Q: Smell of coolant outside of car after running, no visable leak

asked by on September 02, 2016

Smell coming out of side vents after driving the car, not to sure how to explain the smell def doesnt smell sweet, maybe more like dry rubber? no visible leaks. Car doesnt overheat, nor does it smell inside the cabin, only smells after driving the car for a while and parking in the garage

My car has 122000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

There two places I would recommend checking on this:

  1. In the trunk by the coolant cap there is a plastic shield. Remove this and you should see a coolant air relief, or "burp" valve. Sometimes you will see dried coolant in this area which could explain the smell you are experiencing. The relief valve gaskets may need to be replaced, or the screws may just be loose, causing the leak. This can also happen if the coolant is overfilled.

  2. Try jacking the car up and removing the plastic cover underneath the front of the engine. Check the bottom of the water pump and thermostat to see if you find any dried coolant there. Sometimes the water pump shaft will leak slightly. This is usually a very slow and subtle leak that will get worse over time.

If you would like some assistance with this, a qualified mechanic can inspect your coolant leak.

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