2015 JKU Mystery Coolant Leak+ Antifreeze Smell (Possibley Solved) - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-28-2019, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
I3adKarma
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2015 JKU Mystery Coolant Leak+ Antifreeze Smell (Possibley Solved)

I have had the mystery coolant smell and a small coolant leak for awhile. Its not very big so I have added small amounts of coolant as needed. The dealer pressure tested the system and was unable to find any leaks. I did it myself as well and was unable to see one. I replaced the coolant expansion tank since it seemed like a lot of people were talking about it cracking, since that's where the smell seemed to be coming from. That didn't fix the problem, at least it was a cheap part. I looked at the thermostat housing as well and saw no signs of a leak. I popped the hood today and noticed what could be some coolant residue on the end of the hose. When I got home from work I popped the hood and used my nose and that seems to be the source of the smell.

I think I might double up with a regular hose clamp on it and see what happens. Any other tips or other places I should check?

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post #2 of 21 Old 05-28-2019, 06:03 PM
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I'd replace those factory hose clamps with something a bit more beefy. Though I would not suggest the old fashion hose clamps which would cut or dig into the hose with their ladder type screw system. Look for something designed different like a sure seal aluminum clamp or add a second clamp at the hose radiator connection for double security.

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post #3 of 21 Old 05-28-2019, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RubiconFreedom View Post
I'd replace those factory hose clamps with something a bit more beefy. Though I would not suggest the old fashion hose clamps which would cut or dig into the hose with their ladder type screw system. Look for something designed different like a sure seal aluminum clamp or add a second clamp at the hose radiator connection for double security.
Yes those old style clamps did have a tendency to dig in a bit. I think I will head into the auto parts store and see what they have.

Thanks for the info.
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-28-2019, 06:28 PM
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I mean anything metal is going to dig in a bit. maybe there's some new designs on the market now. Let me know what you find I've been searching the net and found some nice aluminum clamps at summitracing.. but again you need to be open about what type of clamps can be used.

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post #5 of 21 Old 05-28-2019, 08:05 PM
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Be sure to have a look at your water pump, especially the weep hole. Mine failed prematurely.

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post #6 of 21 Old 05-30-2019, 02:50 PM
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I've had the mystery smell and small leak for a while myself...I'll have to check the same place as you did and see if another clamp is the way to go. Thanks!

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post #7 of 21 Old 05-31-2019, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Well I doubled up with just the old style hose clamp. I figured for 3 dollars it would be worth trying. After running some errands I got out and walked by the grill and could still smell it. I popped the hood and took a look and didn't see anything. The source of the smell seemed to now actually be coming from the area right by the headlight on the drivers side. I suppose its possible that the clamp may have forced the escaping odor to another spot causing the different location for the smell.

It seems that the transmission coolant lines are right at that location further down and enter a manifold. Now I am not sure if it matters or not but I do not have an automatic transmission so I am not sure if those lines actually cool a manual transmission or not. Based on past experience and looking at the exploded diagram they are for the automatic transmission only.

I took a look at the water pump and did not see any kind of dried coolant. I noticed some spots there but it looks more like water spots or the type of slight surface corrosion you see on aluminum. I saw the same spots all over the engine and other aluminum parts.

This mystery just keeps getting deeper. I am far from an automotive expert so any ideas are appreciated.
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-05-2019, 08:19 PM
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I also have a 2015 jku and I smell the smell too. I have only owned mine for about a month, mine is an auto and i also can not locate any leaks but i have not had to add any coolant. It never gets unusually hot just sometimes I smell antifreeze after some drives. Being a first time jeep owner is the cooling system a typical problem for the 3.6?
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 02:53 PM
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Seems this is an ongoing issue with us also, but the only area I've checked and rechecked is the reservoir. Mind you I added a 18lb. Stant rad cap and once in a while in the morning before starting I re-seat the cap. the rubber seal tends to bend and doesn't fall back into place. then theres the reservoir.. I've tried multiple levels without solving this. Look down onto the front diff, if you see droplets from the reservoir spilling onto the diff then it's just heating up because of where it's placed. I've been looking into locating a reservoir relocation without success. last scenario.. it's been reported that some model wranglers even the 2017 could still have sand in the head. this could cause a back up which could product the smell in other areas. One way to clear the air, is to have the system pressurize and the coolant changed. I hope no one has mixed coolants as this can cause the HOAT & OAT to form a jell then harden/crystallize over time. been meaning to do a flush just to see if this helps any.

