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Discussion Starter #1
When driving my 1998 cr-v with heater or defrost running I smell anti freeze. If I put the vent on with temp setting on cool (A\C button not pressed) and crank up blower I get no smell.

Things I have tried to pinpoint problem:

1. checked all hoses in engine compartment, no leak anywhere.
2. monitored anti freeze levels in coolant reservoir, no fluid being lost
3. checked passenger side floor, no dampness or coolant smell.
4. ran defrost and checked inside windshield for residue, none found.

I want to make sure its the heater core causing this before I install a new one.

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks,
George
 

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Hi Georgenj; Welcome to the forum. I think if you can smell raw antifreeze (usually it's the rubber hoses that transfer a smell to the antifreeze and you can smell that) in the cabin you have a pinhole leak in the heater core. You must be somewhat sensitive to the smell because I don't think most people would smell it until the floor was wet. You may not get the telltale grey fog on the windshield interior until the leak gets worse or you run the defrost for a month or so. If it's burnt antifreeze that's different. It smells, and is usually a hose leaking onto a hot manifold. You probably won't notice a level change in the rad until it's a dripping leak. It is such a pita to get at the core I would wait till it develops into a leak that is obvious. I have never heard of one failing catastrophically, so maybe just remove the good mat and or cover it with something water proof. You can have a pressure check done on it but I don't know what that would accomplish.
 

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Hi Fixer. Thanks for the feedback. I like your idea of waiting till it drips. We are going into the warmer months here in NJ so heat is not a concern. I can always do the job in the fall if the leak starts.
 
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