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Anti-freeze odour coming from heater smell is intermittent

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You have a leak in the heater core

Posted on Apr 21, 2009

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No leak and 2003 nissan xterra smell like anti freeze check radiator,water pump.hoses.heater core.anti freeze level in radiator is perfect


If you can smell,then you have a leak,if the heater core has a pin hole,then the box that houses it will hold the antifreeze to wear you won't see any,have to take the box apart and see,check your hoses going thru the firewall to see if there leaking.

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WHEN HEATER TURNED ON AND ENGINE WARM I SMELL ANTI- FREEZE CAN NOT LOCATE LEAKS


Are you able to see if it is the heater core? Located in dash on passenger side. Can often see them from bottom of the dash if you stick your head down by the floor boards.

Jan 25, 2014 | 2003 Kia Sorento

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Oil leak


Are you sure its oil or is it anti-freeze.If its anti-freeze you will have a sweet smell come thru the heater when its turn on.

Oct 31, 2012 | GMC Cars & Trucks

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I see a misty smell like anti freeze coming through the vents in the car


Holy cow you can see smells?????


haha just messing. If you have the smell of anti freeze coming through the vents it means that the heater core needs to be replaced. The heater core cycles the hot engine coolant and uses that to warm the air to give you hot air. If you can smell it it is leaking into the vent system and needs to be replaced.

Apr 22, 2011 | Buick LeSabre Cars & Trucks

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After I drive my 1999 boxter the pasenger side exterior vent smells like a radiator and vapor comes out.


This is most likely leaking anti-freeze from the heater coil. Radiator Stop-Leak may help but replacement will likely be expensive. When replacing the heater coil, don't fail to rinse the plenum thoroughly. If you don't do this you will forever smell the anti-freeze....It does not evaporate ! That's why it is used. In the thirties and forties, alcohol was the anti-freeze of the day and it boiled off rapidly....results sere seized engine blocks or frozen systems. Thanks to DuPont for Prestone. Take care, Paul

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Heater immediately fogs all windows and there is a sweet odor in the cab of 2003 Buick Rendezvous, defroster works fine, but will not clear the windows after heat is put on


Sounds like a possible heater core failure(hole in it) the smell indicates to me the coolant(anti-freeze) is leaking into the passenger compartment.
Check the carpet in front of the front passenger seat for moisture, this would confirm heater core leak.
Good luck !

Jan 28, 2010 | 2003 Buick Rendezvous

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Bad odor (Wire sheathing?) from vents when fan is on. We definitely have an intermittant (3 or 4 times in past year) driver side actuator problem. Cannot tell if odor is coming from all vents or not....


the heater core is bad it could be leaking and thats what the smell is coming from. you only smell it when the heat is on is because air flows throught the heater core to warm it by the hot anti freeze that flows through the heater core see if you anti freeze resivoir is low.

Dec 28, 2009 | 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab

4 Answers

I get a smell of antifreeze when I put the outside


Firsdt check the radiator cap thats it tight , then check for any anti freeze visible on the engine, then check under the car for any leaks. Is the smell of anti freeze inside the car ? , check the heater core you may have a leak there. the newer heater cores are aluminum and certain anti freezes, are extra acidic , which causes the anti freeze to eat at the heater core causing leaks, it maybe be a pin hole leak in the heater core ,causing the smell.

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Anti-freeze smell


Hi it could be a leaking heater core matix, Do the foot wells get damp at any time too, Hope this helps

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