If you have issues with your car, it can be quite scary. You might worry about whether you need to take your car in for a service or worse, whether it’s even safe to drive. As well as this, you’re probably dreading the possibility that you could be facing a potential mammoth repair bill. We totally understand this, and the truth is there are a range of issues that can can crop up with a vehicle. Most of these are small and minor, but they can seem quite serious due to the symptoms. So, let’s look at some of these problems and make sure that you know how to handle them. You might be able to fix the issue yourself. Or, you may have to get someone else to correct the issue.

Do You Smell Gas?

There are multiple reasons why you might smell gas in your car. Let’s start with the obvious one. You might think that this is the sign of a horrendous issue, but there’s a chance that it’s just due to a petrol spill. If you bought the car second hand, the previous car owner might have spilt petrol on the back seat, on the floor, or in the trunk. The car can be cleaned as much as possible, and we guarantee that you will still be able to smell the petrol. It will linger for years even with a professional clean.

Another possibility is that the petrol cap has an issue. If the rubber on the petrol cap has gone, it’s possible that petrol fumes are escaping when you’re driving. The good news is that this doesn’t mean the car is dangerous to drive. Rather, it’s just a matter of the fumes escaping, but that could ultimately impact the car’s mileage. Though, it may not be a large enough difference that you notice it.

The big issue that you are probably already worried about is a fool leak. It’s worth pointing out that fuel leaks are actually pretty rare and they are quickly identifiable. Usually, if there’s a fuel leak, you’re going to smell the gas more outside the car than in it. As well as this, you can leave the car running for a few minutes and then run it forward. A significant fuel leak will leave a patch of fuel on the ground, about half way down the car if it’s an issue with the fuel line. A fuel leak will definitely impact your mileage and the general working of the car.

If you have a fuel leak, it’s best to take it in to get repaired immediately. You should not wait around with this type of issue. While the car won’t blow up like in a movie or a video game, it can still be dangerous, and the main danger isn’t fire. Instead, the fact is that the fuel leaking out can get under the wheels causing you to slip and slide across the road.

The other thing to be aware about when smelling fuel is that you might have confused the smell of gas with something else. Burning rubber can have a distinct smell that can be mistaken for fuel, particularly if that’s what you’re expecting. It’s also possible that the aircon system has become musky due to a lack of service. If the car hasn’t been serviced in a while, this is a common issue that is mistaken for a fuel leak. Usually, the smell will disappear completely after you’ve had the air con on for a few minutes if this is the problem. This is one of the reasons why you should get your car service once a year. Motor vehicle service plans will make sure that the car is in good working order without issues like this.

Is The Handling Off?

If your handling is off in the vehicle, it can be a serious problem. For instance, you might find that the car’s steering is leaning to the left or the right. The problem here is that it makes the car far more tiring to drive. You will constantly be fighting against the car to get it into the centre and doing this all the time when you’re driving will be tiring. So, if you lose focus for even a moment, you can end up in a ditch or collide with another car.

You might think that if you have a problem like this, you can just alter your driving style. The problem is that a car is a set up to put the wheel back towards the centre position. If you are driving with a car that’s leaning to the left, it won’t do this. Instead, it will push you to the side every time you let go of the wheel.

This is a problem with the alignment, and it is quite common after an accident. Drivers won’t get it fixed because it’s expensive which is why you can find that second-hand cars have this issue quite a lot. Sellers are also vaguely aware that it’s not such as a massive problem that it will stop a sale. But, if you notice it, you will usually be able to knock a few hundred off the asking price.

Do You Smell Burning?

Finally, burning smells tend to point to a major issue with the vehicle. Either it’s a problem with the exhausts or something could be wrong with a transmission. Generally speaking, a burning smell should always be followed by a trip to the mechanics. While it can be a harmless issue, this is usually not the case, particularly if it is constant. In fact, we would even advise that you do not drive the car if you are having this difficulty. It could be dangerous. If you do smell burning, pop the hood and check if there are any issues that can be seen with the engine. A problem like this will usually leave physical signs.

We hope this advice helps you navigate some of the troubling signs that there is a serious problem with your car.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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