Odd smell when driving


I have noticed an odd smell while driving my 2002 honda civic for the last couple of days. 2 things that i observed, 1. when I start the car and then turn on the a/c for a few minutes after that there is an odd smell which goes away 2. the same smell was observed when I had not turned on the a/c.

My car has 106000 miles on it and it does require a timing belt change and has some leak in the rack and pinion column too…


You’ll have to describe the smell better. Otherwise, there’s no way we can guess.

If you don’t change the timing belt soon, the next thing you smell may be the $2000 or so that you burn needlessly.

If it’s sweet, then it’s probably anti-freeze from a leaking heater core. This is a health hazard, both for you and your car.
If it’s moldy, then it’s probably mold on the AC evaporator.

Start simple with a cabin filter and blow out the drain hose for the ac. If you are loosing coolant see above.

Hi Tardis,

It’s not sweet at all, Its like a burnt smell but for a short period of time. I will have to get it checked out soon…


It’s probably a minor oil leak.

Could be a caliper starting to freeze up