Why Does My Exhaust Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

Written by beverley lee
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Why Does My Exhaust Smell Like Rotten Eggs?
The sulphur smell associated with car exhaust has causes (exhaust fulmes image by bilderbox from Fotolia.com)

When you start your car, the smell coming from the exhaust can often smell like rotten eggs. This can happen especially when you start the car from very cold. It can also happen after fast acceleration or extended periods of idling.

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Identification

The problem is high amounts of sulphur used in the gasoline. It does not affect the engine or durability of the car, it is just unpleasant.

Effects

Sulphur is normally removed during the refining process but the EPA regulation of sulphur in gasoline differs from state to state. When high sulphur fuel is burnt, there is a chemical reaction in the catalytic converter causing the sulphur to oxidise. As the vehicle is driven this will reduce and the smell will disappear.

Solution

Switch to a different brand of gasoline. After driving for at least 100 miles, monitor the reduction in the odour. Try to avoid excessive acceleration or short trips and long idling times. Keep in touch with the EPA and gasoline websites to check sulphur content.

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