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hammerhead

Coolant smell in cabin

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Hi, I have recently noticed a slight coolant smell from within the cabin of my V8. Doesn't seem to matter if the heater is on or off and I am getting heat although maybe not quite as hot as it should be. I smell nothing from the outside and I am seeing no leaks anywhere and the coolant level is not dropping. I did notice that the flap under the front hood remains open regardless the position of the heater controls which I assume opens and closes depending upon the selection of the controls. I have only put a couple of thousand miles on my recently acquired Esprit, and am trying to learn all the ins and outs. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Greg

Edited by hammerhead

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The flap you're referring to is the fresh air door. On your center console you should see two yellow buttons under the HVAC controls between the two windows switches. If you press the one of the left (looks like a car with a "U" in the middle of it), This controls the opening/closing of the fresh air door. The other control, on the right is for the heated mirrors and rear window. If you push the recirc/fresh button in, it should close this flap giving you recirculated air which is best in warm weather when operating the A/C as you're not constantly cooling hot outside air, but keeping the cool air inside the car cold.

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Thanks for the info. I was sure I had tried all the controls yet the fresh air door would not close but the recirc button does close the flap now. Just have to hunt down the coolant odor now. Thanks.

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The flap only moves when the engine is running as it works by a gas system powered by the engine. This means that it will stay where it is regardless of the controls if the engine is not running. Iwould get a quick look at the two pipes connected to the heater matrix in the driver's footwell as a loose clip here would give you a coolant smell with hardly any coolant loss.

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if there is still that smell, and not a lose pipe on the heater matrix inside the cabin

->the main water-pipes run under [in] the middle section of your interiour, just in the central chassis beam -those pipes are aluminium and also have rubber-pipes attached to them on both ends. If there is a small corrosion leak in the aluminium, or a lose pipe clip on the ends ...think there can also some smell of coolant go into the cabin via the heat soak/ thermal air flow inside the heated chassis beam

(you can feel that there is a lot of heat in the chassis on your shifter on some days ....and if you run your car without the shifter 'suround'/leather upholstery for a test drive you will notice that the chassis beam is not exactly 'air tight'..)


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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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Yes there is still a slight odor and the connections are tight at the heater matrix inside the cabin. I will check the lines in the chassis beam. Thanks to all for the responses.

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Did you ever find the source of the smell? I am having teh same problem, coolant smell with no water loss/puddles/leaks. I don't think ti is coming from the inside as I don't smell it with the windows closed/ac on or while driving with the windows down. Only while at a stop with teh windows down. I have checked the header tank caps and the overflow tank in the boot (it is empty). The smell comes pretty quickly after starting. I noticed it about 5 mins after starting and idling in the driveway.

 

Thanks for any info.


John
94 S4

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John,

You say the header tank in the engine bay is empty? This should be full to the top, so sounds like you have a proper leak somewhere. Make sure you top this up before you get any bigger issues!

Cheers,

Steve.

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Yeah I meant the plastic overflow tank in the boot. The header tank is in the engine bay and is fine, not low at all.

 

I did discover the issue yesterday however. There is a very small amout of air coming out around the header tank cap. I cleaned the rubber seal and the lip it mates to on the tank. Hopefully that will fix it or I will have to get a new cap.

 

Anyone know if there is a cross-reference part for that?

 

Thanks


John
94 S4

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Just to point out this is the V8 section of the forum. As you appear to have a S4 from your profile you may do better in the S4 section. Hence the confusion over the header tank - the overflow header tank on a V8 is under the offside wheel arch. The only header tank in the boot is the main one which obviously should be full.


Dave - 2000 Sport 350

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Ah, didn't even notice that....found this when I did a search... ... Thanks


John
94 S4

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the later type plastic-coolant tank for the engine itself is (4 pot & 8 pot cars) french ..from the old Peugeot 205  

..it is still listed in some mayor part stores under the Peugeot donnor car   ..and around 25-30€ with tax and postage in Germany for example  http://www.mister-auto.de/de/kuhlwasserausgleichsbehalter/bolk-bol-3558_g397_a999BOL-3558.html?utm_source=daparto&utm_medium=comparator&utm_campaign=premium_daparto&kbanr=

 

..the V8 'overflow' tank [in RH rear wheelhousing] with the atmosphere vented cap is a unknown item, possibly from a farmers vehicle or so, as for the single pipe geting on it, without any other hose/pipe as typical for passenger cars with heater system and return.

 

the cap on the overflow tank is a metal type, without a springload-flap , the metal cap on the main plastic tank is done with a calibrated [springload] flap  ..note the *bar* or *atm* rating on those


*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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I had a tiny amount of green coolant crystals around the threads of a coolant sensor on my daily driver.  It was creating a strong sweet coolant smell as soon as the engine warmed.  I could smell it inside the car.

 

I cleaned the crystals off the threads and then let some wicking grade green Loctite soak down to seal the threads.  The smell is gone.  Try looking for small signs of coolant crystals on the heater matrix, on the engine, or around the radiator and radiator ducting.


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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