I smell sweet (coolant?) vapors thru vents when fan/heat/a.c. are on - what to check? - Honda Forum : Honda and Acura Car Forums
 
 

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Old 10-13-2005, 01:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I smell sweet (coolant?) vapors thru vents when fan/heat/a.c. are on - what to check?

I've been smelling something sweet coming through the vents whenever the air controls are on and this has been happening for a couple of months since I bought the car in April '05 (96 gsr). I read the coolant sticky that's on top of the 3rd gen forum but I seem to have the "not so common" problem regarding the heater core. I know the radiator, upper/lower hoses, thermostat, waterpump, and radiator cap are fine because I had to replace them due to my radiator giving out recently at 82k. So I followed the instructions in the sticky to check the driver and passenger's floorboard but there aren't any areas that are wet or dripping any kind of liquid. Supposedly, it's the heater core that's supposed to be leaking? None here..

I only smell it when the vent is turned on, no matter if it's the fan, heat or a/c. If I leave the air in "fresh" mode, I will smell it. But if it's in "recirculate" mode, the smell goes away. I generously sprayed lysol disinfectant through the vents that are located at the bottom of the windshield but that didn't do anything except making the interior of the car smell like it was just sanitized at a hospital.

Also, after driving for a while and with the car still running but parked, I opened the hood and smelled something sweet. I don't think the engine compartment is supposed to give off a sweet smell so I think it is definitely something coolant related. My coolant levels are fine, as I have been checking the levels frequently. The temp gauge reads just a little before half and have no overheating issues.

I just want to fix this smell problem because I'm sure it isn't healthy to be sniffing those vapors whenever I drive. Sometimes I feel like the vapors are giving me headaches or causes dizziness after I step out of the car. It's getting to the point where I have to lower down both windows and moonroof on chilly nights so that I wouldn't have to smell it because my heater would be on. I haven't inspected the heater core yet because I don't know exactly where it is or how to get to it. If someone has the answer/idea as to what I need to fix/replace, please help out. I want to avoid bringing the car to a shop but if it must come to that, then I will have to, since it's not worth it due to possible long-term health problems. Sorry for a long post, just wanted to make sure I get all the details in. Thanks guys/gals.
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Old 10-13-2005, 09:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiddo118
I've been smelling something sweet coming through the vents whenever the air controls are on and this has been happening for a couple of months since I bought the car in April '05 (96 gsr). I read the coolant sticky that's on top of the 3rd gen forum but I seem to have the "not so common" problem regarding the heater core. I know the radiator, upper/lower hoses, thermostat, waterpump, and radiator cap are fine because I had to replace them due to my radiator giving out recently at 82k. So I followed the instructions in the sticky to check the driver and passenger's floorboard but there aren't any areas that are wet or dripping any kind of liquid. Supposedly, it's the heater core that's supposed to be leaking? None here..

I only smell it when the vent is turned on, no matter if it's the fan, heat or a/c. If I leave the air in "fresh" mode, I will smell it. But if it's in "recirculate" mode, the smell goes away. I generously sprayed lysol disinfectant through the vents that are located at the bottom of the windshield but that didn't do anything except making the interior of the car smell like it was just sanitized at a hospital.

Also, after driving for a while and with the car still running but parked, I opened the hood and smelled something sweet. I don't think the engine compartment is supposed to give off a sweet smell so I think it is definitely something coolant related. My coolant levels are fine, as I have been checking the levels frequently. The temp gauge reads just a little before half and have no overheating issues.

I just want to fix this smell problem because I'm sure it isn't healthy to be sniffing those vapors whenever I drive. Sometimes I feel like the vapors are giving me headaches or causes dizziness after I step out of the car. It's getting to the point where I have to lower down both windows and moonroof on chilly nights so that I wouldn't have to smell it because my heater would be on. I haven't inspected the heater core yet because I don't know exactly where it is or how to get to it. If someone has the answer/idea as to what I need to fix/replace, please help out. I want to avoid bringing the car to a shop but if it must come to that, then I will have to, since it's not worth it due to possible long-term health problems. Sorry for a long post, just wanted to make sure I get all the details in. Thanks guys/gals.
it could be a small leak at the heater core. see if ur can get a shop to pressure test it for u
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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dude when i'm driving especially on the highway or at high speed, their is always air coming from my vents, mostly warm. it's all the heat thats in the engine bay. i would have to close my vents to keep the cabin air free
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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it could be a small leak at the heater core. see if ur can get a shop to pressure test it for u
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It may be unrelated but when i use my washer fluid i can smell the sweet smell of it come through my vents almost right away. Ur sure its coolant? sometimes people get smelly things that u can put in your vents to make your car smell nice whenever the climate control is on.
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asianpride559
it could be a small leak at the heater core. see if ur can get a shop to pressure test it for u
if there was a small leak at the heater core, would that cuase a sweet steamy smell in the engine bay when I pop the hood also? Seems as if the smell came from the engine bay because I only smell it if the vents are on "fresh" mode, despite the heater being on or off, which means the air that enters the cabin from the engine bay through those ducts underneath the windshield.

I looked at my antifreeze bottle and it said inhalation of hot vapors of ethylene glycol may cause birth defects ... I better get this fixed soon.
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiddo118
if there was a small leak at the heater core, would that cuase a sweet steamy smell in the engine bay when I pop the hood also? Seems as if the smell came from the engine bay because I only smell it if the vents are on "fresh" mode, despite the heater being on or off, which means the air that enters the cabin from the engine bay through those ducts underneath the windshield.

I looked at my antifreeze bottle and it said inhalation of hot vapors of ethylene glycol may cause birth defects ... I better get this fixed soon.
im positive u have a small leak somewhere...have it pressure tested.
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