Q: Smoke coming from under the hood.

asked by on January 19, 2016

There is smoke coming from under the hood, and when I drive it smells like there is an antifreeze leak and the water radiator and engine are not hot.

Engine coolant has a very distinct smell when it burns, a sweet candy like smell. If your coolant levels in the radiator aren’t dropping, a leak can be ruled out. If the level is low, that means you are either leaking, or burning coolant. A cooling system pressure test by a trained technician, like YourMechanic has, can help you with accurate diagnoses, and repair. 

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

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

Clutch pedal goes to floor.

You have a hydraulic issue. This could be your clutch master cylinder, which is mounted in the back of your engine compartment near the brake master cylinder. The clutch master cylinder pushes hydraulic fluid down to the clutch slave cylinder...

In 2nd gear, car feels like it might independently shift

Hi there, thanks for writing about your 2011 Audi S5. Your vehicle's transmission has 2 clutches that alternately engage and disengage, under computer software control, as the vehicle accelerates and decelerates. The software compensates for wear in most cases, but...

Security system won't let car start

I strongly suggest allowing a technician to inspect the vehicle's electrical system as it may simply be wire out of place or a blown fuse causing the vehicle not to start. When immobilizer systems become problematic usually immobilizer components themselves...

Related articles

How to Pressure Test a Radiator Cap
Radiator caps are pressure tested using a cooling system pressure tester. This shows if the pressure in the cooling system is at a healthy level.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exhaust Manifold Gasket
If the engine is noisy, causing performance issues, or smells burnt, you may need to replace the exhaust manifold gasket.
How Does a Radiator Keep an Engine Cool?
Car radiators cool off your engine and prevent your engine from overheating. Coolant absorbs engine heat and dissipates it through the radiator.