car fumes

The smell of rotten eggs is nasty to experience at the best of times, but it’s particularly unpleasant to detect while driving - not just because of the smell itself, but also because it implies that something with your vehicle isn’t working as it should. Whether you’ve found it in a new car, or in a used, seized or salvage car from an online vehicle auction, it’s something you’ll want to get sorted as soon as possible. So here are a few things you might want to check out, to rid your car of its rotten egg smell.

Check your catalytic converter

First and foremost, it’s worth mentioning that the eggy smell is highly unlikely to actually derive from eggs - unless of course, you find a months-old salad or sandwich hidden in the back of your car. Most of the time, however, it’s usually the smell of sulphur, and that’s largely due to your car’s catalytic converter. This is a key part of its exhaust system, and its role is to make sure that the harmful gases created in the combustion process are converted into less harmful gases. In the case of sulphur, it gets converted into sulphur dioxide. If the catalytic converter is damaged or failing, it cannot perform this process, resulting in the rotten egg odour. This not only means you could be taking in potentially harmful gases, but you’re also letting out these gases into the atmosphere, putting others at risk as well.

If the smell of rotten eggs is persistent in your vehicle, we recommend checking your catalytic converter first. If it isn’t working, we suggest having it replaced as quickly as possible, so you can rid yourself of that horrific odour and drive comfortably once again.

Other possible reasons for a rotten egg smell

Although this issue is most likely associated with your catalytic converter, there may be other causes that it is worth taking note of.

transmission fluidOld transmission fluid – it’s recommended that you replenish your transmission fluid regularly so that the fluid doesn’t leak into other components of your car. This leaves the old transmission fluid to burn and stagnate, which can also result in the rotten egg smell. We advise changing or replenishing your transmission fluid based on your manufacturer's recommendations and following a maintenance plan to ensure that your car isn’t relying on old transmission fluids, reducing your chances of facing that rotten egg odour.

Damaged fuel pressure sensor – the rotten egg smell may also occur as a result of a failing or a broken fuel pressure sensor. This sensor is in charge of fuel management for your car and if it’s not doing this correctly, it can result in your catalytic converter becoming overloaded with excess oil. As a consequence, the catalytic converter cannot convert the gases properly and with the sulphur having nowhere else to go, it leaks out of the converter and into your car, bringing with it the eggy smell. We advise checking this along with your catalytic converter, as this may be the leading cause of your eggy problem.

Don’t leave it to chance

In summary, a rotten egg smell isn’t generally something that can be sorted by hanging a pine air freshener from your rear view mirror. We recommend having your car looked at as soon as possible because this smell should be a cause for concern, and you don’t want to be breathing in these potentially dangerous gases for too long. Luckily, this is quite a common issue and so reasonably easy to fix if you’ve got the tools and expertise to do it yourself. If not, it’s worth asking a professional mechanic to get the issue sorted on your behalf.

Of course, if you’d prefer to buy an entirely new or used salvage car, you’re in exactly the right place. We’ve got plenty to choose from in our own online car auctions right here at RAW2K. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always new deals to be had, and we’ve got vehicles from a range of leading manufacturers including PeugeotToyota and Vauxhall. Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?