How To Get Rid Of Gear Oil Smell In Car

How To Get Rid Of Gear Oil Smell In Car

If you’ve seen your car mechanic use a black, thick liquid on your car, it’s the gear oil. Although it’s a great lubricant for your vehicle, the smell it leaves behind can be unbearable. If you accidentally spill the lubricant in your car, you’ll know how potent the gear oil smell can be. Today we will teach you how you can get rid of the gear oil smell in your car!

To get rid of the gear oil smell in your car, you can clean the area, use air freshener, or apply deodorizing spray and a steam cleaner. Some ways, like using baking soda or vinegar, are easy, while other methods, say using a steam cleaner, need some backup knowledge. However, all methods are effective and beneficial. 

In this article, you’ll not only learn the ways to eliminate gear oil smell from your car but also learn why gear oil smells so much, especially in your car. So, keep reading to explore your gateway to fresh car smell again. 

Methods to Remove Gear Oil Smell in Your Car

While planning to remove gear oil smell from your car, you will have to keep two areas in mind. Precisely, these are your car’s exterior and interior areas. The best ways to eliminate the unpleasant smell of gear oil from your car’s interior are as follows: 

Trace The Smell 

Tracing back to the source from where the smell is coming to your car is easier said than done. You’ll need to bring your A+ detective skills to use here. But how? For starters, look for the spot where the smell is more potent. Ask yourself the following questions:

If the gear oil smell is most potent while driving the vehicle, the chances are that the odor is getting into your car from under the hood. The reason can be a faulty differential, leaking gear oil seal, and other mechanical problems. 

Assuming that your detective skills have been of help in tracing the source of the smell, it’s time for some cleaning. You must find the spot/portion where the gear oil is leaked or spilled. For larger spills, things can become challenging. However, give your complete efforts to eliminate as much of the gear oil as possible. 

Try Concealing The Smell

By concealing, we mean to hide the gear oil smell. To cover up the strong gear oil smell, you can use the best-quality air freshener. With the widespread availability of air fresheners online, things have become easier. Just make sure you choose an air freshener that strictly prohibits the use of artificial fragrance. 

Get Ready For Smell Removal From Your Carpeting and Fabric Seats

The ultimate solution to eliminate the gear oil smell from your fabric seats and carpeting is using the best-in-class deodorizing spray with natural fragrances. However, there are various unique sprays, and it’s crucial to choose the one that works for at least years. 

Here are a few deodorizing sprays with the best natural fragrance:

Deodorizer SprayFeaturePrice
TriNova New Car Deodorizer Get the blended scent of coffee, mint, mango, apple, strawberry, and more$15.97
Enviroscents Auto SticksEach diffuser delivers up to 30 days of pure fragrance$13.29

Use a Steam Cleaner

If your car’s interior stinks of gear oil smell, it’s understandable as no one likes it. Solution? It’s pretty simple – use a steam cleaner. From stubborn odors to heartbreaking stains, it removes them all from carpeting and fabric seats

Try Removing the Smell By Waxing/Polishing Your Car’s Exterior

Truth be told, waxing or polishing the car’s exterior is one of the excellent ways to eliminate the gear oil smell. It will seal the scent and prevent the odor from haunting us again. But remember that using any inferior polishing or waxing product can be problematic. The best solution is to use a polish or wax of high quality from any branded company. 

Here’s a small table showing the best wax and polish for smell removal.

Wax/PolishKey FeaturePrice
Turtle Wax Hybrid Ceramic SpraySweet Fruity Fragrance $16.95
Chemical Guys Metal PolishIt Cleans and Restores All Metal Surfaces $19.99

Although plenty of methods are out there to alleviate gear oil smell, vinegar or baking soda remains the easiest one. Focus on the affected area, take the baking soda, apply it, let it be there for 30 minutes, vacuum up the place, and it’s done. Likewise, soak a small piece of cloth in vinegar. Of course, wring out the cloth. Then, use it for wiping the smell area.

Gear Oil Smell Intensity Ways To Get Rid of The Smell
Low Intensity Baking Soda & Vinegar
Moderate Intensity Deodorant Spray 
High Intensity Waxing & Polishing 
Very High Intensity Steam Cleaning 

Top Reasons For Gear Oil Smell In Car

Overheated Gears

If your gears get overheated due to excess friction, a burning smell will get released in your car. It’s okay to assume that it will impact your gear oil and tires. Any intense burning-like smell indicates an issue with your gear oil. If the fluid loses its sweet smell and seems dark, you should check the car’s transmission. 

Gear Oil Leakage 

If you find trouble shifting your car’s gears, it may be because they have dried up. The reason behind the dried-up condition can be some leakage. This leak can lead the complete vehicle system to overheat due to friction. 


Is smelling gear oil unhealthy?

Like differential oil, the gear oil comes with sulfur compounds. It makes them smell really horrible. Eliminating the odor becomes necessary; otherwise, it would make you ill. 

What can be the main reason behind the gear oil smell in your car?

If you sense a burning smell from the car, it’s because the oil is leaking. This foul smell comes from the engine when the oil drips and falls there due to leakage. 

How do I remove the gear oil spilled on my car’s carpet?

First, you need to pull out the carpet. Take a scrub brush and a soap to clean and remove it. Another excellent cleansing product is a spray degreaser. 


With this comprehensive, we hope to have helped you learn how to eliminate gear oil smell in your car. The above-mentioned methods are effective, easy, and beneficial in removing the stinky smell. However, if nothing works, you may need professional assistance. That’s it for today!

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