A rotten egg smell is most commonly associated with the element called sulfur and, should this come from your car, raise concern that there is a significant problem. Fuel naturally contains sulfur, but this sulfur is converted into a neutral smelling compound during combustion and afterward in your car's emissions system. A lingering rotten egg smell could be due to one of the following three common problems.
A faulty catalytic converter
The catalytic converter in your vehicle is designed to neutralize emissions, like hydrogen sulfide, to harmless, odorless gases that do not contribute to air pollution. A faulty or clogged catalytic converter will not function optimally and leads to the emission of unneutralized, harmful, and intense sulfur gas. Additionally, a converter with a significant build-up of byproducts may overheat and further contribute to a smell like rotten eggs.
A fuel pressure sensor malfunction
The fuel pressure sensor regulates the flow of fuel within the engine. A faulty fuel filter or fuel pressure sensor will flood the catalytic converter with oil and, as described above, impair its optimal function. A malfunctioning catalytic converter will, in turn, cause a rotten egg smell. Owners and mechanics should check fuel filters and sensors if there is an awful egg smell present.
Transmission fluid serves to lubricate your vehicle's gear system and should remain within its closed system. If the transmission fluid leaks beyond the transition system, it can cause a rotten egg smell. Therefore, it is imperative to change your car's transmission fluid as frequently as is recommended by your car's manufacturer.
The above three causes are the most common causes of a rotten egg smell emitted by your vehicle. The best course of action when smelling a scent like that of rotten eggs would be to consult a qualified mechanic who will determine which part is at fault. Although there is no easy way to get the smell out of your car, often it is enough to repair or replace the catalytic converter, fuel pressure regulator, fuel filter, or even old transmission fluid.
If you need catalytic converter repair, give our auto repair shop a call today!