Toyota Tundra Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I did a search but did not find anything that matches my situation - found some close but not exact. I can detect the faint smell of anti-freeze coming out of my vents without the heat on and without the air conditioning on. At first I thought a bad heater core but maybe not? Fluid levels seem to be holding pretty steady and I do not see any marks or stains on my carpet. I do have a stain on the driver's side of the transmission hump but that is where my foot sits when it is not standing on the long skinny pedal over there so I think that is just dirt from my shoe.

Any ideas, experience, or suggestions? How hard is it to get to the heater core to do a visual inspection? Anyone have a diagram of this?

Many thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I noticed the exact same thing in my 05' last year. All fluid levels were good and no stains of any sort on my carpets. I did notice that when I used the windshield washer while driving the odor would become very strong. I pulled the wipers off and removed the black grill vent and found that the drain holes were clogged. After a thorough cleaning, the odor dissappeared. My truck is parked outside year round so lots of tree debris. This may not be your issue, but it's an easy thing to at least rule out. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Run your defroster, if you have a leak it will leave a film on the inside of your windshield after an hour or two. Kinda like a
smokers film.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
When I replace my water pump and timing belt on my '02 4.7 I noticed a hole on the water pump. Seems like it maybe some sort of pressure relief or something. Not sure and probably need someone with technical experience to explain but I suspect that the water pump, under certain conditions, may sacrifice a little coolant/antifreeze from time to time. Ever since I've been driving my truck it seems like about once a month I'll get a random whiff of antifreeze and I've never had low coolant or any leaks that I could find.

After I replaced the water pump my nose was trained for smelling antifreeze. You know the "post-do-it-yourself-anxiety", and I still get a whiff of antifreeze from time to time but still no leaks.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I noticed the exact same thing in my 05' last year. All fluid levels were good and no stains of any sort on my carpets. I did notice that when I used the windshield washer while driving the odor would become very strong. I pulled the wipers off and removed the black grill vent and found that the drain holes were clogged. After a thorough cleaning, the odor dissappeared. My truck is parked outside year round so lots of tree debris. This may not be your issue, but it's an easy thing to at least rule out. Good luck.
Run your defroster, if you have a leak it will leave a film on the inside of your windshield after an hour or two. Kinda like a
smokers film.
Thanks guys - going to do both after my AC condenser is replaced this week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
Hey Toby: I would get a flashlight and make sure it's a bright one and look hard at the water pump area in the engine bay. My wifes 2007 Scion tc with 9K miles on it kept having a faint smell of coolant but it was on the outside next to the grill and i suppose if it got large enough could eventually be sucked back into the AC air ducts? It ended up being a pump mount bolt was leaking and they had to replace the pump on a car with 9K miles on the odometer! That did not make me happy because it was so new! but i am the one that eventually found the leak but it took me 2 or 3 times looking to find it. i would not count out the heater core or a line going to it until you searched that are really well also! Most water pumps have a weep hole to let you know that the pump is leaking internally and i would still think they are manufactured that way? but eventually you would see fluid leaking down in that area to hiit the floor! Is this smell with the fresh air switch in circulate or recirculate? the first being circulating inside air only and the recirculate being outside air coming in? Man no AC in your neck of the woods must be tuff!:td:
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hey Toby: I would get a flashlight and make sure it's a bright one and look hard at the water pump area in the engine bay. My wifes 2007 Scion tc with 9K miles on it kept having a faint smell of coolant but it was on the outside next to the grill and i suppose if it got large enough could eventually be sucked back into the AC air ducts? It ended up being a pump mount bolt was leaking and they had to replace the pump on a car with 9K miles on the odometer! That did not make me happy because it was so new! but i am the one that eventually found the leak but it took me 2 or 3 times looking to find it. i would not count out the heater core or a line going to it until you searched that are really well also! Most water pumps have a weep hole to let you know that the pump is leaking internally and i would still think they are manufactured that way? but eventually you would see fluid leaking down in that area to hiit the floor! Is this smell with the fresh air switch in circulate or recirculate? the first being circulating inside air only and the recirculate being outside air coming in? Man no AC in your neck of the woods must be tuff!:td:
Hey HOGWILD!

Man, good to hear from you. I will check into all those things too. I have been smelling a faint odor of anti-freeze for while now and wondered about a water pump issue or leaking hose. One way or the other I am going to get this tracked down.

Thanks again,

Toby
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I sure hope it is just the windshield wiper fluid. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
Here is my thought, and you won't like it. If someone were calling into to Car Talk describing this, I would shout 'Blown Head Gasket' before the caller even finished.

not what you want to hear, and could be way off. but hey...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
I have had the same complaint with my truck since it was new ('02), and have literally dismantled everything even remotely related to anti-freeze, with no joy - can't find a leak, nothing. I still notice it, of course, but have just gotten used to it. If you can find your source, I'd be interested to hear about it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
765 Posts
What about putting some sort of cap un radiator with gauge, and pressurize a little and see if you have pressure loss.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Oil has always looked uncontaminated so I am not leaning toward a blown head gasket. Did a pressure test already and she held steady over a weekend starting on Friday and ending on Monday morning. Just really weird. Got my AC fixed so I will run the defrosters and look for a sheen on the windshield.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
765 Posts
if pressure test held so there is no leak from the heater core or hoses. Maybe starts to leak when the engine is hot, even though that wouldn't make sense. Sorry about the lack of help..

BTW you should get your nose checked out, before you tear your truck apart :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,787 Posts
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak
Do not use stop leak

Stop leak makes radiator repair shops rich.

Replace your heater core.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
if pressure test held so there is no leak from the heater core or hoses. Maybe starts to leak when the engine is hot, even though that wouldn't make sense. Sorry about the lack of help..

BTW you should get your nose checked out, before you tear your truck apart :D
Yeah, maybe the feigned coolant odor is a prelude to a grand mal seizure?

Who knows . . . I still think the heater core is leaking. Maybe while I am off I will take the dash components apart and look around down there.

Thanks for everyone who chimed in. I will let you know if I find anything.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
533 Posts
Didnt read all the posts but sounds like you have a heater core leak....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
I know you are frustrated with your situation (and I would be too! One of the things you can do to rule out HG leak is a used oil analysis (UOA). It may or may not be your problem, but coolant in your engine oil will destroy your engine in short order. All of the other things that might be causing the odor are not on the same magnitude of urgency.

Good luck with your problem.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Ran defrosters last night and no sheen on the windshield then or this morning. I have been wanting to get an oil analysis done for awhile now so I guess that is the next step. Even if there is no anti-freeze in the engine oil it would be nice to know what the status of my engine internals is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
Hey Toby i agree with above poster, your issue has gotta be with a leaking line possibly on front side of firewall or at the heater core and until you tear it apart you will probably still have that smell. remember Toyota coolant turns white/with a small tint of pink and looks like chalk or corrosion build up when it hit the outside air. So do not be looking for red/pink fluid unless it is leaking really bad! My wifes Scion tc still has that smell on the outside after she takes short trips and you can only smell coolant when you stand in front of car as if you were fixing to open the hood! i have looked really hard but i think i will put it on a lift and look from the bottom, you can't do much from front side because it sets so low to the ground! Good luck once again with your faint smell!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
As a test...you could disconnect the heater hoses and connect them together...bypassing the heater core. Rinse the heater core out really well. See if you continue to have the smell over the next week. If you don't, then it's most likely yer heater core. If you do...then most likely it's not yer heater core. ;)
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top