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Old 12-28-2006, 12:32 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 89884
Join Date: Jun 2005
2001 2.5 RS

Default 01 Impreza 2.5 smells of maple syrup (antifreeze)

I have a 2001 Impreza RS with 70,000 miles on it. After driving the car for any period of time, the entire engine bay smells like antifreeze. I have left cardboard under the car for the past week and looked multiple times for any leaks and I can't seem to find anything anywhere. Would there be any reason why it smells like antifreeze but there is no leak anywhere?

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Old 12-28-2006, 12:57 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 118209
Join Date: Jun 2006
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: North Dakota
2015 WRX Limitec


head gasket would be an obvious one, hope it isn't that. on my '02, it is the radiator endcaps seeping a little coolant. If i look at where the metal is crimped onto the plastic i can see residue left over, but it never is enough to drip.

try some bar's aluminum leak stop, it works great! It cured the endcap problem on my car at least.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:30 PM   #3
Scooby Guru
Member#: 22412
Join Date: Aug 2002
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Albuquerque, NM
2012 Legacy 2.5GT
Ice Silver Metallic


Take a look at the upper and lower radiator hoses - they can start to smell of coolant as they age (pemeates through, maybe?) - also, check everywhere there is a fitting/tube/etc. - it really doesn't take much of a leak to make everything smell of coolant - definitely doesn't need to be so much that it is reaching the ground.

As an aside - if the maple syrup you have been using smells like antifreeze, I think you might consider changing brands...
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:25 AM   #4
Subie Gal
Super Moderator
Member#: 301
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: WA
1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS


could be the beginnings of a failing water pump

have you done timing belt/seals/water pump yet?

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Old 12-30-2006, 12:35 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 101240
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Silverthorne, CO
2005 Impreza RS
Crystal Grey


My car has this exact same problem. Look down in the engine compartment below the coolant bottle and see if you notice any wetness. Mine started doing this in the summer time and very noticeable with the air conditioning on probably because of the cooling fans blowing the air in the engine compartment around. Now, I took it to the dealer in which they couldn't find the leak, but they could smell it. They put some dye in it and told me to drive it 300 miles and then come back. Drove back, said the coolant bottle was leaking, put a new on in it and it still stinks. One day it was leaking so bad, it got the drivers side wheel well all wet and i didn't drive through any puddles and the area was really dry from lack of rain.

During the summer, the smell was so bad it stunk the inside of the car, but I know for sure it wasn't the heater core. It was coming through the vents. They later did a pressure check on the system in which it was SLOWLY looking pressure. They did some kind of test on the antifreeze to see if it had combustion characteristics in which they stated there wasn't. SO, i drive it around and once in a great while i have to add antifreeze to it.

I have personally got under the car and removed the big black guard thing and looked around and I can't even find anything. I can really notice it when it has been sitting and idling for awhile.

So, good luck with that
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:07 PM   #6
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 89884
Join Date: Jun 2005
2001 2.5 RS


the drivers side head gasket is blown... (insert swear words here)
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 89884
Join Date: Jun 2005
2001 2.5 RS


how much is a headgasket repair from the suby dealer going to cost? (ballpark)

I mineaswell do the timing belt/seals/water pump also.

if someone could give me a figure (suby dealer isnt open today) that would be great

thank you!
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:25 AM   #8
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 138362
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tahoe, CA
2000 RS

Default Antifreeze smell

Just replaced my drivers side head gasket. Only 103,000 miles on engine. Only mechanical problem I have ever had! My mechanic didnt find any coolant leeks. $550 to replace the gasket. Not sure what the local dealer would charge, my guess is more. Hope this helps.
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