When you slide into the seat of a used car that you'll be test driving, like a used Lexus gs 350, you may notice that one or more air fresheners are hanging in the vehicle. Perhaps there's one hanging off the mirror or one clipped to the front air vent. While you might appreciate the pleasant smell around you as you perform the test drive, it's a good idea to actually remove these devices and open the windows to allow fresh air to flow in at the start of the test drive. An air freshener can potentially cover up some concerning smells that you may notice and wish to bring to the seller's attention before you buy the car. With the air freshener gone, here are some smells to check for.
Although you may smell gasoline if the car has just been filled up at the local gas station, the smell should generally dissipate quickly unless gas was spilled on the rear quarter panel. If you smell gas otherwise, it may be a warning sign of a problem. For example, perhaps there's a gas line leak or some other form of problem related to the vehicle's gas system. You'll want to bring this issue to the seller's attention to correct it before you buy the vehicle.
A used vehicle can produce a number of different burning smells that you may not notice when there's an air freshener present. Once you remove the air freshener, however, burning smells can potentially be apparent. A mild burning smell isn't necessarily a concern — for example, the previous owner could have spilled a little oil on the engine during an oil change, and the remnants of the oil produce an odor as the engine heats up. However, a burning smell could potentially indicate that the brakes are worn out, so you'll want to check this issue before you buy the vehicle.
Sometimes, it's possible to smell an electrical-type scent in a vehicle. There are several potential reasons for this issue, including burnt-out wiring or fuses, for example. If you notice an electrical smell and bring it to the seller's attention, he or she can investigate to rectify the issue. If any smells are apparent and the seller pledges to fix them, don't be afraid to tell the seller that you'd like to take the vehicle for another test drive without an air freshener before you agree to complete the purchase.