Coolant Odor - Drive Accord Honda Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-17-2017, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone else smell coolant from the engine when the ambient temperature is around 80+ on a '17 V6? I mainly smell the coolant upon initial start up. There's definitely no leaks or overheating, but 80 degrees almost seems to cool to cause the engine to emit coolant odor when the car only idles for 3 - 5 minutes. Coolant combined with new car interior smell isn't the most pleasant scent. I noticed the smell with my windows down, and not through the car's interior.


EDIT

I figured it out....the coolant tank is sitting at the "low" line. Not sure how this would occur with only 2000 miles on the odometer. I don't suspect this occurred due to a leak as there has never been any fluid in my driveway. I wasn't able to notice this when the car was at operating temperature. Luckily I checked the fluid at 9:30pm.


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post #2 of 14 Old 05-17-2017, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by seldomseen View Post
Does anyone else smell coolant from the engine when the ambient temperature is around 80+ on a '17 V6? I mainly smell the coolant upon initial start up. There's definitely no leaks or overheating, but 80 degrees almost seems to cool to cause the engine to emit coolant odor when the car only idles for 3 - 5 minutes. Coolant combined with new car interior smell isn't the most pleasant scent. I noticed the smell with my windows down, and not through the car's interior.


EDIT

I figured it out....the coolant tank is sitting at the "low" line. Not sure how this would occur with only 2000 miles on the odometer. I don't suspect this occurred due to a leak as there has never been any fluid in my driveway. I wasn't able to notice this when the car was at operating temperature. Luckily I checked the fluid at 9:30pm.
Sounds like air pockets worked their way out.


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post #3 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 02:34 AM
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I had to add coolant to my 7th gen at about the same mileage. 150k later, I've never had to add again. I don't recall smelling coolant though. Mine seemed to just not have been filled fully at the factory, but I can't really understand that happening.

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seldomseen View Post
Does anyone else smell coolant from the engine when the ambient temperature is around 80+ on a '17 V6? I mainly smell the coolant upon initial start up. There's definitely no leaks or overheating, but 80 degrees almost seems to cool to cause the engine to emit coolant odor when the car only idles for 3 - 5 minutes. Coolant combined with new car interior smell isn't the most pleasant scent. I noticed the smell with my windows down, and not through the car's interior.


EDIT

I figured it out....the coolant tank is sitting at the "low" line. Not sure how this would occur with only 2000 miles on the odometer. I don't suspect this occurred due to a leak as there has never been any fluid in my driveway. I wasn't able to notice this when the car was at operating temperature. Luckily I checked the fluid at 9:30pm.
{bolded}

Do you know what the level was when you purchased the car? I ask because even when I bought mine at 6 miles on the odo, I always check the levels after the PDI. Overcautious or curiosity really!!

The levels of certain fluids (coolant)I have found on all cars iv'e purchased, to be at their MINIMUM from the get-go.

There is probably the airpocket mentioned by @Merc6 that worked it's way out too.

Top it off and check again in a few thousand miles.

If there is a real concern about leaks check your oil for coolant.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 04:29 AM
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And know that the level in the coolant overflow/expansion tank fluctuates depending on if your engine is hot or cool.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Come to think of it, every time inspected my engine was after I drove to the car, to ensure there were any leaks. So each time I looked, the reservoir tank was high. (I apparently only inspected the oil when the engine was cold). I'm guessing no harm was caused, because the engine didn't overheat.

I just bought some Honda coolant this morning, and will fill the reservoir tank. If the the tank falls to the minimum line again, what does that mean? Leak, bad radiator?

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 06:34 AM
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When the engine is cold, the correct level will be "min" in the reserve tank. When the engine is hot, the correct level will be at "max". Filling it to the max mark when cold does not do anything except reduce the amount of space the hot coolant has to go to in the tank, thus creating a situation where the tank will overflow and spill onto the ground. You do not want to do this. RTFM

If there is an issue, take it to the dealer...that is why there is a warranty.


From page 523 of your owners manual:

This coolant is premixed with 50% antifreeze and 50% water. Do not add any
straight antifreeze or water.
We recommend you check the engine coolant level every time you refuel. Check the
reserve tank first. If it is completely empty, also check the coolant level in the
radiator. Add the engine coolant accordingly.
1. Check the amount of coolant in the reserve
tank.
2. If the coolant level is below the MIN mark,
add the specified coolant until it reaches
the MAX mark.
3. Inspect the cooling system for leaks.

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post #8 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 06:52 AM
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Filling it to the max mark when cold does not do anything except reduce the amount of space the hot coolant has to go to in the tank, thus creating a situation where the tank will overflow and spill onto the ground.
This ^

Quote:
Originally Posted by Accord2014LX View Post
We recommend you check the engine coolant level every time you refuel.
Check the reserve tank first. If it is completely empty, also check the coolant level in the radiator.
Add the engine coolant accordingly.
I dunno about checking the actual radiator level when refueling, because the engine is probably still quite hot from driving, right?

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Good info!

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 07:11 AM
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It doesn't take much coolant to make an odor. You probably have a drip somewhere that doesn't make its way to the ground. Whenever I change coolant hoses on an older car, I often smell coolant and eventually chase down the issue. Now that your coolant tank has been topped off you can establish a baseline of where the level should be both hot and cold. If you are losing coolant you will know but coolant odor is not normal.

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post #11 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 07:28 AM
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I dunno about checking the actual radiator level when refueling, because the engine is probably still quite hot from driving, right?
It can be done. It wouldn't need to be done unless the reserve tank is empty.You would have to open the cap to the first detent and stop. This keeps the cap on the radiator, but takes the load off of the spring seal to let pressure bleed off into the reserve tank. Then the cap can be removed safely. I would not recommend anyone does this unless you know what the risks are (getting scalded by hot coolant) and how to avoid it. If you're scared of the consequences, wait until the engine cools.

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post #12 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 07:34 AM
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When the car is hot, I like to have the overflow tank up to the MAX line so it's easy to track level changes from a leak. I recommend you do this and monitor for bit. If the level drops, the dealer has something substantial to go by instead of just saying they couldn't replicate the issue.
enne likes this.

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post #13 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 07:42 AM
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Since your car is new I say just take it to the dealership. You don't need to get a pressure test tool kit or anything.

If you have coolant in your oil, you would probably know that already, as you would have a good amount of white puff blowing out of the tailpipe. I doubt your car has a blown head gasket at this point, however.

And yes, check your Owner's Manual on how to check different fluids. Most cars require you to have the coolant level near Low when your car is stone cold, but my RX-8 actually requires you to have it at the High mark, and the H and L line are like half an inch apart. Just another thing quirky about it.

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post #14 of 14 Old 05-18-2017, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I always check the levels after the PDI. Overcautious or curiosity really!!
I took delivery of my car around 100pm, so I'm not even sure if a PDI was even performed. I still haven't even received a survey from Honda, I'm guessing I never will, because I shared my displeasure with the GM. Nonetheless, I got the exact car I wanted.
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