Whether you consciously notice it or not, driving is an activity that engages all of your senses. Car manufacturers are very conscious of this, and so are aftermarket companies like Glade, and the company that makes those little smelling trees. It’s also the reason why rotary owners don’t mind getting out of their car smelling like a combination of gasoline and oil every time they drive.
Interestingly though, no two people smell exactly the same. There are over 400 million variations on smell receptors and the smallest difference in a person's DNA can change whether a smell is pleasing or offensive to a person.
Some smells are universally offensive, however, and we’ve rounded up a collection of cars that smell just as bad as they look
19 Cow Soaked Car
This border patrol car got sprayed with cow stuff after being mistaken for a police car. The perpetrator, who does custom work, originally denied knowing that the car was behind him before later coming clean. He pleaded guilty to his actions in court and had to perform 24 hours of community service as punishment for his rancid deed.
18 A Trunk Full Of Fish
It’s hard to tell what led to the owner of this car thinking that stuffing their trunk full of fish was a good idea. This photo begs more questions than answers. Do they do this regularly? Why don’t they use a pickup? Is there any carpet in that trunk? Do they have any sense of smell?
17 An Unplanned Color Change
Not many things can ruin your day like parking under a tree to discover it’s home to a flock of pigeons. Not only is it annoying, but the bird waste can also eat through your paint due to it containing a high level of uric acid. Plus once it starts raining it just turns into a wet, putrid mess.
16 Happy New Year!
This unfortunate Redditor happened to leave his car next to an apartment block while he went out to celebrate New Years Eve. The morning he returned to find his car covered in frozen vomit from the balconies above. Stomach acid will eat away at paint as well so the only option is to enter the car via the boot and head to the nearest auto wash.
15 Durian Loaded Pickup
Any list of bad smelling things just wouldn’t be complete without durian. These overloaded pickups are a regular feature of South East Asia where the spiky fruit is considered a delicacy - one rare durian recently sold for $48,000. Admittedly durian is delicious but smells like a combination of onions and turpentine. It’s not a smell we can ever imagine getting used to!
14 Whale Removal Truck
When a whale washes ashore it needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Not only do they attract sharks but they are full of dangerous toxic gases. The rotten smelling gas is caused by the purification of whatever they ate before they died. This truck driver is carrying a load that would smell like a combination of methane, rotten eggs, and cat pee.
13 Horse Covered Convertible
The unfortunate driver of this convertible was enjoying a day out in the sunshine with his daughter. They were parked on the side of a road when a tractor towing a trailer full of horse stuff swerved to avoid them. The sudden action caused the trailer to spill its load all over the vehicle, and its occupants. The insurance company didn’t want to deal with it and wrote the car off.
12 Flour and Egg Coating
This Mercedes C63 belongs to Michael Owen who was a professional football player in the UK. The coating of his car in eggs and flour was a farewell present from his teammates after he hung up his boots and retired. We can only hope he washed the offensive coating off before the eggs started going bad.
11 A Hoarders Nest
Nearby 90% of people who hoard things report getting some kind of mental rush out of the behavior. Looking at this car, the owner must be ecstatic, but no doubt the vehicle would be full of smells that you just can’t quite identify. Also, can you imagine all that trash falling out ever time the door is opened?
10 Moldy Lamborghini
Sadly, this isn’t a wrap. This Lamborghini has been neglected so badly it’s started growing mold on it. Luckily for the owner, mold is pretty easy to clean off with a few household items, but there is the smell to contend with. A likely explanation is this car was parked under a tree and mold is growing on top of the sap droppings.
9 Police Car Chicken Coop
Keeping chickens can be very therapeutic once you get used to the smell. This 1970s police car from France had the interior removed, ready for its transformation into a makeshift chicken coop. Everything else on the car is original including the vinyl police stickers and functioning light. The quirky hen-house was originally an art project but is now a permanent fixture on a farm.
8 A Large Problem With The Engine
This may not look bad at first glance (apart from the large snake in the engine bay) but snakes can smell pretty bad if their enclosure is not cleaned. Particularly when their habitat of choice is a nice warm engine bay. Some snakes can give off a foul smell when they feel threatened too. Thankfully, this python was able to be removed unharmed, only leaving its smell to be dealt with!
7 An Abandoned Car
This Ford S-Max is that is was stolen, had the windows smashed out got recovered and then left abandoned in an impound yard for two years. There is mold everywhere, water damage, stains that are better left unknown and animal damage. This car is such a mess we can almost smell it through the monitor.
6 Tractor Spreading
The thick black chunks in this photo are indeed cow stuff, and how bad it smells for the tractor driver depends on which way the wind is blowing. Farmers commonly use this as an environmentally friendly way to raise the level of nitrogen in the soil instead of relying on chemical methods.
5 Diesel Buses
If you've ever been to Bangkok you'll know that the first thing you notice when you disembark the plane is the awful smell. A leading cause of this is air pollution which is made worse by buses running on dirty fuel like this one. In fact, these buses smell so bad that 95% of the passengers wear some kind of mask to avoid breathing the thick diesel fumes.
4 Can Car
This car in Mongolia has not only been abandoned, but it's also filled with cans. In each can is probably a mouthful of stale drink which only smells worse over time. Interestingly, that stale smell can be removed by Elbomex, which is a special kind of bacteria that kills odors.
3 Abandoned Car
We've already covered abandoned cars on the list but this one is a bit different. The problem with abandoned cars is they are never watertight. Eventually, water will find its way in and start soaking the interior. If water can get inside, dirt and leaves will eventually get in as well, leaving a soaking mess of compost.
2 Rat Damaged Trunk
The owner of this car learned a hard lesson about buying vehicles without inspecting them. They purchased this 1951 Ford over the internet without inspecting it first. When they took delivery of it, they discovered a rats nest that was probably around 20 years old, cans that dated back to the 70s and rubbish 3 feet deep inside.
1 A Drive-Through Mess
It’s pretty plain to see what happened here but that doesn’t make it any more palatable. Pretty soon the owner of this car isn’t going to have trash problems, but animal problems as well. From then all it’s a downhill slide into stenchtown with animal waste attracting all manner of insect infestations.
Sources: Reddit, Street Tech, The Sun and Medium.