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Old 02-06-2011, 03:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smell of coolant after i drive my car

i have a 01 s2000 ... everytime i drive the car , and get out , i smell coolant . Sometimes its a very strong smell , sometimes its very faint but no doubt the smell is there .. can someone tell me why this might be ?
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are alot of reasons why that might be. Check your coolent level and check where you park your car for any leaks. Pop the hood and check the rad and hoses. Let us know what you come up with. Good luck!
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ok , i dont notice any leaks where i park nor any leaks from looking around the motor for a while .. i put coolant into my resevoir to the max line and drive a around for a while .. then look back in the resevior and the coolant level went from max to under the min line ... i only had the car for about a week or two now .. when i first got the car , i turned on the heat and it tried to over heat , then went back down to normal .. then a few days ago , i put coolant into the car and it tried to over heat again , and the resevior was full beyond the max line .. wait for it to cool then drove it to work fine .. i know my thermostat might be bad and just ordered on yesterday .. but thats all i can figure out ... any ideas ?
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You might want to bleed the coolant. The sudden overheating sounds like a air bubble in the coolant lines. There's a bleed near the firewall on the passenger side. It's not unusual for the S2k to have this problem. (another thing you might check is the dipstick. Look for sludge on the dipstick or caramel colored oil. Either one could mean a blown head-gasket, which you really don't want to have. You might also take the radiator cap off when the car is cold and then start the engine and get it to the temp where the thermostat opens. You can check the color of the coolant that was as well. Just DO NOT open the radiator cap when the car is hot).
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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hmm i will go check my dipstick right now ... really hoping its not the head gasket
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ok just checked it ... it is the clear brown clean oil color but might want to add alittle more oil in it lol ... so it isnt the gasket i think ..
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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any other ideas ?
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is the coolant smell almost entirely outside the car? Is there any coolant smell coming out of the ventilation system at all? If it only smells of coolant outside you have an external leak. If it smells inside the car a bad heater core is probably the problem.

I don't think a bad head gasket would make much of a coolant smell. I'm glad your oil was clean. That 'Bailey's Irish Cream' oil is depressing to see.

You can blow steam through the leak when hot and have almost no coolant on the ground.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i believe mostly outside the car .. i dont usually smell anything inside the car ... only when i open the door to get out and greeted with a sweet damping smell .. blah !
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can also look at the coolant. If the gasket is bad you could have black/brown crap inside your coolant and coolant reservoir.

If you cant see it leaking on any of the hoses or other obvious places check the coolant bypass hose. Its around the throttle body. It could be leaking and dripping onto something hot then burning up.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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there is some little brown black stuff in the reservoir ... but it doesnt seem like i have a bad gasket
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ooo sorry to tell ya bud but that aint good. Now your next step is have it tested for compression gases in the coolant. You want this done as soon as possible. If there are no other side effects of a head gasket leak than you are catching it early. If you catch it early than it will prevent other unwanted damage.

If it tests positive let me know. I have other info should that be the case.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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could the brown / black crap in my reservoir be something else ? because my car doesnt smoke nor does it feel like it has lost any power ..
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Only other thing it could be is crap built up on your radiator. The radiator could be damaged or deteriorating in some way and this would cause bits of metal and what not to float around. But if its sludgey and nearly black its oil. Meaning very early head gasket failure.

My subaru had the exact same symptoms. Just coolant smell and black stuff in the coolant tank. Even my mechanic didnt think it was the head gasket because it had so few symptoms. But then he tested it. Result: head gasket.

But to be sure have it tested before you do anything else. Then let me know.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It's best to use Honda coolant which is formulated for Hondas.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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how much would a shop run u for replacing a head gasket
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If all they did is replace that gasket and nothing else with parts and labor you would be looking at 1200. The cheapest replacement I have ever had was 950. But I know the guy. When the same guy did my subaru he did the gasket and a knock censor. That was 1600 with parts and labor. If they estimate you for more than 1300 for just the head gasket than shop around for a better deal. I know that sucks but you have only a few options here. Sell it. Fix it. Or it will eventually throw a rod.

Last edited by 0tyrael0; 02-07-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Flush and bleed the cooling system before you do anything else. That's a simple job. Then have a good mechanic do a compression test. I have a feeling that you need to "burp your baby". (there's probably air in the coolant system).
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm very surprised that you could live with that odor for a month! If you smell it,your man smells it too.
Leading contender for this month's "Most Inane Post" goes to ...
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:37 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah, that sounds like an ad that would run during the Oprah show.

Maybe just making a joke..... (I hope) ?
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:51 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Or more spam like we have been getting lately.....
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
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So the spambot detects a thread on "odors" and sends us a feminine hygiene ad? That's actually pretty funny.

It'll be interesting to see what shows up on the threads about losing tire pressure.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:21 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Ok leak down test showed 15% across the board but 30% at cylinder 1 and 2
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
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what did the mechanic have to say about it?
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:36 PM   #25 (permalink)
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thermostat is bad ... any maybe the head gasket
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:47 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Perhaps on the thermostat. But im willing to bet it is leaking. How many miles are on it?
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:37 PM   #27 (permalink)
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98k miles
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:29 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Ok leak down test showed 15% across the board but 30% at cylinder 1 and 2
Having two cylinders way down right next to each other also points to head gasket. Between the dark junk in your coolant and this it's looking like 0-t-0 may be right. Can your mechanic do the test for exhaust gases in the coolant?
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:34 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Having two cylinders way down right next to each other also points to head gasket. Between the dark junk in your coolant and this it's looking like 0-t-0 may be right. Can your mechanic do the test for exhaust gases in the coolant?
Yeah thats the best way of telling. A leak down or compression is kinda a ghetto way of doing it but it works.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:29 AM   #30 (permalink)
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It maybe a hose that is cracked and only leaks when the fluid temp runs hot. I had a leak that shot about 18" onto the manifold making a god awful smell. Bend the hoses and check at curves for cracking.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:16 AM   #31 (permalink)
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smell water

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i have a 01 s2000 ... everytime i drive the car , and get out , i smell coolant . Sometimes its a very strong smell , sometimes its very faint but no doubt the smell is there .. can someone tell me why this might be ?
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:16 AM
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