Why does my car smell like syrup?

It’s confusing why your car would have a syrupy odor. The worst part is that you can’t pinpoint the source of the odor. Probably the first thing you do is ask yourself. However, there are a variety of other explanations for this peculiar odor.

Make sure your steering wheel is free of syrup. If there is, try wiping it away with a paper towel or damp cloth before using a wet cloth or sponge to clean the rest of the interior. If this doesn’t work, try masking the smell with an air freshener or other odor remover.

Make sure your air vents aren’t blocked with dust or dirt by inspecting them. If they are clogged, clear them out using a compressed air canister or vacuum hose attachment. If you can breathe easily through these vents, your car will feel much more comfortable.

Look underneath the seats for any spilled beverages that might have seeped into small gaps in the floorboards and filled your car with their sweet odor.

Look under each seat for any food that has been spilled, such as candy wrappers or empty fast-food containers, and take them out immediately.

The underlying science of the smell 

Actually, a chemical reaction between the plastics and the chemicals in the windshield washer fluid is what gives your car that syrupy smell. The windshield washer fluid is sprayed on the wipers when you turn them on. This then drips into the air vents and down onto your dashboard.

Some of these chemicals are trapped in the dashboard’s plastic, where they combine with other substances to produce an odor that is pleasing to the nose. This reaction could also happen if rainwater drips in from the outside of your car if you leave it parked outside for a long time.

What kind of syrup is okay to consume while driving? 

Corn syrup and molasses are the two syrups that are used in cars the most frequently. Although you can clean your engine with either of these products, their environmental impacts are different.

Corn, which is typically derived from genetically modified crops that have been grown using pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals, is used to make corn syrup. Ancient civilizations have a long history of using molasses, which is made from sugar cane, as an antiseptic.

Molasses is a great option if you’re looking for a completely natural solution that won’t damage the environment or the finish on your car.

Why does syrup have a car-like odor? 

It results from the caramelization that occurs inside your car. Driving around with syrup on your seats causes it to heat up and liquefy, giving off a caramel-like odor. There is no need to be concerned because this is a normal process.

How can you keep your car from smelling like syrup? 

You should make sure to clean out your AC unit every few months to avoid this from happening. Remove the AC vent cover and vacuum the vents to remove any dust or debris. Each vent cover should be thoroughly cleaned by being wiped down with a shop towel from both sides. Utilizing a damp rag or sponge, clean each filter of any pollen buildup.


Because soy is used to make your car, it smells like syrup. Soy protein is transformed by food producers into a gooey, sweet-tasting liquid that can be used in a variety of products, including syrup.

See more: 

How to get a fish smell out of your car?

How to get air freshener smell out of car?