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When the Jeep ('15 JKU) sits and idles for a bit, I smell coolant. On really cold days, there is some steam coming out the front end. When at the dealership I asked them to look into it. The mechanic said he replaced some coolant but no leaks were detected.

I am pretty sure this thing has a leak...but the dealership won't look anymore. How should I proceed?
 

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When the Jeep ('15 JKU) sits and idles for a bit, I smell coolant. On really cold days, there is some steam coming out the front end. When at the dealership I asked them to look into it. The mechanic said he replaced some coolant but no leaks were detected. I am pretty sure this thing has a leak...but the dealership won't look anymore. How should I proceed?
when I first brought my jeep home I smelled coolant also. It looked to be coming from the radiator cap, almost like it wasn't sealing tight enough. So I crimped down the flange on the cap to make it fit tighter and so far it's holding. Look around the cap on the black plastic areas to see if you notice drops or noticeable spray. Ask dealer to swap your cap.
 

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One other thing is the new coolant has a stronger Oder and people have said they can smell it more from their overflow tank venting. And not have a leak at all.
 

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When the Jeep ('15 JKU) sits and idles for a bit, I smell coolant. On really cold days, there is some steam coming out the front end. When at the dealership I asked them to look into it. The mechanic said he replaced some coolant but no leaks were detected.

I am pretty sure this thing has a leak...but the dealership won't look anymore. How should I proceed?
Saw this in the operators manual:

NOTE: When the vehicle is stopped after a few miles/
kilometers of operation, you may observe vapor coming
from the front of the engine compartment. This is normally
a result of moisture from rain, snow, or high
humidity accumulating on the radiator and being vaporized
when the thermostat opens, allowing hot engine
coolant (antifreeze) to enter the radiator.
 

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One other thing is the new coolant has a stronger Oder and people have said they can smell it more from their overflow tank venting. And not have a leak at all.
This.... The OAT coolant does smell bad and he smell does seem to linger.

The dealership told me this as well after I suggested their tech broke wind in my jeep before they left it out in the hot sun on the day the replaced the noisy water pump for dry bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I assume I can use my pressure tester to verify there is not a leak?
 

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A standard pressure tester should work just fine. The radiator cap appears to be the standard (larger) size.

I thought that I had a leak on mine for the longest time as well but nothing. I am an ex mechanic so the smell was driving me bananas. I hate the smell of coolant burning off of an engine or though it.

On the 3.6, there are a couple of coolant lines running under the intake manifolds to the oil cooler. I only saw them when I removed the upper and lower manifolds to replace them with an air compressor and heat exchanger.

Interestingly, the blower kit included a screw clamp to replace the spring clamp on that hose under all of that mess.


There is also an air bleed on the t-stat housing that might be worth checking. It has an o-ring seal on it.

Are you filling it at the overflow tank and watching the fluid level over time? How much are you actually loosing and over how much time?
 

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Brought our jku to the dealership twice to check on the smell of antifreeze. Both times was told they could not repeat the problem. I left and drove a few miles, returned and had the manager come out and take a whiff. They found the t-stat housing was leaking and prob solved.
 

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Ihave had the jeep to dealer twice for coolant smell. Second time they put dye in and I will be taking it back next week. They have pressure tested and said it did not get lower, yet my coolant level keeps going south. We will see.
 

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I have smelt coolant also. Had it pressure tested by dealer and they said no leaks. After they tested it didn't really smell for a while. It's starting to smell again. I am going to have to take it back to checked again.
 

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You should not need to use a dye to find coolant leaks. A pressure tester should be enough. Not sure about OAT or HOAT coolant but old fangled coolant would leave powdery white residue traces where coolant has been leaking slowly over time. In all of my years as a tech, I never once used dye in the coolant. Dye is almost useless even for A/C as well because you can usually spot those leaks with your eye or just use an electronic leak detector. Using dye in the motor oil can be useful for an engine that is already very oily and dirty.

I am an ex tech and thought for sure mine was leaking for the longest time (due to the smell) and it is not. Top off the reservoir when cold and check it every night. With no leaks and no air trapped in the system, the level should stay the same when cold.

Try measuring your coolant loss over time versus going by smell alone.
 

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You should not need to use a dye to find coolant leaks. A pressure tester should be enough. Not sure about OAT or HOAT coolant but old fangled coolant would leave powdery white residue traces where coolant has been leaking slowly over time. In all of my years as a tech, I never once used dye in the coolant. Dye is almost useless even for A/C as well because you can usually spot those leaks with your eye or just use an electronic leak detector. Using dye in the motor oil can be useful for an engine that is already very oily and dirty.

I am an ex tech and thought for sure mine was leaking for the longest time (due to the smell) and it is not. Top off the reservoir when cold and check it every night. With no leaks and no air trapped in the system, the level should stay the same when cold.

Try measuring your coolant loss over time versus going by smell alone.
I have marks all the way down my fill tank, tracking the loss over time. That is why I asked to have it looked at. There are plenty of places in the new JK's where it would be hard to see a leak. The tech is the one that suggested dye, I did not ask for it.
 

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I have marks all the way down my fill tank, tracking the loss over time. That is why I asked to have it looked at. There are plenty of places in the new JK's where it would be hard to see a leak. The tech is the one that suggested dye, I did not ask for it.
Then that may be the source of the smell - the fill tank overflow. Most coolant pressure kits include an adapter to test the radiator cap too. It would be good to check that. Usually a visual is enough on the cap's seal but not the spring pressure.


Back when I was a tech it was the junior guys reaching for the dye when they gave up. The techs more experienced in the ways of the force could often go right to the problem without dyes or special tools.
 

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One other thing is the new coolant has a stronger Oder and people have said they can smell it more from their overflow tank venting. And not have a leak at all.
^^^Bingo..:thumb:
It's always a good idea, to have your cooling system pressure tested, to see if you have a leak. But in many cases, the above post applies...
 

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I've been smelling coolant off and on since my 2014 was new. Dealer today discovered I had a bad radiator. At first they said there was no problem but the service director smelled it when I brought it in an suggested the tech do a pressure test. New radiator gets installed tomorrow.
 

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I also have smelled coolant off and on since I got my new 15 JKU Sahara in Aug. Its about once a month maybe that I smell it. I always check under the hood and can't find anything.
 

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I have the coolant smell when the engine revs up over 4000rpm of so (IE: if I am trying to pass on a 2 lane road, etc). The smell goes away pretty quick. I always thought it was just the venting smell since I haven't lost any coolant and the coolant temp never gets above normal.
 

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I suspect there may be some issues with the side-tanks separating from the radiator itself. A few people out there had small leaks where the tanks are crimped to the radiator. I think that is the kind of leak I had not enough to see actual coolant but enough to where you could smell it.
 
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