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Unread 11-26-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
frank_frank139
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Antifreeze smell in the Jeep

I have a 2005 jeep Rubicon unlimited.Original owner. I turn on the heat and I get a blast of antifreeze smell. I only get it with the heat on. I have no puddles on the floor from maybe a leaky heater core. I also Took the jeep in last winter for the same smell and they told me they put a camera down in there looking and they told me its dry inside the heater box. This year its a bit worse and I dont want to be breathing in that stuff. I went on YouTube and its no picnic in getting to the heater core, if it is the heater core. So here is my question........ has anyone come across this problem and did it turn out to be anything else other then the heater core.
I will also say this. I have smelt antifreeze from my jeep from the very first day i had it. But it was noticeable from the outside also. It was a very faint smell. But I knew it was there. They said its nothing. Then later one in its life I had them look again and then they tell me that its cause I have 3 KC lights on a bar on the bumper of my jeep. At that point I gave up on them.
Its cold outside, I have a one car garage and no room in it for a job like this. So before I go be at the mercy of a mechanic Im putting it to you guys. You have always helped me in the past with dead nuts on info.
Thanks in advance

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Unread 11-26-2013, 08:08 AM   #2
JBTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_frank139 View Post
I have a 2005 jeep Rubicon unlimited.Original owner. I turn on the heat and I get a blast of antifreeze smell. I only get it with the heat on. I have no puddles on the floor from maybe a leaky heater core. I also Took the jeep in last winter for the same smell and they told me they put a camera down in there looking and they told me its dry inside the heater box. This year its a bit worse and I dont want to be breathing in that stuff. I went on YouTube and its no picnic in getting to the heater core, if it is the heater core. So here is my question........ has anyone come across this problem and did it turn out to be anything else other then the heater core.
I will also say this. I have smelt antifreeze from my jeep from the very first day i had it. But it was noticeable from the outside also. It was a very faint smell. But I knew it was there. They said its nothing. Then later one in its life I had them look again and then they tell me that its cause I have 3 KC lights on a bar on the bumper of my jeep. At that point I gave up on them.
Its cold outside, I have a one car garage and no room in it for a job like this. So before I go be at the mercy of a mechanic Im putting it to you guys. You have always helped me in the past with dead nuts on info.
Thanks in advance
That makes as much sense as a screen door on a submarine. Sounds like the heater core is leaking and your mechanic isnít competent enough to know it.
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Unread 11-26-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
Oldjeepman
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Check to see if any leaks around top of radiator,or lower hose that when i would smell anti-freeze.If it is the heater core its not that bad of a job just do your research..
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Unread 11-26-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
JFM626
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Take off the two hoses that go into the heater core att the firewall and join them together. You will need fitting with 1/2 &5/8 fittings as the hoses are different id's. Now take a garden hose and run water through the heater core until it runs clear, andd you have no more a/f in the core. Run the jeep like this for a few days, if the smell dissapears then you have a heater core leak.
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Unread 11-26-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
GODMODEX
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yup! ^^ I did that on my WJ
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Unread 11-26-2013, 11:19 AM   #6
jlsalani
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My 04 TJ had that issue last spring.... turn on defrost, strong smell of anitfreeze and the window would fog. I pulled the I/P and opened up the HVAC unit and pulled the heater core. It was leaking and there was barely a small puddle in there and it caused all the issue. You couldn't even see the puddle until I took out the core. It was underneath it. Having taken apart the HVAC I have no idea how they could even get a camera into the area where the heater core is!!... It took me about 5 hours to do the whole job in my driveway. Shop estimated about $600-$800 to do the job because of labor, but if I can do it anyone can. I had an A/C shop purge my system and pull the lines. Biggest challenge was getting the bolts out of the HVAC unit from the engine side. Some came out other had the whole fastener come out of the unit.
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Unread 11-26-2013, 03:29 PM   #7
JStMarie
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If the smell is prevalent in the cab there really isn't any other source likely than the heater core itself.

JFM626's idea is a good one if you want to avoid the unlikely possibility it is something else, but if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck then my money's on it being a duck.
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Unread 11-26-2013, 03:39 PM   #8
Oldchief1
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If you mentioned this, I missed it but are you having to add coolant to your radiator? That would, of course, indicate a leak somewhere. If not, then my guess would be a very small pin hole leak that's emitting just enough of your coolant to create the smell but not enough yet to cause coolant to be low. Of course, if you're not doing your own service and oil chaanges, whenever you put your jeep in for service, most places top off all your fluids, so they may be adding it back. One more thought, you might pressure test your cooling system, leaving the gauge on it for an hour or so to see if pressure reduces any...again indicating a leak. Good luck!
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Unread 11-26-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
Stu Olson
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Some helpful write-ups on swapping out your heater core:

http://www.stu-offroad.com/engine/he...tercore2-1.htm

http://www.stu-offroad.com/engine/he...atercore-1.htm
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Unread 11-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #10
goodwrenchdave
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I'm pretty sure your heater core is leaking...I've had this off and on now for a couple years. Antifreeze never goes down and no external leaks . But it is not uncommon for the leak to be there without the full blown symptoms such as leaks and fogy/slimy windshield. It is possible to have a very very tiny pinhole leak. I'll only smell it after driving about an hour and not always. when there...it can be pretty potent.
I never bothered fixing mine cause it's intermittent and the smell doesn't bother me that much. The wife on the other hand has a full blown tantrum when she smells it. I get so fed up of doing this all day long that I lose the motivation to repair my own.
And yes you can get a camera in there! but you don't really see all that much unless you run a dye in the system. It takes very little coolant to give out a lot of smell when vaporized. Sniff around the engine bay when you smell it inside... and if there is no smell around the engine- it is a clear indicator that the core is leaking.
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