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Old 06-04-2012, 10:37 AM   #1
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Coolant smell coming from the vents

Hey guys,

Over the last 2 weeks my car has developed a strong smell, like a hot coolant smell coming through the vents, even when they're closed. It becomes very strong when the temp of the engine starts rise after running for a while. The temp in my car stays steady between 180 and 220. And I didn't see anything from when I looked under the hood, and no smoke. In addition to this, I've noticed that the windshield starts to fog up real bad, but again, no heater or AC is turned on. Any help or suggestions I'd appreciate it.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:48 AM   #2
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

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Hey guys,

Over the last 2 weeks my car has developed a strong smell, like a hot coolant smell coming through the vents, even when they're closed. It becomes very strong when the temp of the engine starts rise after running for a while. The temp in my car stays steady between 180 and 220. And I didn't see anything from when I looked under the hood, and no smoke. In addition to this, I've noticed that the windshield starts to fog up real bad, but again, no heater or AC is turned on. Any help or suggestions I'd appreciate it.
Heater core is bad or going south quickly. Drop the kick panel and have a look-see before you have a pond on the pass side floor.

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

Yikes. Well I just called the auto repair shop on replacing the core. It's gonna be about 700 bucks. I have my Haynes manual so I'm seriously thinking about replacing the heater core myself. On the other hand on an 89 Firebird, is there a thread or a guideline on the best easiest way to change the heater core out?

Last edited by -LateNite89-; 06-04-2012 at 04:20 PM. Reason: misspelled a word.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

Nevermind, I found the guide. Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

$700 to replace a $29 part! The guy should be behind bars for attempted rape. It isnt THAT hard to do!

This is one of the reasons I never take any of my cars to a repair shop unless its for something like a transmission rebuild.

Heres a thread on how to replace the heater core

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/co...placement.html (Heater core replacement)

Last edited by JimRockford; 06-04-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:19 PM   #6
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

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Originally Posted by -LateNite89- View Post
Yikes. Well I just called the auto repair shop on replacing the core. It's gonna be about 700 bucks. I have my Haynes manual so I'm seriously thinking about replacing the heater core myself. On the other hand on an 89 Firebird, is there a thread or a guideline on the best easiest way to chenge the heater core out?
Lol, $700!?!?! Thats outrageous. I'm 17 years old and I could figure it out without ever doing it before. Only took me about an hour. The hardest part of the whole process is putting the stupid kick panel back. The bolts aren't nearly long enough to get your whole ratchet up in there and there isn't enough space to use an extension
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

@ JimRockford: Yea, that's what I said. I've done a lot of work on my car just myself already, so I figured I'd rather put in 5 hrs of my time and do it rather than fork over 700 dollars. When I asked him why so much he said it would take all day to do it, plus parts and labor. But when I saw the thread I was like, "Wow, I bet I can do that myself." So I looked up the part at O'reilly's and its about 27.00....vs. 700.00. Go figure.

Last edited by -LateNite89-; 06-04-2012 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

UPDATE: Fate must have a sick sense of humor. I had this gut feeling to lay down an open plastic bag on the passenger side, just in case. As I'm getting home from work, I noticed the collant smell again, only this time musch more stronger. As I looked down, I noticed coolant fluid leaking all over the passenger side. Luckily I had placed the plastic bag on the floor so only a few drops got on the carpet. I did get the heater core though, so I'm going to install it after work today.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

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Luckily I had placed the plastic bag on the floor so only a few drops got on the carpet.
Lucky for you. Cleaning coolant from the carpet isn't pleasant.

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Old 06-05-2012, 11:14 AM   #10
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

You should have just disconnected the hoses going to it when you first noticed the smell,then at least you wouldnt have to deal with the leaking anymore.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:12 PM   #11
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Re: Coolant smell coming from the vents

Yea you're right but I didn't know what it was at the time. Unfortunately it was one of those hard lessons learned.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:12 PM
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