Rotten eggs/sulfur smell inside the car
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  1. #1
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    Rotten eggs/sulfur smell inside the car

    I've just started to notice a slight smell of rotten eggs/sulfur inside the car, ususally when I'm starting, parking up or stationary. I have a 1999 1.8T which has done 110,000 miles.

    I've done a search. My first reaction was the cat may be going bad , but performance wise it seems lively as ever. Its also been smog checked recently as part of an annual inspection and passed.

    However, I'm wondering whether the spark plugs were gapped properly at the last service just after inspection by my local garage (who I have now disowned due to other issues!). To be honest, I'm frightened to check spark plugs, as they are well recessed, and I'm not sure whether my socket will fit. I don't even know what the correct spark plug gap should be, and even whether badly gap plugs would lead to unburned fuel . I seem to be averaging 27 MPG (US) at the moment through 50/50 city highway conditions

    I'm also wondering whether the smell is coming from bacteria in the AC system. I must admit, the cabin filter looks as if its been in the car since new. Perhaps this is why the AC never gets really cold, and I have used it almost every time i've been out somewhere.

    I've also heard that this small could be caused by a leaking vacuum hose, but then I wouldn't know where to look.

    If anyone could guide me in the right direction and offer advice, I would be really greatful. Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Replace your cabin filter. Could also be road kill. Squirrels smell pretty ripe a few days after hitting them.

  4. #3
    My pornstar name came up "Jay the Snork."
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    Roll down your windows and open your sunroof when you fart. It works wonders.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.The sulfur/rotten egg smell would seem to indicate fuel as you suspect, and pretty much would rule out road kill I would think, that has a special smell all its own. Sorry I can't be much help, but free bump though.

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  6. #5
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    It's fairly typical for the catalytic converter to smell sulphurous (rotten
    eggs) when it's clogged /going bad. Especially if you notice the smell after
    leaning into the throttle.

  7. #6
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    sulfer/egg smell doesnt mean your cat is going bad, it happens from gasoline with high sulfer content, try switching brands of gas.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1.8tbeout
    sulfer/egg smell doesnt mean your cat is going bad, it happens from gasoline with high sulfer content, try switching brands of gas.
    Yes it is a typical sign of a bad cat from my experience. All I'm saying is
    that it COULD be going bad, not that it is. It could of course be fuel too,
    or 100 other things.

    You shouldn't discount someone elses opinion based soley on your
    own experiences.

  9. #8
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    You really need to figure out if it is from the inside of the car or from the exhaust.

    If you notice it just after starting, it is probably in the a/c system. If you notice it after hard driving, it is sulfer in the gas.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin
    Yes it is a typical sign of a bad cat from my experience. All I'm saying is
    that it COULD be going bad, not that it is. It could of course be fuel too,
    or 100 other things.

    You shouldn't discount someone elses opinion based soley on your
    own experiences.
    i wasnt discounting your opinion, sorry if it sounded that way, the smell usually comes from high sulfer content in certain brands of gasoline. sulfer is a by product from crude oil, the more refined the gasoline, the lower the sulfer contnet. if you have no check engine light on try switching to better gas. if the smell is acompanied by a cel it probably means your cat is glowing red hot dumping unburned gas from your exhaust. you will be able to feel your exhaust coming from the tail pipe is burning hot.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1.8tbeout
    i wasnt discounting your opinion, sorry if it sounded that way,
    Thank you, I think I overreacted. I apologize if I sounded like a penis.

  12. #11
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    it could be just a simple fix like the battery
    that also smells like rotten eggs when is bad and leaking

    check your battery

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolbep
    it could be just a simple fix like the battery
    that also smells like rotten eggs when is bad and leaking

    check your battery

    I agree, don't rule this one out.

  14. #13
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    This happened on my Dakota. Same smell, and as you, more power. It did end up being my cat. The core actually broke loose inside. Of course, I couldn't hear it rattle around but when the mech took it off he showed it to me and it was like shaking a coke can with the tab inside.
    If the core breaks loose like mine did, there's less airflow restriction, so it feels more "peppy".
    Don't HUFF it, but put your nose by your tailpipe after a cold start or just reach under the car and tap (lightly) your cat with a rubber mallet when it's cold.
    My two cents.

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