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  #1  
Old 09-05-2007, 05:23 PM
mack6820 mack6820 is offline
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a/c smells like coolant

Hey guys. My beloved 98 Expy 5.4 just developed a bad smell coming from the a/c vents. I cant find a leak anywhere but it really smells strong. smells like antifreeze.
Does this sound like a heater core? Where is it? Ive changed one before on a car and it was under the dash.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2007, 05:40 PM
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Heater core went bad?
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:35 PM
Billykidd Billykidd is offline
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Same thing just happened to mine! Another thing it started to do is my gauges, lights, instrument panel, and electrical systems are going crazy! RPMs will spike during idle and eventually it will just stall and won't be able to start....dead batter!? I can jump it but it will just do the same thing and eventually stall again?

I'm thinking heater core for yours and mine but any ideas on the crazy dash and electrical system? Is it possible coolant is shorting out the system and causing everything to go crazy?
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:27 PM
twodazeoff twodazeoff is offline
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Is your windshield fogging up? If so then it is your heater core. To replace it you have to pull the dash back. This pays around 7 hour labor to do.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:09 PM
mack6820 mack6820 is offline
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My windshield isnt fogging up, I just have a very strong smell of antifreeze coming from my a/c vents. Everything else is normal. gauges, water level is a tiny bit lower, no visible leaks.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:28 PM
dogzpaws dogzpaws is offline
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I haven't had this problem in my Expy, but I did on a 97 BMW 5 series. That ended up being a cracked head. The leak was relatively small but coolant from the block was dripping on the exhaust manifold and evaporating. It intensified the odor that went to the cab. And the leak was hard to find since it would only leak when the car was fully heated and the antifreeze would evaporate when it did leak. I'm not saying you have cracked head, just explore your options, especially if you don't have vapor/fog in the cab.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:07 PM
mack6820 mack6820 is offline
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a friend says it could be my cabin filter? as I said, the heater works fine, a/c works fine, windshield doesnt fog up. just smells like antifreeze coming from my a/c
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:49 PM
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Why would a cabin filter make your a/c smell like antifreeze?
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:54 PM
mack6820 mack6820 is offline
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that was my question too. thought i would ask
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:00 PM
twodazeoff twodazeoff is offline
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You do not have a cabin air filter in that year expy. Have a shop pressure test the coolant system and I can almost gaurantee that it is the heater. If not than you had an animal get in there and either died or left behind it's markings.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:07 PM
bmconway76110 bmconway76110 is offline
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I am taking my 2001 in tomorrow for the same thing. It started off with the smell from the vents. Now, it is dripping from someplace all day long. I tried looking tonight, but I can't find it. It looks like it is dripping from three spots. The other thing that started yesterday was steam from the vents.

I got a quote of 800-900 at the dealer for the heater core, and 600 at a private shop. It goes to the shop in the morning.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:55 PM
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Coolant smell is usually a heater core. Have the system pressure tested to confirm this.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:55 AM
bmconway76110 bmconway76110 is offline
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I dropped mine off this morning. When I got up, the overflow tank was empty, so I filled it up, drove to shop. There was steam blowing from the vents the entire way.

I will keep you guys posted.
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  #14  
Old 09-12-2007, 12:40 PM
Billykidd Billykidd is offline
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So it was the heater core on mine! Replaced it this weekend....boy was that fun! I would recommend an air ratchet! Made things a lot easier and faster!

The problem with all the gauges and lights going crazy and finally just stalling ended up being a bad alternator AND battery! Double whammy! Fixed everything up over the weekend and now I'm up and running!

Great forum!
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  #15  
Old 09-12-2007, 03:18 PM
bmconway76110 bmconway76110 is offline
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I just heard from the shop on mine. It is a leaking heater core. They said it will be ready tomorrow afternoon. I will let you guys know what the damage to checkbook is.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:18 PM
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