Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: why is my windows fogging up and i smell antifreeze

asked by on

i can turn on my heat and my front windsheld starts to fog up and i start to smell anitfreeze
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: It has been my experience that this is norm...

It has been my experience that this is normally a sign that a heater core has gone bad. It starts leaking coolant into the heater box, underneath the dash. When the heater is turned on, the air moving through the box will collect the coolant and deposit it onto the windows, and thus is why you smell the coolant. Also, you will normally get coolant leaking into the passenger side floorboard, or you may see coolant under the vehicle, near where the drain tube exits underneath the firewall area. To verify the leak, it would be best to have a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com, perform a cooling system pressure test and confirm where the coolant is leaking.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Coolant leak but not sure from where.

Hello, the only way to find a coolant leak is to use a coolant system pressure tester and then inspect for leaks. A coolant system pressure tester has an attachment that replaces the radiator cap and is attached to a...

Q: For coolant / antifreeze

No, do not add water. The fluid is ready to go out of the container. Your car may already have a particular antifreeze in it, particularly if the color is distinctly red, pink, green, etc. (each color denotes a different...

Q: After getting oil change rpms jumping up and down wasn't doing this before oil change

You need to have the air cleaner housing and the inlet tube inspected to see if they left a mass air sensor disconnected or if a tube came loose or got damaged. If they cannot locate the issue and you...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.