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Old 02-15-2010, 03:20 AM
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Default Odd smell... sweet odor in vents. Is heater coil going bad?

Has anyone ever had a sweet smelling odor come out of the vents when the heat is on?

I'm suspecting it's a heater coil going bad. Has anyone had this happen?
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:22 AM
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Have you changed the cabin air filter?

Thats my first guess since that is a pretty old car... Plus its MUCH cheaper to change than a heater core...
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:40 AM
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sweet=coolant.

your hunch is probably right, though i'd also do a leakdown and compression test too. with the motor so close to the firewall, you may also smell the makings of a bad head gasket.

203k is about the going rate there.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:23 AM
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I've heard of a compression test... but never heard of a leakdown test. What is that?

...ahh... never mind, just googled it. LOL
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:57 AM
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I would look under the hood first for any sign of coolant leaks. Also, what color is the antifreeze in your reservoir? If it is green or yellow it is the wrong coolant which causes accelerated corrosion and could develop heater core leaks. Factory G12 does not cause corrosion.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jermnc77 View Post
Has anyone ever had a sweet smelling odor come out of the vents when the heat is on?

I'm suspecting it's a heater coil going bad. Has anyone had this happen?
Have you noticed any coolant missing from the resivior?? Also have a look under the car inside the passenger side front wheel and see if you can see any dried white residue anywhere.Anytime you see that white pinkish reside you have a coolant leak. But from what you have described here sounds like your heater core is leaking and can be dangerous if it does leak into the passenger compartment. Keep postin....
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:09 AM
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Okay.. . thanks for the replies. I probably won't have any time to look at it until this weekend, but I'll get right on it.

Right now, the car isn't on the road. But I'm hoping to tag it soon.
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:24 AM
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Well, I just got the car over this past weekend. So I don't know if any fluids are missing or leaking just yet. I didn't care what condition it was in, I bought it anyway! (since it was from my sis-in-law and she sold it to me cheap)

I did take a peak in there today and noticed the antifreeze was a dirty pink. It looked to be half full on the round reservoir.

I was leaving for work so I wasn't able to look underneath. I did touch the floor carpet on the inside passenger side and it wasn't wet though.

I know it's hard to diagnose from a distance, so I'll be looking more into this problem this weekend. (IF the weather holds out.)

Keep those posts coming!
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:41 PM
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well your fluid level is right on....you can change the fluid with a 50/50 water/G12 mix if you want it is pretty ratre for it to go bad but it does happen and a flush wouldnt hurt im sure. If i were you i would start with the in cabin air filter under passenger dash pannel. open that coolant res and stick your nose in there....compare that smell to what you smell and go from there...drive it around a while see if it stops or what....worst case you have to take pretty much the whole dash out
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:57 AM
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I'm sure I'm on the right path, but I still want to let you more seasoned folks in on the latest with my problem.

I scrubbed the car clean this weekend and the smell was finally gone from the inside. BUT, tonight I took it for a ride and had the temp on cool. Air was blowing in and it smelled clean.

THEN, I turned the temp control to warm and the smell came back.

It smells like pancake syrup! It doesn't really remind me of antifreeze.

What's your take on this guys?
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:21 PM
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If its sweet. Its coolant. the reason animals die from drinking coolant, is because they smell its sweet smell and keep drinking because it taste so good.

Liquid death. Swap the heater core.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:18 AM
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I haven't encountered such thing as that before. If ever, try to replace is with some branded parts like the K&N brand has to offer. Or try to search in for other sources in order to have some good ideas on that one.

Last edited by armandjones82; 10-19-2010 at 01:52 AM..
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