Does anyone know what the smell could be coming from?


Asked by Mar 25, 2015 at 11:31 PM about the 2009 Mazda MAZDA3 s Touring Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Everytime I drive my car to work(which is atleast a 30 min drive), after getting off of
the highway and at a stop light, I will notice a smell coming from my air vent. I don't
have the AC on, but the air flow is turned on for circulation, and my windows are
closed. I only notice it at stop lights and not when the car is moving. It's faint at first,
but becomes stronger. It's not sweet smelling like it would be if it were the radiator.
It's hard to pinpoint the smell. Any idea?

6 Answers


If it's a rotten egg type smell it's the catalytic converter. Nothing to worry about, believe it or not, just more of a nuisance. Try a different brand of gasoline. That may help. If that's not the smell, is it a burning smell? A rubber smell? An electronic ozone type smell? HTH. -Jim


Doesn't really smell like rotten egg. It smells like something is getting super hot, maybe a rubberish hot smell, but not burning. I dont know about an electronic ozone type smell

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Is the heat shield above the converter in place, if not it could be heating the floor pan which will also heat the carpet padding which is made of foam rubber.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Camarocollector is onto something. Could very well be what's going on. -Jim


And you are sure its not a burning oil smell that would be generated from a faint leak at the valve cover gasket? Drive the car for a while then stop and pop your hood to see if you see an smoke coming from around the engine.


The word "rubberish" was the key term, oil burning on on the exhaust has a whole different smell.

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