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Slow coolant leak + momentary coolant smell

1312 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  red99
I'm getting a coolant smell in my cab - only momentarily when coolant starts flowing as the car comes to temp and only if the thermostat is set to heat - then nothing. I'm not getting any fog on windshield either, but I do apparently have a very slow coolant leak somewhere as I have to add 1/2 qt every 6K miles or so.

Could the coolant flange coupling possibly be the culprit?

I'm hoping to avoid the PITA heater core replacement. It seems like the core leak would produce a more constant odor and possibly come with foggy windshield.

I replaced the coolant with G13 20K miles ago when I did the timing belt. I've got 110K on my 2.0l now.

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The heater core leak is becoming pretty common in this age NB. I replaced mine last summer. The old heater core was just kind of weeping along one end of the core so it was just damp. I never saw coolant actually drip and there wasn't much inside the housing when I took it apart. The car became pretty much unusable in subfreezing weather. The windshield would fog up easily and turning on the defroster just made things worse.

You probably have a second leak where most of your coolant is being lost. The plastic coolant flange where the upper radiator hose connects to the cylinder head is another common source of leaks. I replaced mine along with the o-ring a few years back now.

Then there are the 22 coolant hose ends to check as well!
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