Question about 1999 Volvo V70

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When i turn on the heat it smell like coolant

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Your heater core is leaking anti-boil into the cabin. Either the core or the connections to the core are broken. CAUTION: Anti-boil is poisonous. Whenever working on the system take great care to keep it off your skin and do not allow it to puddle anywhere as dogs and cats are attracted to it as it has a sweet smell. Also, do not work on the system when it is hot as it can cause burns.

Drain anti-boil (wait until car is cool!!) and pull the core. It is located in the HVAC system, bottom right side. You will need to remove a substantial quantity of interior components to do this. Be prepared for some coolant spillage as you remove the core.

Using new hose clamps, install the new heater core, ensuring all connections are secure. Install any previously-removed interior/HVAC components or covers.

Refill the anti-boil through the overflow bottle, leaving the cap off. With the heater set to max heat, start the car, and allow to warm to normal operating temperature. Now slowly fill in the coolant to the specified level until the system is free from air bubbles. Install the cap.

Stop the engine and allow it to cool. Remove the cap slowly, allowing any residual air pressure to be released. Top up the anti-boil as needed, again leaving the cap off. Start the engine and allow it to warm to normal operating temperature. Top up anti-boil again, slowly to eliminate any air bubbles.

You may need to repeat this procedure two or three times until all air is purged from the system.

Posted on Oct 22, 2013

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1 Answer

Smells like something is burning when turning on fan mostly when turning on heat. Also makes a gurgling noise. Can hear it and smell from interior of van


Check you coolant level(gurgling sound). A sweet smell is most likely a leaking heater core. Burning oil is valve cover gaskets.

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While driving my 95 explorer i noticed the heater wasnt getting hot its luke warm and when i turn on the defroster i start to smell anti freeze and all of the windows fog up


no heat is probably low coolant or bad thermostat,although you have fog and smell ! the heating and cooling systems are closed systems the only way the windows fog is the coolant is hot and steams inside the car due to some leak inside the heater core box. as well as the smell being present. Now it is possible that a little leak has occured where the coolant supply or return line connects to the heater core and is running into the car which is running onto the core and creating steam and smell. hopefully it is a easy clamp tighten fix for you.

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It stopped heating because it was low on coolant and the hot coolant flowing through the heater core is what gives you heat. As for the smell 9 times out of 10 if you are smelling the sweet smell of anti-freeze in the vehicle it is the heater core. see if the passenger floorboard is wet or damp. If it is , the heater core has failed.

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Likely you are in the beginning stage of a heater core leak. at this point, you may be able to temporarily solve the problem by using a good system sealer (I'm partial to the kind that comes as a silver powder) Since we don't actually know the condition of the core, temporary may mean a week or several years, but replacement is expensive and time consuming so I'd definitely give it a try.

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sounds like you got a heater core leak,the heater core is what the coolant flows thru into your heater box in your dash to allow you to have heat,sounds like the core is leaking,by the smell and the low coolant i would say it is leaking, youll need to replace it before it blows out, you dont need 2 gallon of 200 degree coolant flowing into your car,,,

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Very common fault is head gaskets.  causing coolant consumption and bubbles in radiator.  Run vehicle, have a friend accelerate once or twice hard, while you smell exhaust for sweet smell of burning coolant.

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the heater core inside the dash is leaking, it may get worse and coolant will start to drip on the floor out of the heating outlet

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