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Horrible smell when backing up my 05 outback xt

First off, I bought this car last October and don’t know the history of what has been replaced and what is oem. That being said I have had a horrible smell (imagine a skunk eating rotten eggs) when I back the car up. I also have a problem with my car hesitating when i accelerate but it goes away once the car is warm. The check engine light has never come on when driving but I know it works. Any suggestions would be great.

It’s probably high sulfur content gasoline from an “off brand” gas station. If not it could also be the first sign of a failing catalytic converter. I would try a tank of gas from a name brand gas station. See if that helps.

I have used all sorts of gas brands so I would say it might be the catalytic convertor. Could that also cause the hesitation issues?

You are smelling the gas hydrogen sulfide and there are three possible causes. (1) Bad gas. (2) An overrich mixture at startup. (3) A bad cat converter. Check these in that order. The hesitation may or not be related.

The reason you notice the smell when in reverse is (obviously) that you are backing into the exhaust fumes.

Good deal, thanks for the help.

"a skunk eating rotten eggs"

I like the illustration!


When is the next smog inspection due?

It sounds like you may have a partially plugged catalytic converter. The reason I’m saying this is because of “problem with my car hesitating when I accelerate”

This needs to be taken to a competent shop for a proper hands-on diagnosis and repair, if needed.