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coolant smell

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by PMK, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Feb 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM
    #1
    PMK

    PMK [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2010 4.0 DCLB TRD Sport.

    After driving, when walking around front of truck, left side of grille area has a coolant odor.

    Coolant level has slowly dropped about 1 1/2" in the catch tank over the 13 months since new.

    No leaks found, no puddles, no overheating, radiator is full.

    Took in in for warranty, pressure tested, nothing found.

    Anyone else with a similar stink?

    PK
     
  2. Feb 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM
    #2
    wlmuncy

    wlmuncy Well-Known Member

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    If you let it get hot with cooling system running, do you see any drops then. It could be a hose that gives, or a pin hole.
     
  3. Feb 24, 2011 at 4:16 PM
    #3
    PMK

    PMK [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That's the thing, no leaks visible. Slight coolant smell on the left side of the grille. Very slow loss of coolant.

    My guess is a radiator tank end seal. Hopefully it can be found before it causes a big problem at a bad time.

    PK
     
  4. Feb 24, 2011 at 4:56 PM
    #4
    05Moose

    05Moose Middle-Aged Member

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    And no white/pink residue anywhere? It does sound like you've narrowed it down already.
     
  5. Feb 24, 2011 at 5:00 PM
    #5
    NAAC3TACO

    NAAC3TACO Just east of crazy

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    I mentioned on another thread that my 1998 Corolla was mysteriously losing coolant and a new radiator cap took care of the problem. I assume the coolant was evaporating through the defective cap. I saw no evidence anywhere of a leak.:confused:
     
  6. Feb 24, 2011 at 6:29 PM
    #6
    PMK

    PMK [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The cap is a great idea, the one thing that has me not replacing the cap is that the smell is on the opposite side of the radiator in relation to the cap.

    I'll see if the Corolla has the same cap and try it this weekend.

    PK
     
  7. Feb 24, 2011 at 9:37 PM
    #7
    island808

    island808 Me l've got brains.

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    If you're dead set on finding it. Old green stuff fluoresced under UV. Maybe the new stuff does too? If not, get some dye.
     
  8. Feb 24, 2011 at 10:06 PM
    #8
    Bodete

    Bodete Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar problem with my old 06 ford explorer. I could smell it and the coolant was going down very slowly for months. The leak was so small that the coolant was evaporating before it could leak on the ground. It took 6+ months for the leak to get big enough for me to find the leak. Mine was leaking around radiator seal, Don't give up on it, check it from every angle possible with a flash light.
     
  9. Feb 25, 2011 at 2:48 AM
    #9
    PMK

    PMK [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I looked from every visible angle when hot.

    Took it in for warranty, they pressure tested it overnight, so I would speculate cold the entire time.

    I'm confident it may be a radiator based on the location of the smell.

    Still has a couple warranty years left to fail so here's hoping.

    The fluid is the Toyota pink fluid, which they say leaves breadcrumbs to the leak. The only noticeable signs of fluid outside the system is where it was spilled when filled as new on the coolant recovery tank.

    It's not that big a deal since the fluid drops its level super slow.

    PK
     
  10. Feb 25, 2011 at 7:41 AM
    #10
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    On my 2007.....my radiator cap was leaking. There was tons of residue around the cap and my resevoir tank was low.

    I took it to the dealer and they replaced the cap and refilled the tank - I was still under warrantee at the time.
     
  11. Feb 25, 2011 at 5:18 PM
    #11
    ecoterragaia

    ecoterragaia Well-Known Member

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    I've got coolant slowly coming out of the weep hole, about 1/4 inch lower from the reservoir every 1000 miles. 2.7L 2006 Tacoma with 18700 miles. Dealership said it's covered under the drivetrain/powertrain warranty. Have yet to set up an appointment.
     
  12. Feb 25, 2011 at 6:04 PM
    #12
    DocD

    DocD Well-Known Member

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    PK I feel for you!!! I hate that smell, I put up with it for years with a Ford pick-up, I went to great expense to try and find the problem, rid my garage of this odor, it was aways worse after a rain. at one time I put in a new radiator, new hoses, new everything!!!, the problem persisted, put in a special radiator & hoses, it still persisted!!!, and the smell was there when I got rid of the truck, Guess what??? I think I smelled that odor the other day, I sure hope not, (I think I am paranoid from my last experience) ( but you got me thinking, It is one of those things that really "bug" ya, Good Luck Doc
     
  13. Aug 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM
    #13
    PMK

    PMK [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bringing this back up.

    Anyone else notice the coolant stink on the left side of the radiator area and slow coolant loss?

    Stopped by the dealer the other day since the coolant is low again. Dealer service writer said has smelt the stink, would be more than happy to repair it, but the techs can't find a source for the problem.

    Anyone had similar concerns and have it repaired?

    PK
     
  14. Aug 14, 2011 at 4:30 PM
    #14
    VermonterLost

    VermonterLost Well-Known Member

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    I had this on my 2.7. Ended up being the water pump, replaced under warranty, haven't lost a drop of coolant since, haven't smelled anything either. That was a 4 banger though, was slowly coming from the weep hole at the bottom of the pump, I couldn't find it, the service tech did.
     
  15. Aug 15, 2011 at 6:25 AM
    #15
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    You have to take off the skid plates to see the bottom of the water pump, or use a mirror. The pink coolant always leaves a crusty residue.
    Do you get white smoke on startup? Pull your plugs, if one looks steam-cleaned, you are burning coolant.
    If the leak won't show on a cold pressure check, it's heat related. Small leaks can close up when it's cold.
    Make sure your transmission is not full of coolant.
     
  16. Aug 15, 2011 at 8:02 AM
    #16
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    had this happen on my wife's car a subie forester. the dealership could not find it, and it pressured up fine.

    i kept smelling it. you know how i found it? i waited for winter. (we put up with the smell for a month or so, till the weather turned cold)..then when my wife got home at night, i was ready with a flashlight. i have a 5.11 flashlight that is like the sun. i started sniffing and shining the light. i homed in on it and could see tiny wisps of steam with the flashlight beam. it was a tiny leak at the thermostat housing (it is on the bottom of a subie). got it fixed under warranty. done.
     
  17. Aug 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM
    #17
    PMK

    PMK [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A good tip, but winter here is swimming weather for most others.

    PK
     
  18. Aug 15, 2011 at 3:14 PM
    #18
    PMK

    PMK [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No unusual exhaust, this is a very slight stink of coolant towards the left side of the grille, when walking around the just shut down engine.

    I agree it is likely closed when cold.

    I thought I checked the weep hole when I first posted this topic, I'll give it a definite look again. My guess is the radiator end tank seal is breached, since it is primarily on the left side.

    Whatever it is, the leak is very slow.

    Not quite sure I'm ready to check the transmission. I would not expect the smell to always carry to the left side. If you open the hood, the stink is still forward, but the transmission vent is on the aft left side on the crankcase, near the left cylinder head.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    PK
     
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