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Strange Smell/Strange Occurance


Last fall I was driving to work on a somewhat isolated part of our local freeway system. A decent sized truck pulling a boat was going slower than myself in the left lane so I slowly began to pass him/her in the right. As I crept up my windshield suddenly became full of moisture even though the sky was clear. I quickly turned on the wipers only to see a misty-like clear stream coming from (what I thought) was the tailpipe of the truck next to me. I pulled over shortly after to make sure nothing was coming from my hood and also noticed the oily residue was all over my car. And while it gave the ‘shimmer’ of oily rainbow in the light it appeared clear.

Over the course of the winter this car has developed a pipe-tobacco like sweet smell. In the past there has been an occasional cigarette and/or cigar smoked inside, but I feel like that would leave a more harsh smell whereas this is like cherry tobacco.

Could this smell just be from prior smoking and perfumes or is this something that may have developed from the incident with the truck? And what was coming from that truck (or boat perhaps and I saw it wrong)? And most importantly; are we harming our health?

Thanks in advance…I’ve been wondering this for 6 months now!

You may have picked up something from the truck and it’s in your ventilation system. It will stay there until it’s gone which could take a long time. Take the vehicle to a good detail shop and they will most likely be able to get rid of the smell for you. I don’t think it’s harming your health but it isn’t doing you any good either.

Coolant smells like this description. Make certain your own coolant is full and not leaking. If yours is OK, then you got sprayed with the coolant from the truck. You could try very thorough car wash and spray a can of Lysol into the intake vents while running the air conditioning.