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Car Smells Like Antifreeze But Not Overheating: Things You Must Know

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Car Smells Like Antifreeze But Not Overheating: Things You Must Know
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Do you know that failure in the cooling systems is one of the major reasons for the vehicles to break down on the highways? You may already have a smile of disbelief but hey, this is what the U.S. Department of Transportation claims! And, antifreeze is the ingredient that keeps your car and its coolant system hydrated and active. It’s a matter of concern if this liquid leaks. So, what should you do when your car smells like antifreeze but not overheating?

What Does the Coolant Do?

Coolant is a fluid that helps the engine to maintain its optimal temperature. The liquid has to be a 50/50 mix of water and ethylene glycol. It travels from the engine to radiator through a special hose. It redistributes the heat away from the engine to save it from damage due to overheating.

The antifreeze also helps the fluid in your car to stay at the right temperature during freezing winter. The excellent lubricant keeps all the components it touches lubed and corrosion-free.

car smells like antifreeze but not overheating
The antifreeze helps the car engine to stay at the right temperature.

Car Smells Like Antifreeze but Not Overheating: What Does It Mean?

When the engine does not overheat despite you detect a sweet smell inside the car, it means that you still have a chance to fix the problem without spending much. It indicates the early stage of coolant leakage, but the car will start getting overheated if you keep driving. The ultimate disaster could be a cracked engine block if you go on too long without a fix.

The Main Causes of Car Smells Like Antifreeze but Not Overheating

Several reasons are there for causing this problem. Chances are that it happens due to an internal or external coolant leakage or a leak in the radiator cap. If your car smells like antifreeze but not overheating, the components you should look into are:

1. The Heater Core

This component circulates warm air inside the passenger cabin. It draws warm the heat from the coolant and then spread it across the cabin. A crack in the heater core will discharge antifreeze and you will get the odor inside your car. It happens because the air is mixed with the antifreeze odor.

2. Worn out Radiator Cap

The radiator can handle lots of pressure but it will leak the antifreeze mixture if its cap is weak or worn out. A misfit cap can also cause the loss of the fluid by overflowing the tube. Just replacing the cap will solve this issue but not addressing it at the right time will damage the hose.

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3. An External Leak

A hole in the radiator or a broken hose could be the source of this problem. It drains out the coolant very quickly and there is likely to be a puddle of coolant under the vehicle, so the problem is easy to spot. You will be able to find the leak just by observing the radiator and the hose.

car smells like antifreeze but not overheating
Coolant external leak.

4. An Internal Puncture

It’s another reason why your car smells like antifreeze but not overheating. Unlike an external puncture, there won’t be a pool under the car but you will still be able to identify the problem since the radiator will dry out pretty quickly. It happens because the radiator overheats as an aftereffect of the coolant loss and evaporates the water faster than usual. Look into the cylinder block and head gasket to find the leak.

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