why am I smelling antifreeze from my 1986 Chevy van? Is this indicator of water pump going bad?
Could be a leak from some where including the water pump. Could be the heater core too.
How many miles does it have on it?
Unknown, too many miles to count; given to me by my brother-in-law four years ago. I need it to last another year until I get out of nrsg school & get a good-paying job to be able to get my 1966 Chrysler Newport running. I’ve just recently had van trans rebuilt & drive shaft rebuilt–I had no other choice–“go w/the devil that you know or the devil @ the door” so I went w/the devil @ the door, was working 72 hours a week (while in school).
More information would be helpful.
Is the smell in the cabin, or outside the car.
Is there antifreeze in the reservoir?
What is the temp gauge reading, or is the temp light on.
Do you notice fluid puddles anywhere?
Do your windows fog up a lot more than they used to?
Can you see any leaks anywhere?
Until you figure where the leak is, make sure you keep a close eye on the coolant level or you might turn “coolant leak” into “seized engine”. Check the level in both the overflow reservoir and the radiator. Only open the radiator when it is completely cold!
Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply: I’m studying for a humongous test on diabetes while listening to the race on Fox. The smell is mostly outside the van, some AF in reservoir; only ‘idiot’ lights on dash which are not lit, has been one large puddle, put more (undiluted) AF into radiator; windows have not yet fogged; looks like AF on framing below, only small drips now after driving and a little ‘steam’ from under hood.
Oh yeah. You guys are terrific!
Most coolants work better with a 50/50 mix (water-antifreexe), read the directions, I would not automatically suspect the pump, it could be a hose, a clamp or radiator or radiator cap in addition to the pump. You should get it checked soon an hopefully it is a small repair vs waiting too long and needing a new engine. In some cases there will be fluid in the reservoir but not in the system so fluid in the res with the current situation is not a guarantee of longevity, but then again I see
"only ‘idiot’ lights on dash which are not lit" I have to say it is really time for some service!
Definitely, thank you. You guys are terrific!