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Old 02-04-2001, 02:22 PM   #1
tulit
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Post Burning coolant?

Can anyone describe the smell of burning coolant? Does it even have a smell?

Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2001, 02:27 PM   #2
munkis
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It has a sweet smell normally thats why dogs like to lick it, when it brurns, it smells pretty bad like a burning sweet smell hehe. Hope that helps

Jay McDade
Auto Tech--Lincoln/Mercury/Jaguar

[This message has been edited by McDade (edited February 04, 2001).]
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Old 02-04-2001, 02:32 PM   #3
Scooby2
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If your burning it you will get white smoke out the tail pipe
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Old 02-04-2001, 02:35 PM   #4
tulit
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So it wouldnt really smell like burning oil?
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Old 02-04-2001, 03:20 PM   #5
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No, McDade is right. It is a sweet smell unlike oil which is an almost bitter harsh smell. If you remove a raditor cap on a hot engine (make sure the pressure is relieved slowly first!!!) you can get a whiff and an idea of what it smells like. It will burn white (steam),where oil will actually smoke (bluish color).

Punk
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Old 02-04-2001, 06:52 PM   #6
munkis
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How about you describe when and where, under what conditions you are smelling what you are smelling, and we can try and figure it out.

Jay McDade
Auto Tech--Lincoln/Mercury/Jaguar
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Old 02-04-2001, 07:13 PM   #7
dandbest
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Even better- get some antifreeze, boil it in a pan of some sort, and you'll get to see what it smells like. Then, compare the two smells, and you'll be all set.

Danny
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Old 02-04-2001, 07:28 PM   #8
cvalle-sd
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You'll definitely know the difference - take the oil filler cap off and sniff, then try the overflow reservoir or the radiator cap WHEN IT'S COOL. Coolant is tolerable when hot - oil is harshin.
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Old 02-05-2001, 06:04 AM   #9
tulit
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Hi guys. Thanks. I think I know the diff now.

The problem im having, is when the cars warmed up, in and around the center of the engine you can smell burning oil. When the fans on, you can smell it in the car too. There are no visiable leaks or spills anywhere that I could find. It happened right after I got my oil changed.

My friend said it might be blow head gasket thats burning coolant (he says the smell the same). Thanks why I was wondering and just wanted to clarify. I guess this removes any possible of me burning coolant then?
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Old 02-05-2001, 07:53 AM   #10
spt_impreza
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tulit,

has it happened before after an oil change?? what you may be smelling is a small amount of oil that might have spilled while they were doing the oil change. (ie. on the headers or somewhere else where it gets very hot) once the oil burns off you will not have that smell anymore. if it is really bugging you go to a car wash with a high pressure hose and clean your entire engine off where oil COULD have been spilled. if you still have a smell after that go in and get it checked.

spt
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Old 02-05-2001, 08:34 AM   #11
yakker
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Tulit,

I get the same weird smell too. Smells like oil burning though, not anti-freeze. I smell it mostly after high-revs (5000 rpm max, I never redline) then coming to a stop. The smell seeps from the engine bay and more so if the vents are on.

Also it seems to smell more when its wet outside. Do know why. Checked for leaks, sprayed oil etc... nothing...had the dealer check it out too...nothing. Right now I've got 17,000 on a 00. Beeen smelling ever since 2 oil changes ago, one by me (to Mobil 1) then the last one by the dealer (Mobil 1 as well).

I'm just documenting it whenever I'm at the dealer just in case.

Bob
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Old 02-05-2001, 10:07 AM   #12
tulit
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SPT, thats what I figured at first too. I went as far a pulling off all the heat shield on the headers, to remove what might have been covering areas where it could have spilled, nothing. Its also been about a week, so if something got spilled, I think it should have burnt off by now. Though the smell isnt as strong as it was originally.

Yakker, mine smells like burning oil too. I was just asking about the coolant because I wanted to eliminate that as a possible cause.

Really weird. I wonder what it is? If you find out, let me know. I will let you know too if I find out what it is.
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Old 02-05-2001, 02:08 PM   #13
munkis
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How new is your car, scoobies stink like ***** when they are new, I get the rotten egg smell after giving my car a good work out. I also believe I get the smell your refering to every now and then. Could be your clutch?

Jay McDade
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Old 02-05-2001, 04:28 PM   #14
ColinL
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Tulit, clean your engine bay really well and then watch for leaks. If you can smell it burning, it is probably leaking externally somewhere.

You could have a coolant leak causing the smell that isn't related to the head gasket at all, but unfortunately scoobies do have a few "typical" issues and that does lead one to suspect the head gasket early. The most likely places for this sort of leak would be the heater core, water pump, and the two large radiator inlet/outlet hoses.
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Old 02-05-2001, 04:34 PM   #15
tulit
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Whats the best way to clean the bay Colin?

I have a pressure washer, or should I just use a bucket of water and pour it over top?

Would the burning "oil" smell be possibly caused by burning coolant, or are we fairly certain here that its burning oil?

I won't be able to bring my car back to the place that did the oil change again until Friday. Ill get him to put it up on the lift again. Maybe theres something thats just hard for me to see laying on my back.
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Old 02-05-2001, 08:13 PM   #16
ColinL
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I use a regular pressure washer and just don't point it at the ignition components. Never had a problem.

Oh, and sorry if you had previously decided that it was oil and not coolant... I read the thread too quickly and didn't see that part of your last post before mine.
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Old 02-06-2001, 05:55 AM   #17
tulit
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Thanks Colin. Ill try it when it gets a little warmer out

McDane, the car is about 33000km. I know the "burning" clutch smell you are refering to. Its definately not that.
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Old 02-07-2001, 06:08 AM   #18
tulit
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Just incase anyone is interested, it turned out to be a loose crank breather hose.

The clamp seemed to be worn out so it was holding the hose on, just not very tight. We put a new clamp on, and it seems to have fixed the problem...


Weird!
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