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post #10 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardrock2015 View Post
I also have a 2015 jku and I smell the smell too. I have only owned mine for about a month, mine is an auto and i also can not locate any leaks but i have not had to add any coolant. It never gets unusually hot just sometimes I smell antifreeze after some drives. Being a first time jeep owner is the cooling system a typical problem for the 3.6?
Hi Hardrock2015,
We recommend having your dealer look into this for you. If you would like any additional assistance, please feel free to send us a private message and we'll be happy to help!
Lydia
Jeep Social Care Specialist
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RubiconFreedom View Post
Seems this is an ongoing issue with us also, but the only area I've checked and rechecked is the reservoir. Mind you I added a 18lb. Stant rad cap and once in a while in the morning before starting I re-seat the cap. the rubber seal tends to bend and doesn't fall back into place. then theres the reservoir.. I've tried multiple levels without solving this. Look down onto the front diff, if you see droplets from the reservoir spilling onto the diff then it's just heating up because of where it's placed. I've been looking into locating a reservoir relocation without success. last scenario.. it's been reported that some model wranglers even the 2017 could still have sand in the head. this could cause a back up which could product the smell in other areas. One way to clear the air, is to have the system pressurize and the coolant changed. I hope no one has mixed coolants as this can cause the HOAT & OAT to form a jell then harden/crystallize over time. been meaning to do a flush just to see if this helps any.
Thanks for the info. Good to know I am not the only one looking for a solution. I have only added the Mopar coolant and a small amount of distilled water to the system. It was the purple one I got from the dealer so pretty sure that is the right coolant for the 2015. The thought of the radiator cap did occur to me yesterday, the shifting smell caused by a small amount of coolant leaking from the cap and rolling down the top of the radiator. The amount of coolant and the number of turns and bank while driving causing the drops of coolant to shift position. I may just buy a new cap to see what that does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardrock2015 View Post
I also have a 2015 jku and I smell the smell too. I have only owned mine for about a month, mine is an auto and i also can not locate any leaks but i have not had to add any coolant. It never gets unusually hot just sometimes I smell antifreeze after some drives. Being a first time jeep owner is the cooling system a typical problem for the 3.6?
I would say that for the most part the mystery coolant smell seems to be the extent of problems in the coolant system of the JK. Doing some searches a few other reported other issues but the mystery smell is common. I have never seen my temp gauge go above the half way point. The amount of coolant I have had to add has been very small. The last time I had to add coolant was back in January but the temps here were in the -20 degrees F and it was only a small amount. Double check the owners manual too for checking coolant levels and oil levels since what they recommend is a little different then how I was taught as a kid. Checking oil and coolant levels with the engine at operating temperature being the main difference.
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post #12 of 21 Old 06-06-2019, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the help, I will be taking it back to the dealer to see what they can find. Today when I checked the coolant it was a bump lower than it has been. When it smells its always near the overflow reservoir. Thanks again for the tips
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post #13 of 21 Old 06-07-2019, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, I will be taking it back to the dealer to see what they can find. Today when I checked the coolant it was a bump lower than it has been. When it smells its always near the overflow reservoir. Thanks again for the tips
Please post back any information on what they find. That was the location for mine too until I replaced the overflow reservoir bottle. Now it seems to have shifted.
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-11-2019, 07:24 AM
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They found no leaks, Haha kinda figured that's what they would say. Bought mine at a Chevrolet dealer as a used vehicle so the warranty work is done there. I will keep watching to see if I can see anything so I can take it back before the warranty expires. If I find out anything or see anything new I will be sure to post
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post #15 of 21 Old 06-11-2019, 08:44 PM
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On my '14 the leak was on the drivers side top of the radiator, under the plastic trim cover. It drips down the side and evaporates before there's a noticeable drip. I know at least half a dozen others that were the same spot.


I also had a pin hole leak in the therm housing. Here's a couple of pics from when I tracked down mine.








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