Smell of coolant

#1

i have a 2004 Buick lesabre 3.8 v-6 with 45000mi.the only time i smell the coolant after it is driven, then parked, no coolant smell in car, just when i get out? i marked on the calendar, when i added coolant ( a very little in that month in reservoir) no visible leaks to be seen, just the smell. during the summer, after golf, i stopped at my mechanic to get his input? he pointed out after checking ( like i did) that a seal could be leaking in the engine but not seen? remember now i just dropped in, not an app. this smell has me worried-- i checked the oil dip stick for signs, but none? i will be checking the exhaust for other signs.i even asked another person in the mall with the same car if he had the same problem, ans. no? also i check my dash gauges frequently, nothing? anyone out there with the same car have this problem or offer any advice— also looked for any recalls, none yet, on 2004 buicks

#2

have you seen any drips under car?

the typical symptom of a failing waterpump is a slight weeping. this may be what is happening. look for a leak under the serpentine belt end of engine, near main crank hub.

also, look at around and near radiator cap. the overflow hose may be loose, or cracked. Unlikely at your age car, but, hey you never know!

#3

hi cappy, always glad to hear from you, there is not one drop leaking anywhere, i check every time, after running around. i open the hood and check very carefully, seeing that i usualy have older cars( other than this one) i trained myself to always to observe all the time to see if anything is going on, whether it"s on the ground or opening the hood or just using my ears.

#4

Check the clamps on your radiator and heater hoses. If a clamp is just a little bit loose, it is possible to have just a bit of seepage that is not necessarily visible, but that creates an odor of coolant.

I know, because this happened to me last year. I just had to “tweak” one clamp in order to eliminate the odor of coolant after driving. Until I found the source of the problem, it was really beginning to puzzle me. Hopefully your solution will be this simple also.

#5

I had a Buick (52K miles)with that same engine and the coolant smell after driving. First, the cap on the overflow resevoir allowed some coolant to escape and run down the side of the container. Later on, the intake manifold gasket started to fail. Since I knew about this inherent problem with those engines I kept a close eye on the coolant level in the overflow resevoir. When the coolant level started to go down I decided to send an oil sample to Blackstone Labs for analysis and it confirmed phosphate traces in the oil which indicated coolant in the oil probably from an intake gasket leak.
So, bottom line, while engine is completely cold, fill the resevoir to the full line. Perioically check the level with the engine cold. If it is going down then I would send an oil samlple for confirmation. You can Google Blackstone Labs to get all the info you need about the analysis procedures. Good luck.

#6

thanks i will go out and see if there is anything that needs to be tighten down. right now it"s snowing, but sat. is going to be a lot better. i just don"T want any coolant getting in the engine and have to replace it, that"s my main nightmare. being retired, money is a little tight

#7

thanks for the info. I always ck. the overflow reservoir when hot or when cold, for the line level.nothing i see says it"t running out over the cap? in the one month it went down about one eight inch of original level,either at hot or cold level. just the smell and where it"s going bothers me.Down the road maybe i will bring it in and let my mechanic do his seal changing and hope he"s right.thanks for the help

#8

well it stopped snowing , i went out with screwdriver in hand to tweak ----but they have a plastic clamp not the metal clamp i was looking for nothing-- to tweak with those kind of clamps??? back to the drawing board but i will be keeping an eye out just in case. thanks