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

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Smell of coolant outside of car after running, no visable leak

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Fan pulley wobbles and makes some noise. On 03 Sequoia SR5. On side of road now!

The fan pulley is attached to the water pump and if you can move it up and down then the water pump is bad and needs replaced. Have a mechanic like one from YourMechanic check it to see what all...

Q: Rough idle when engine is hot after 10 minutes of sitting

Based on the information you provided, It sounds like you may have sticking or leaking fuel injector. I suggest having the car looked at by a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, who can diagnose your rough running symptoms and...

Q: Engine coolant temperature problem

You may have a persistent overheating issue due to a clogged radiator, blown head gasket, worn out water pump, etc. This should be checked out by a professional mechanic immediately to avoid being stranded or causing further damage. A professional,...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.