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Re: the coolant smells bad
If your engine is running hot, yes that could cause light to come on, as well as a strange smell. Have it checked a.s.a.p. otherwise it could cost you a lot of money, if it hasn't already. Don't drive it if it's running too hot. Make sure you add coolant as needed before you try anything.
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The smell it hot glycol (coolant). Never remove the cap when the engine is either running and/or hot, water will come out no matter what and can potentially be REALLY hot. Try looking for coolant leaks 1st. With the engine dry and cold (best done in the dark ) take a torch and start the engine. The leaks will be shiny and easy to spot. Either a thermostat gasket, split hose or leaking water pump.
Check oil and coolant levels (at the radiator cap) first. Run fault codes to find which sensor triggered the engine light . The light is to tell you that the engine is in danger of failure so do not dismiss the light as not important.. Hot smells mean that the engine is very hot and you may not have any coolant in the system to activate the temp light or gauge.
This seems to be a symptom of a blown head gasket.
White exhaust smoke is an indication of water / coolant in the exhaust. The car running sluggish and using lots of fuel can be caused by compression loss.
Look at the coolant level color and smell (with cold engine - don't open the high pressure reservoir with engine hot as hot coolant may spray you in the face). If you have a blown gasket, the coolant color may become brownish and it may smell bad or the level will get lower even if you have just refilled the cooling system.
What you can also check for is bubbles in the reservoir. With engine cold, remove the reservoir cap. Start the engine. Try to rev the engine (or have someone do it) and observe if there are bubbles in the reservoir tank. If you see lots of bubbles, you have a blown gasket.
Someone else's code may not help you as the light could come on for a number of reasons. Smoke under your hood could be due to a leak or leaks such as oil, coolant, power steering fluid and so on and as the engine gets hot the fluids will burn off on the hot engine or exhaust causing it to smoke. The smell when you turn the heat on could be because your heater core is leaking. This would be accompanied with low coolant levels, overheating and low heat especially at idle also the carpet may be wet. If your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter the smell could also come from there as leaves and other debris and sometimes even rodents can get in there. Also if you don't allow you evaporator to dry by shutting off the ac but letting the fan run for a couple of minutes the water on the evaporator can cause mold and mildew to grow giving you a funny smell as well. Hope this helps.
Check for leaks, service engine lights since CTS (Coolant temp sensor) can cause the vehicle to run rich. Keep in mind that there is a lot of Ethenol in our gas that is lowing the gas mileage on our vehicles.The canister purge tank can cause gas smell if it isn't working right, but the computer should give you a service engine light on any of these.
The smell is most likely the anti-freeze you smell. You may need a new overflow cap, which over time will not hold pressure like it should and can cause you engine to run hot and lose coolant. It could be the water pump leaking, a hose leaking. Can you see where you may be losing coolant at? How often does it run hot? Do you have to re-fill after it runs hot. If you not having to add coolant, then your thermostat may be bad or the water pump. But losing coolant could be the overflow cap or a hose, and let's not forget the radiator could have a small hole or split somewhere. It's a matter of finding out where or what are it is leaking in.
You may have a bad thermostat or a weak water pump or a clogged radiator. Smell does not indicate if its hot. The gauge or coolant light might suggest its getting hot. You may have a fuel control issue that is overheating the catalytic converter which would smell or an oil leak that is dripping onto a hot surface causing a smell. You may have a real small coolant leak that you cant see that could cause this also.
when a coolant is heated, it usually gives off a smell of a burning wire or a hot rod, but this will depend on what coolant you are using. It is either the coolant dripping to a hot part of the engine or the old replaced coolant still has some left on a hot part of the engine. some says evaporated coolants are dangerous, but that will, like what i said, depend on what coolant you are using. you may wan to consult the dealership that serviced your car and have it cleaned / checked.