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Think I smell Coolant when I start my TA.

This is a discussion on Think I smell Coolant when I start my TA. within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; It may be me Or it may have always did it, but I think I smell coolant when I start ...

  1. #1
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    pewter
    99 Trans Am

    Think I smell Coolant when I start my TA.

    It may be me Or it may have always did it, but I think I smell coolant when I start my TA after setting over night or for a time during the day.I don't seem to be losing much coolant if any.added about 1/2 a quart 4 months ago,checked level yesterday and it shows full.I may have gone alittle over can't recall, but if I did it wouldn't have been much.see no signs of a leak on the ground. Do these cars have the intake coolant leaks that alot of GM cars and trucks had? It seems to be coming out of the exhaust.It's a 99 with 40,000 miles on it had it since new.Can't recall the smell before. Car runs great, better than new. Is it me or could there me something else?
    Last edited by Street Fighter; 03-26-2011 at 04:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Does your exhaust have alot of moisture coming out of it? Is the coolant still nice and green/orange?


    Even then, if you aren't losing any fluid, I don't think you have any issue that I know of.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    Does your exhaust have alot of moisture coming out of it? Is the coolant still nice and green/orange?


    Even then, if you aren't losing any fluid, I don't think you have any issue that I know of.
    Still good and orange.Flushed it about 2years ago. I will be changing motor oil this week and plan to take a good look around under there and see what I see.That's what's so good about doings somethings for yourself, you get to see just what's going on under the car. Thanks.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Coolant out of the exhaust usually is indicative of a head gasket leak. Coolant is entering through the head gasket into the exhaust port of the cylinder. In turn, it is being burned off as exhaust gases on the exhaust stroke of the motor.

    Do you see white smoke coming out of the exhaust? Coolant would burn off as white. Oil would be blue.

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    Member 666ws6's Avatar
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    I think I may have this same issue but can't tell for sure. The smell is pretty strong, it even makes my clothes stink after driving. But I can't pin point any leaks and I don't see any smoke out the exhaust. I do get a fair amount of moisture though. I've always figured it was coolant or something with the cats.

    Any hints on how to pinpoint down the source of the smell? Is there a better way to check for head gasket failure?
    2000 WS6 TA #2946 - A4, Best 1/4: 12.5s @111mph.
    SLP LTs, 228r Cam, SY 3500, Shift kit, LS6 intake, underdrive pulleys, lid, p&p TB, Borla w/ cutout, Pro-kit springs, poly all around, Hotchkis suspension, 3.90 gears, tuned.

  6. #6
    I don't sell out! blackSS01's Avatar
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    Could be you're heater core has a small leak.
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  7. #7
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackSS01 View Post
    Could be you're heater core has a small leak.
    I was thinking the same thing, if there's no strong smell on the outside, the heatercore can be the issue. But then he says he hasn't lost and fluid in months?

    If the reservoir was overfilled, it could have blown some out the relief tube, but that doesn't explain the interior smell.

    I would inspect near the heatercore under the dash and see if the smell gets stronger, or even feel for saturation.
    Last edited by KMdef9; 03-27-2011 at 11:01 AM.

  8. #8
    I don't sell out! blackSS01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    I was thinking the same thing, if there's no strong smell on the outside, the heatercore can be the issue. But the he says he hasn't lost and fluid in months?

    If the reservoir was overfilled, it could have blown some out the relief tube, but that doesn't explain the interior smell.

    I would inspect near the heatercore under the dash and see if the smell gets stronger, or even feel for saturation.


    Could be a pinhole size leak so that you smell it but don't notice any fluid

    My car had an interior smell at one time which was the heatercore. Didn't notice a drop of fluid

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