Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Coolant smell in cabin. New Heater Core

94 ford f150. I have replaced a leaking heater core and replaced all heater hoses, radiator hoses and water pump. I do not have any coolant leaks at this time.

The problem is: when operating the vent or heat, there is a residual coolant smell. Is it possible that the vents were coated with coolant when it was leaking, thus still producing the smell? If so, is there anyway to clean out the vent system? Thank you for your help.

If there’s a heater core leak, coolant can pool in areas within the vent system. Not to mention any foam that’s used to seal the vent system or make doors quietier. So yes, you can get that smell long after the cooling system has been resealed.


I am the tech manager at Prestone. You can buy a chemical at most auto parts stores that cater to techs that you put in the hvac system to get rid of the smell. It is made for moldy systems that have had evap drains plug up but I find it works well for this issue too

Maybe it is just the new heater core smell. It smells like a brass band. That smell will go away when it is burned off in a few days.