If there is a strange smell coming from your car’s heater, chances are something is wrong.

Before you can find out what needs to be fixed, you first need to find out what is causing the smell in the first place.

What is causing the smell coming out of my car heater?

  • Musty smell – if there is a musty smell coming from your car heater it is most likely caused by a build-up of mold, fungus, and bacteria in your vehicles cooling system. Turning your air conditioner off for 5 minutes before you turn your vehicle off can help to let the fan dry up any residual moisture. Spraying anti-bacterial products into your vent system may also help to kill any mold and fungus. To keep you and your family safe from these molds and fungus it is recommended that you change your cars cabin filter as the required intervals.
  • Dusty smell – this is caused by a cabin filter that has collected dust mites and dirt. The best way to avoid this smell is to change your cabin filter regularly.
  • Rubber smell – the smell of burning rubber might indicate a problem with your clutch plate or an accessory drive belt. It’s best to get this checked out ASAP by a mechanic.

  • Electrical smell –  this might indicate a short circuit or overheating in one of your cars electrical components. Book into your mechanic straight away as these problems are a major cause of fires.
  • Sickly Sweet smell – If you can smell a sickly-sweet smell coming out of your heater then you should book into a mechanic ASAP. It is most likely being caused by an anti-freeze leak, which is a highly toxic substance.


  • Petrol Smell – if you can smell petrol then you probably have a fuel leak, which needs to be checked out by a mechanic. Breathing in petrol fumes can cause all sorts of medical problems so get it checked out straight away.
  • Rotten Eggs – it is highly likely that this is being caused by a decomposing dead animal/ critter that has found its way into your engine area. You will either have to find and remove it or wait for it to decompose completely. Or if your engine is running too lean you can get a sulfur type rotten eggs smell from your cars exhaust.

Should I get a bad smell coming from my heater looked at by a mechanic?

Yes. It is especially important if you can smell anti-freeze or a musty that you get it looked at straight away by a trained mechanic. These substances are highly toxic and are unsafe to breathe in. At the end of the day if you don’t get it looked at and fixed it won’t go away by itself and will become much worse over time.

Bad smell from car heater repair Hamilton

Is your car heater putting out a strange smell? If so, we can help! At Grimmer Motors, our team of skilled mechanics will be able to diagnose the problem and present you with a detailed repair plan. For vehicle servicing and repairs in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today.

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