CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car smells like dryer

My girl friend’s car smells like a clothes dryer sometimes. Its a 1999 Honda CRV, automatic transmission. The ratiator fluid is full and looks good. The car warms up very quickly, but does not overheat. The smell is intermitant, goes away most of the time. The car can be warmed up or cold. It will usually smeel like a clothed dryer outlet if it is restarted when warm already. Smell not overpowering, just weird. Airconditioning worked fine this past summer.

I had this same smell in my 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass about 9 years ago. It turned out that the floor had rusted away above the catalytic converter and the carpet was being heated. Your car would seem to be too new to have this problem, but check it out. You could heat the carpet enough to start a fire.