There have been a few studies done to really examine the health effects of the chemicals used to produce “new car smell,” and while they were not necessarily found to be more harmful than other chemicals, in the worst-case scenarios, ingesting chemicals of any kind can lead to birth defects in children, learning disabilities, and cancer.

Even if the worst thing that happens is allergies, is dealing with a runny nose and itchy eyes really worth it for a fragrance?

vocs allergies

Do car air fresheners release VOCs? 

The short answer is: yes! VOCs can stay suspended in the air of your car’s already constricted environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage, cancer, and other health hazards.

While the chemicals that produce the scent of a new car fade over time, it can be dangerous to be consistently reintroducing new ones with artificial scents. A much better option would be to neutralize odors naturally.

Neutralizing car odors is made easy with EnviroKlenz

A lot of the time, odors in your car are not severe and can be eliminated easily.

EnviroKlenz Odor Eliminating Wipes are the perfect solution for cleaning your car’s carpet, upholstery, and other surfaces. We only use non-toxic, all-natural ingredients that contain no masking agents such as fragrances or dyes. Enviroklenz Odor Eliminating Wipes will work to neutralize those odors left behind by all of life’s unpleasantries. They’re a match for even the toughest of offenders, like cigarette smoke, and mildew, without the toxicity and VOCs that traditional car fresheners contain.

Once you’ve done the hard part, you’ll want to keep those odors from accumulating again with the EnviroKlenz Odor Eliminating Pad. Embedded with our own odor-neutralizing technology, the EnviroKlenz Odor Eliminating Pad is versatile enough to fit the smallest of spaces for ongoing freshness where you need it.

EnviroKlenz Logo White Transparent Background

Everyday Odor Eliminator Wipes


odor eliminating wipes

Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level

No chemicals or masking agents

Will not release any chemicals back into your environment

Non-toxic and easy to use

EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:

“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”