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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My jeep had been losing antifreeze, just a little bit over a long period of time. Recently, I started smelling a little bit of antifreeze inside of my TJ.

My 1st thought was a leaking heater core. But my carpet never got wet.

I had my system pressure tested. Turns out, the radiator was losing it at the seams where the plastic ends meet the metal part.

Now, with a new radiator installed, I still have that slight antifreeze aroma in the jeep. I did notice, after the radiator install, that a little bit of antifreeze was oozing from the thermostat housing. I tightened those 2 bolts up. That tiny leak has stopped.

Can your heater core be on its way out, be giving off that smell, but yet not drip any liquid onto the carpet?

If this isn't a heater core problem, any idea as to where else I should be looking?

As far as I can tell, my leak has been fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the heater still works. Although maybe not quite as hot as it used to get. But maybe that's just my imagination, seeing as how we are in warmer weather right now.

My defrost still works real good, too.
 

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Yes, the heater still works. Although maybe not quite as hot as it used to get. But maybe that's just my imagination, seeing as how we are in warmer weather right now. My defrost still works real good, too.
When the engines warmed up, pop the hood and check your two hoses. They should both be right around the same temp. If the one going into the heater core is hot and the one coming out is noticeably different you may have a heater core issue... Also maybe get a flush since you got your new radiator. May just be some funk in there sloshing around in there.
 

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Can your heater core be on its way out, be giving off that smell, but yet not drip any liquid onto the carpet?
Yes.
When my heater core died I didn't have any coolant drip on the carpet but I found coolant in the bottom of the heaterbox after I tore it out - I think most of the escaping coolant boiled away

One sure-fire sign is the occasional 'mist' coming from the windshield vents - the 'mist' looked very much like cigarette smoke.
I would see it occasionally but it eventually got worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
... One sure-fire sign is the occasional 'mist' coming from the windshield vents - the 'mist' looked very much like cigarette smoke...
So far, I haven't seen that 'mist' yet.
I still think that my heater isn't getting as hot as it used to. It defrosts the windshield just fine, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When the engines warmed up, pop the hood and check your two hoses. They should both be right around the same temp. If the one going into the heater core is hot and the one coming out is noticeably different you may have a heater core issue...
It's raining right now.
I'll check those 2 hoses in a little bit.



... Also maybe get a flush since you got your new radiator. May just be some funk in there sloshing around in there.
If there is some crud in the core, that could explain why my heater isn't getting as hot as it used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.

I googled about replacing the heater core.
You have to pull pretty much all of the dash out to get at it.

I asked my mechanic what he would charge for that. He said around $800.

Ouch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You'd think that you'd be able to just remove the glove box door, & be able to get at the heater core. Or, maybe Jeep could have made the core accessible by having the core attach to a plate, & have that plate bolt to the engine side of the firewall. That way, when you need to remove the core, you'd remove the 2 hoses, unbolt the plate from the firewall, remove the plate (along with the heater core).

But, I suppose that would be too easy.
 

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You'd think that you'd be able to just remove the glove box door, & be able to get at the heater core. Or, maybe Jeep could have made the core accessible by having the core attach to a plate, & have that plate bolt to the engine side of the firewall. That way, when you need to remove the core, you'd remove the 2 hoses, unbolt the plate from the firewall, remove the plate (along with the heater core).

But, I suppose that would be too easy.
Wouldn't THAT be nice? Same with most cars. I've done it on both my Mustangs. The heater core cost $30 and labor is $500. $800 seems a bit high but it's been a few years.
 

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You'd think that you'd be able to just remove the glove box door, & be able to get at the heater core. Or, maybe Jeep could have made the core accessible by having the core attach to a plate, & have that plate bolt to the engine side of the firewall. That way, when you need to remove the core, you'd remove the 2 hoses, unbolt the plate from the firewall, remove the plate (along with the heater core). But, I suppose that would be too easy.
I've done it on my F-150 twice. It went out again somehow and this time I said screw it and bypassed it altogether. It's just a work truck so it's not that big of a deal but man I'll tell you what it's a hell of a job getting that whole dash out for a little 8"X8" heater core.
 

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You'd think that you'd be able to just remove the glove box door, & be able to get at the heater core. Or, maybe Jeep could have made the core accessible by having the core attach to a plate, & have that plate bolt to the engine side of the firewall. That way, when you need to remove the core, you'd remove the 2 hoses, unbolt the plate from the firewall, remove the plate (along with the heater core).

But, I suppose that would be too easy.
I said the same thing..... Bottom line is it would cost more for production, so they would never do it.
 

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I could smell coolant shortly after buying mine, but nothing on the floor. Then about a year later I started getting moisture on my windshield. I pulled the dash and got the box out and when I opened it I could see the coolant dried all over the core and jut a little in the box. Replaced the core and it has been fine since.

It took me about 5.5 hours to do the core, it is not difficult, just time consuming.

John
 

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Antifreeze stench will stay with a vehicle a LONG time after a failure or spill.
 

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My radiator sprung a leak, so I replaced it. About a month later, I kept smelling antifreeze, that is when I noticed a few drops under the passenger side floor. It only got worse, so I changed my heater core. It's not the easiest job, but I wasn't going to pay someone else to do the work. You can do it without pulling the steering column, you just have to be creative.
 

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