While driving to the store today, my car started spewing steam out of the heater, and coolant was running out from under the dash on the passenger side. it smells like antifreeze and the coolant was slightly low ( a quart or two). can anyone tell me what this might be? I'm thinking a heater hose came off inside the heater? there is no leakage inside the engine compartment (just a tiny bit of steam coming through the firewall from inside the car).
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When you say your car struggled to start I would assume you are trying to start it early in the morning. In states where you are well below freezing not only do you need some sort of heating blanket or oil heater on the vehicle's engine but you need to let the vehicle defrost or un freeze before you go trying to start it and drive it. The coolant being low hardly has anything to do with the engine starting. If your engine struggles to start in the mornings after a below freezing night then again I would assume your oil is next to frozen and your trying to put a spark on a ice cold block. which is just asking for issues. If you do have a oil heater and your car is still presenting issues then the problem may be else were... As for your antifreeze dis appearing, If you do not have a coolant leak then one of two things is happening your either leaking coolant into your block, or you are burning the coolant somehow,
well sounds like u just blew a head gasket check ur coolant level or better yet put some antifreeze in it and let it run and see if u have an excessive amount of water coming out of the exhaust and keep check on the coolant level and see if u loose antifreeze as i suspect u will and if u r loosing coolant then its probably not smoke u r seeing but steam instead
If you are loosing coolant and you see water under the car after sitting you have a leak. The most likely area is the heater core as you are getting steam inside the car. If you smell anti freeze that is another confirming item. Check all the hoses and connections first before replacing the core. Good luck.
you're on the right track. grab a flash light and crawl under your truck to look for trails left from coolant leaks. if this is happening only when you turn your heater on, but the engine runs fine and there's no leak any other time, it's either you're heater core, or just the hoses going to it. look above the exhaust pipes, all the steam rolling out from under the hood is the coolant hittling hot exhaust or the hot engine.
You either have alot of water somewhere in the car, rugs, seats or spare tire well. Is it snowing where you are? Or, your heater core is leaking. If it's the heater core you can smell it, if you never smelled coolant before open the radiator cap when the car is cold and take a whiff. If it's standing water, well, almost everyone knows what that smells like.
The heater core is more likely the problem. You must check the coolant level in the radiator. If the coolant levels in the radiator and resivour are low it has to be a leak in the heater core or hoses. On average heater core leaks can be small and take time to get really bad but you must monitor your radiator coolant levels or your car will over heat one day and you won't be prepaired. Also I don't know the health hazzards associated with breathing steamed antifreeze over time.
Over time you will notice that you need to clean off the areas that got steamed up and you will find the paper towel is really dirty looking (more than normal), that is another indication of a heater core leak somewhere.