Question about 1998 Volkswagen Jetta

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A foul smell in my 1998 Jetta: fear of inernal leak

My Jetta has a foul smell that comes inside through the vent whether is the heat or the cool air. Also when I open the hood I can smell it. Seems to me it's the antifrezze, but it's not losing coolant, at least not since I got it flushed and replaced a broken hose. Curiously, when I got it from the mechanic, after he fixed the hose, it was not smelling for a couple of days. but then the smell returned. I checked the exhaust pipe to see if any white smoke is coming, but non is. I don't see any other external leak, but I'm afraid it might be internal. no check engine light comes on either. Any ideas as to what might be going on

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  • lpurrini51 Apr 30, 2010

    No, I don't think they did. But the smell is also under the hood and not just inside the car. I also opened a little the radiator cap when the engine was hot and antifreeze squirted out. Does that mean there is no leak? It seems like replacing the heater core is an expensive undertaking. What should I watch out for? Say, if I don't lose antifreeze in the next 1000 miles does that mean the leak is really small and not worth fixing it? My fear is that it is leaking in the engine. But heater core seems not to be a danger to the engine, unless of course you run out of coolant and kill the engine completely.

  • lpurrini51 Apr 30, 2010

    That is very helpful. Thank you. That is probably why when I got the car after they fixed the hose that it wasn't smelling, but the smell returned. If it is indeed the heater core, for finances sake, do you think I can leave it like that for a while? And if it's not heater core, what else might it be?

    Thank you so much. You really are a guru.

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It sounds like u might have a heater core leak, did they check that? it only takes a tiny bit of coolant evaporating from the heater core to really smell.

Posted on Apr 30, 2010

  • yadayada
    yadayada Apr 30, 2010

    it can be the heater core still , the coolant can drip onto the hot exhaust, u really need to get under the car and look for white stains left behind by coolant, u are losing coolant, but just a Little at a time, so the level will not go down for quite awhile that u can notice

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