Question about 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe

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Strong coolant odor in cab of car Chevy Tahoe 2002

OK I am back to square one regarding my antifreeze strong odor. The dealership said they checked all the lines and could not find a coolant leak in the engine area so they assumed the only other problem would be the heater core. THey told me that there was a very slight slick feeling on the passenger floor carpet, but I went over it with a white paper towel and absolutley nothing came up at all. Am I missing something? What should I have them recheck for? I think I will have them recheck again since there is no antifreeze on the passenger side floor and when I turned the heater on in the car the windows did not fog up, nor did I get the smell when I had the car in park, running with the heater on. THe strongest smell I got was when i was driving on the freeway and streets a couple of days ago. I am trying to link this smell to a recent repair from my intake manifold seal and I know some coolant lines are connected, so i cant help but wonder if this is related. What should I ask the dealership to recheck?

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  • merciergal72 Jun 01, 2009

    i dont understand the soapy water trick?



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Have your freeze plug checked. I had the same problem and the culprit was freeze plug. heve it pressure checked by your mechanic. freezer plug is so cheap. Around $5.00. the only thing is it's not easy to replace. they have to remove the manifold to gain access on it.

Posted on Apr 23, 2010

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Have the dealer do a pressure check on the radiator. If you have a seeping leak on the manifold the pressure will drop and the antifreeze will leak. Check your windshield washer fluid. If someone goofed you might have something besides wiper fluid there. You can also try a bucket of hot soapy water where you knew you spilled A/F and then you would know if the smell was old stuff or new stuff.

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

  • fordexpert Jun 01, 2009

    The soapy water trick is just to clean off any spilled antifreeze from your manifold repair. It doesn't get everything soaked like a car wash and once you get the area clean it should stop smelling. But it is still good to have the pressure test done afterwards if the smell persists. The heater core is the only thing inside the vehicle. If the heater lines were disturbed by the manifold job some antifreeze may have seeped between the heater core and firewall inside the heater ducts. It is also possible that you are smelling the gasket goop the was put on your manifold.



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Honestly, if you are smelling coolant in your cab, 9 times out of 10 the culprit is the heater core or a lin in the cab going to the heater core. A coolant line going the the intake would come directly off of the radiator if I'm not mistaken, which is in the front of the truck... and further away from the cab. Instead of using a paper towel, smell the carpet. If you have pets don't let them near the carpet. Anti freez has a sweet taste but is VERY deadly.

It's possible that the heater core is on it's way out but not completely failed, or there could be a leak that only occurs under high pressure (like when your on the interstate).

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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