Syrup smell?

I’ve noticed in a lot of older cars, it smells like syrup. My husband has a 1997 Hyundai Tiburon. It seems to run well but it has that smell. I change the oil, filters, spark plugs and wires myself. I don’t see anything leaking. I can’t let him wear a pair of pants twice without washing them because I don’t want him smelling like syrup! Tasty on pancakes, not on pants. What causes the smell? How do I fix it?

Engine Coolan has that particular smell when is hot and there is a leek , other times is an indicator that the car is operating at a higher temperature , maybe a radiator flush is needed ??

check for any leeks on the cooling system

When this smell is in the car, it is often a leaking heater core. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) will give off this smell when hot. A shop can pressure test the cooling system to see if it is holding pressure. If the system doesn’t hold pressure, the heater core is a suspect with this smell in the interior of the car.

I agree that it is the symptom of a leaking heater core.
In addition to creating an odor on his clothing, the fumes of aerosolized ethylene glycol are toxic, and can lead to serious lung problems. It happened to me, many years ago.

It’s probably a leaking heater core. Check for a damp carpet somewhere under the dashboard, although it could be leaking without the carpet getting too damp. In most cars, the parts to fix this are cheap but the labor is expensive because so much of the dashboard area has to be taken apart. This isn’t the best stuff to breathe, so fix it fairly soon if this is the answer.

Yes, take a hint from the canine world. If the heater core is indeed leaking the driver should drive with his head out the window as should all the passengers.