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Unread 11-16-2011, 09:22 AM   #1
Bob_97TJ
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Antifreeze smell when heat is on

So i just bought my 97 Wrangler yesterday. I Was tinkering around after i got her home and i smelled antifreeze coming out of the heater vents when the heat is on! The heat will only work on full blast, and it is very hot! I am guessing that it is something with the Heater Core but not positive? I do not see any leaks or anything, if there was i may have overlooked. The windows are not fogging up, and the Gentleman i bought it off of said there is no issues with anything, which i trust his word. Maybe a flush could help ??

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Unread 11-16-2011, 09:45 AM   #2
krazzyboy_1
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Check the heater lines on the fire wall sometimes they will leak a little and drip in the heater box, but I see a new heater core in you future. If the fan only blows at the highest setting then that is a different issue, I can't remember the name of the part that causes that.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 09:47 AM   #3
jademarzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazzyboy_1 View Post
Check the heater lines on the fire wall sometimes they will leak a little and drip in the heater box, but I see a new heater core in you future. If the fan only blows at the highest setting then that is a different issue, I can't remember the name of the part that causes that.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:11 AM   #4
Bob_97TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazzyboy_1 View Post
Check the heater lines on the fire wall sometimes they will leak a little and drip in the heater box, but I see a new heater core in you future. If the fan only blows at the highest setting then that is a different issue, I can't remember the name of the part that causes that.
Thanks, i will check for sure. Im not to worried about the nob being hard to slide, i just wanna figure out this smell issue, i dont want the Core to just Go on me.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:42 AM   #5
JWebber
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if you really want to see if the core is leaking slowly, pull blower fan out of firewall and look inside the a/c box housing pan for wet pan. You can use a small mirror and flashlight wich will help as well.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 11:33 AM   #6
Bob_97TJ
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Originally Posted by JWebber View Post
if you really want to see if the core is leaking slowly, pull blower fan out of firewall and look inside the a/c box housing pan for wet pan. You can use a small mirror and flashlight wich will help as well.
I will deff do that ! My jeep does not have AC, but that a/c housing pan is still there ??
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Unread 11-16-2011, 11:51 AM   #7
WillysEdition04
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Antifreeze smell from the vents sounds like a bad/leaky heater core. There is a drain tube sticking out of the firewall on the passenger side. Idle the Jeep up to temp, turn heat on full, and watch the firewall to see if any coolant is purging out of the drain.

Are you up for several hours of tear-down and reassembly? Because it will save you hundreds of $$$ if you replace the core yourself. Purchase an OEM Mopar/dealership core if possible.
You will have to remove the steering column and dash to get to the climate control box. The swap itself is relatively easy, just a lot of steps involved.

...or you could bypass the heater core and forget about it, if you can live without heat. :brrr:
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Unread 11-16-2011, 11:55 AM   #8
freeskier93
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^^That drain tube is for AC condensation. If the heater core was leaking it would be leaking into the passenger floor pan.

OP, if the air coming out is very hot, there are no noticeable leaks, and the windows aren't fogging than what is the issue?
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Unread 11-16-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
Bob_97TJ
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Originally Posted by freeskier93 View Post
OP, if the air coming out is very hot, there are no noticeable leaks, and the windows aren't fogging than what is the issue?
So I started the jeep up, let her run for awile and get warmed up. I cranked the heat up and I don't smell any antifreeze coming out of the vents!!! Also no sign of any leaks anywheres, also checked the floor !!! I'm not crazy, I for sure smelled it yesterday !! When i did smell it, i was driving her so that could of been pulling the odor in from somewhere else? I feel that if the heater core was bad i would have smelled antifreeze coming through the vents when it was parked and the heat was on ??
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Unread 11-16-2011, 03:21 PM   #10
WillysEdition04
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Originally Posted by freeskier93 View Post
^^That drain tube is for AC condensation. If the heater core was leaking it would be leaking into the passenger floor pan.
Regardless of the intended purpose of the drain, if the heater core is leaking, fluid will pour from that tube. Been there.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 03:24 PM   #11
WillysEdition04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_97TJ View Post
So I started the jeep up, let her run for awile and get warmed up. I cranked the heat up and I don't smell any antifreeze coming out of the vents!!! Also no sign of any leaks anywheres, also checked the floor !!! I'm not crazy, I for sure smelled it yesterday !! When i did smell it, i was driving her so that could of been pulling the odor in from somewhere else? I feel that if the heater core was bad i would have smelled antifreeze coming through the vents when it was parked and the heat was on ??
This is unlikely, but possible:
If the heater core was replaced recently before you bought the Jeep, and the box wasn't cleaned out before being reinstalled, some fluid droplets could have been blown through the system causing the smell. It took me about 2 weeks to get rid of the smell after replacing my core.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 04:10 PM   #12
Bob_97TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillysEdition04 View Post
This is unlikely, but possible:
If the heater core was replaced recently before you bought the Jeep, and the box wasn't cleaned out before being reinstalled, some fluid droplets could have been blown through the system causing the smell. It took me about 2 weeks to get rid of the smell after replacing my core.

The gentlemen i bought it off of said that he never changed it, and the 5 years he had it he would always smell a little antifreeze here and there but never had trouble, and the antifreeze level was always good. He was told the same thing that a few little droplets could have been blown thru the system and caused the smell...
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Unread 11-16-2011, 04:18 PM   #13
freeskier93
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I smelled coolant once on my way home from school, freaked out for a second. Engine wasn't overheating so I continued home. When I got home I checked everything, radiator, hoses, checked for coolant in the passenger side floor... nothing. Left it at that and stopped worrying about it and never smelled it again, still don't know what it was and I don't care. Everything works.

No need to jump to conclusions and go replacing your heater core, if there are no physical signs anything is wrong then there is nothing to worry about. When you start seeing a loss in coolant, foggy windshield, coolant in floor pan, overheating, etc... then you should worry.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #14
oakmckinley
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The stock radiator is known to leak at the seams, the smell might've seeped into the cab. The blower motor resistor is super easy to replace, and then you'll have all fan speeds. Lots of threads on replacing it.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 04:11 AM   #15
hdsport
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I had a slight smell of antifreeze in my cab for a while. I checked the top of the radiator where the plastic tank is crimped onto the metal core. When hot, look for the dark sign of moisture at the crimp site. This is where the leak begins, It doesn't take much to smell antifreezr in the cab. I just replaced the radiator with one from Ebay.....$64.66 delivered to my door. Good construction, more crimps and seems to be well built. I believe all of these radiators are made at one or two foreign factories.

Let us know if you detect any radiator/crimp site leaking.
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