still smelling coolant with no loss or leaks
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Old February 15th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #1
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still smelling coolant with no loss or leaks


so im still smelling coolant from the very front of the car outside or when I open the hood....I had posted about this issue a few weeks ago and took everyones advice....replaced the radiator cap, replaced the coolant, and had a pressure test done at two different locations that both came out fine with no leaks...the car doesn't overheat the needle stays a little to the left of dead center...no signs of a blown head gasket (oil isn't mixed w coolant or vice versa, no smoke, no coolant smell from exhaust, no rough idle) but that smell is strong enough that if you duck down eye level to the front emblem or raise the hood it smacks you in the face! Im at a loss...dont have the money for a compression or leak down test...i was thinking I may just need to replace the radiator but don't want to spend the money if that's not the issue...

I had the fan go out a few years back and coolant blew all over the engine...i was afraid this could have blown a gasket bc it ran hot for about 2 mins on the way into a parking lot but there's no signs of it and again it was like 2 years ago and had been fine after getting the fan replaced iunno maybe im paranoid, all the mechanics have said not to worry about it until it shows a leak or something....this cant be right though....any thoughts??
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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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Easiest way to tell if you have a leak: do you have to add coolant? If you don't, and there's no other fluid in the coolant (i.e. oil), then your coolant isn't going anywhere. Conservation of mass. If net flux is zero (change in level), and flux in is zero (coolant or fluid added), your flux out is therefore zero(leaks).

Otherwise if you're not overheating, if the level isn't changing, and if the coolant stays clean, you probably don't have a leak and have no reason to worry.

You might just be paranoid. I replaced the hoses on my Cutlass before, and didn't tighten the one hoseclamp enough, letting it leak coolant onto the engine. It wasn't much, but you could smell it for quite awhile.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:46 AM   #3
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It could just be that at one time or another some coolant spilled onto your engine and you're still smelling it. sometimes that stuff lasts forever, happened to me in my old car and i drove myself nuts looking for the leak. don't sweat it if you're not running low on coolant.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by emg22189 View Post
It could just be that at one time or another some coolant spilled onto your engine and you're still smelling it. sometimes that stuff lasts forever, happened to me in my old car and i drove myself nuts looking for the leak. don't sweat it if you're not running low on coolant.
Thanks for the reply, a lot of the engine bay has that white residue that looks like it was the coolant from when my fan went out a couple years ago, I'm hoping that's all it is, I'm going to have a detail place clean the engine later today and hopefully if what I'm smelling is just old coolant it will go away...if not I'm going to be stressssed out
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Old February 15th, 2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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man imo i wouldn't pay a detailing place to clean under my hood unless i had a show car... they charge you and arm and a leg for that stuff. you can wash it down yourself and get almost all of it off.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by emg22189 View Post
man imo i wouldn't pay a detailing place to clean under my hood unless i had a show car... they charge you and arm and a leg for that stuff. you can wash it down yourself and get almost all of it off.
Yeah I know, everyone always tells me on here to do these things on my own and I get it would be cheaper but I just don't know what I'm doing and I don't want to screw anything up, if this wasnt my only car that I rely 100% then I wouldn't be so reluctant , plus if I screw up and get something wet I can only blame myself, but if they screw up I can at least blame them haha....20 bucks is cheap enough for piece of mind that its being done right, id have to buy a degreaser and pay for the pressure washer at the car wash anyway
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