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Coolant smell

 
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9C3
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject:  Coolant smell Reply with quote

Last few days I've been smelling what I think is coolant in the car. The overflow bottle is at the normal level, the hoses are all new, there is no fluid under the car, & all the carpets are dry. Is the heater core leaking? There is no smell under the hood when the car is running. I have never used the heater in 2 years, as you don't need it in Florida, so I can just bypass it if that's the problem? Any Ideas? GARY

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QuickNick
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:30 pm    Post subject:  Re: Coolant smell Reply with quote

9C3 wrote:
I have never used the heater in 2 years, as you don't need it in Florida, so I can just bypass it if that's the problem? Any Ideas? GARY


Your just bragging now arent ya Wink

I have an idea FWTW. Couldn't you take out the cabin air filter & be able to see if theres any trace of coolant in there? Or if you want to lay upside down on your head, take out the blower motor & take a peek? Doesnt take much coolant to make a big smell. Do you have the "slime/grease" on the windshield?

I've had luck doing a leakdown test using a pressure gauge on the cooling system with other cars. You can actually make one with an old radiator cap & a Mityvac - plenty of youtube videos showing this. Just dont go past the cap rating.

Havent done an Impala heater core yet so I'm no help there. Personally, I dont see why you couldnt bypass the core for now but its still going to need one sooner or later.

Just some ideas, hope that helps!
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lostwrench
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:54 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I would bypass it for awhile, flush out the heater core in place, and see if the smell goes away.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:03 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

lostwrench wrote:
I would bypass it for awhile, flush out the heater core in place, and see if the smell goes away.
If it stops raining, I plan to do this tomorrow. Down here a heater isn't really necessary. I can't remember the last time I needed heat in the car. GARY

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject:  Re: Coolant smell Reply with quote

9C3 wrote:
Last few days I've been smelling what I think is coolant in the car. The overflow bottle is at the normal level, the hoses are all new, there is no fluid under the car, & all the carpets are dry. Is the heater core leaking? There is no smell under the hood when the car is running. I have never used the heater in 2 years, as you don't need it in Florida, so I can just bypass it if that's the problem? Any Ideas? GARY
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:06 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

The intake was replaced barely a year ago with the coolant hose fittings & are all factory GM parts. There is no coolant smell under the hood with the engine running. Just in the car. GARY

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:45 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Well my GF was too busy to take me to the parts store, so I took the car. The carpet was dry before I left, but on the road I heard a gurgling noise, & coolant spilled on the pass side carpet. I dried it with a towel, & bypassed the heater core. I put my hand under the carpet, & the floor was dry. [thick padding] Should I drench the carpet with water, or just let the carpet dry to get rid if the smell. In my whole 30 year GM parts career, I only ever sold 1 GM heater core, & it was for a Buick Skyhawk. [J body] Around here when a heater core goes, we just bypass it, but the owner of the Skyhawk had to drive back to Canada, & it was wintertime. 10 years ago we had a contract with the city, & were replacing heater cores on Crown Vic cop cars on 2 year old cars. Then the replacement cores wouldn't even last a year. So what do I do with my carpet? GARY

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:33 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Shop vac first to get as much coolant out as you can. Spray it down with water but do not "soak" it-dont want to cause mold, then shop vac again. Then break out the 409 carpet cleaner & go crazy. I have used Tide laundry detergent,water & a scrub brush before to get out bad stains. You just want to make sure you dont over-soak it & get the padding wet.

Mold is the big thing you want to stay away from, especially in your area. That smell wont go away!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:00 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

QuickNick wrote:
Shop vac first to get as much coolant out as you can. Spray it down with water but do not "soak" it-dont want to cause mold, then shop vac again. Then break out the 409 carpet cleaner & go crazy. I have used Tide laundry detergent,water & a scrub brush before to get out bad stains. You just want to make sure you dont over-soak it & get the padding wet.

Mold is the big thing you want to stay away from, especially in your area. That smell wont go away!
That's what I did. Neighbor had a shop vac, sucked out all the coolant I could, then sprayed about 8 oz of water & vac'd it up. Left the door open for sun to shine on carpet. Carpet is clean, & the coolant smell is gone. I just wish I got the parts yesterday, before the leak got serious. 1 more day of sun on the carpet & all will be perfect. Thanks for the help. GARY

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

2 days of Florida sun baking the carpets with the doors open, & all is perfect. No smell, & the carpet looks better than ever. Thanks for the help. GARY

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