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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
06 second gen 2.0 petrol. Last winter I started to notice that when I turn on the heater, there is strong burnt smell. At first I blamed coolant, which was leaking from radiator and got finally fixed only in summer. Now as winter is creeping once again and weather is getting colder, it seems the issue is back. My rad and thermostat are new. New coolant, doesn't seem to have any leaks, however, sometimes there is a slight smell of something burnt when I turn the heating and blowing on. It passes off in a minute tops. Carpet seems dry. Could this be coolant leaking into heater core? Any way to easily check it at home?
 

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2017 CRV Touring - Pearl White w Black Interior
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If there was ever a coolant leak in and around the core, that could leave residual coolant that will continue to cook off when the heater is used. But if it persists, could be a pinhole leak in the core, which is enough to foul the air, but not actually drip down into your cabin.

I would think a coolant system pressure test might help confirm/deny coolant as a source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If there was ever a coolant leak in and around the core, that could leave residual coolant that will continue to cook off when the heater is used. But if it persists, could be a pinhole leak in the core, which is enough to foul the air, but not actually drip down into your cabin.

I would think a coolant system pressure test might help confirm/deny coolant as a source.
Wouldn't pressure test worsen the situation?
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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You haven't mentioned whether you inspected the cabin filter or its housing. Something COULD have died in there... o_O

If you are losing coolant, a loose or improperly fitted hose might be to blame. Sometimes (especially when the hose is connected to aluminum piping) the coolant will only leak during initial warmup, when the system is cool but pressurized.
 

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What does the burnt smell like? And when have you replaced and cleaned the cabin filter and blower fins? You should check there to see if there isn't something stuck to the part after the blower I forgot it's name if something not stuck there cause it to burn and smell as well. But that requires you remove the blower to look inside of that location. But if you never changed the cabing filter something could be stuck there and died causing the small as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cabin filter was changed about 22kkm ago. Have a new one, but didn't change it yet. Smell seems to be a chemical kinda, that's why I'm thinking about coolant, as it happens only in cold weather and I had no issues whole summer with the AC
 

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Wouldn't pressure test worsen the situation?
If there is a pinhole leak in the heater core.. it is going to get worse over time on it's own.

A coolant pressure test is designed to find leaks, and if your coolant system is leak free, no a pressure test will not worsen the situation.

If you run a pressure test on the coolant system and no leaks are found then your perceived smell is not coolant.

Here's the problem though, everyone's nose is different and one persons nose may thing something smells burnt and yet another nose will sense the same odor and perceive it as something different. The nose is NOT a good indicator in many cases other than to sense something does not smell right.

I agree with others here, you need to check your cabin air filter, as it is past due for replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Changed the filter. It was already looking bad, with some bugs stuck inside. The thing is, I forgot about this brownish/blackish sticky thing being there. I noticed it when I bought the car last year, went to AC guys and they had zero ideas where this came from. Could this be from that dampening material that gets sticky over time? It also has a bit of chemical smell, so maybe that's why I'm getting a strong smell with warm air?
Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Automotive exhaust
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Manage to get the whole blower unit somehow.
Blower unit itself is clean. Brown sludge came somewhere from above it, so I kinda guess it's not ac piping. However, I've checked the heater vent and it looked like this. Any ideas?
Tire Automotive tire Hood Tread Synthetic rubber

Grille Hood Automotive tire Wood Grey

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I try something like a small brush with some cleaning solution to remove that grime if that is a left over bug stain. But that looks pretty bad as such.
Should I replace this part? Would really love to not take apart whole dashboard as getting out the blower by the manual was hell already.
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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Try to clean it first. (No coolant or coolant smell anywhere indicates that it is NOT leaking)

I'd vacuum it with a brush attachment first, then hit it with Brakleen to dissolve any leftover residue.
 

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The limited space have a small vacuum with wedge nozzle and small toothbrush like tool that you don't use for brushing your teeth anymore and reach in there with the vacuum and see if you can dislodge those particles out and vacated out. And then use cleaner solution if those are stubborn stains. The one in the glove box looks pretty nasty like something died in there. That might require vacuum/brush and cleaning solution to remove it out. That's what I would try first before taking removing more parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Try to clean it first. (No coolant or coolant smell anywhere indicates that it is NOT leaking)

I'd vacuum it with a brush attachment first, then hit it with Brakleen to dissolve any leftover residue.
Doesn't seem that this evaporator has any leak signs. If I understood correctly, above it is the heater core, so I'm not sure if leak really would be visible

Also, I dont smell anything similar to coolant. Plus no stains on the carpet or other parts.
Only leakage I saw, was under passenger feet, under the plastic covers. Will take a pic of it. But it's definitely not coolant or ac leakage, as there are no parts on that side.
 

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In cleaning all that crud out, I would try to scrape and save some for later to see if you can diagnose exactly what it is after you have things all cleaned up. It might give you clues as to how it got there in the first place. Does it have a residual and recognizable odor? Is it water soluble? Does it have an odor when you put a drop of hot water on it? Is it oil soluble? etc. Basically break out your amatuer chemical experiment and analysis skills to see if you can figure out what it is.

Maybe somebody spilled something on the dash at one point, and it managed to leak down into the blower and heater core. Say for example someone put an open can of flavored and sugared soda on the dash, and then rolled around a corner at speed and the can rolled and poured out all over the dash. Put a sugary flavored soda on something warm like a heater core, the sugar will burn and form an oxidized odor. Not saying that is your issue, but it is a possibility.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In cleaning all that crud out, I would try to scrape and save some for later to see if you can diagnose exactly what it is after you have things all cleaned up. It might give you clues as to how it got there in the first place. Does it have a residual and recognizable odor? Is it water soluble? Does it have an odor when you put a drop of hot water on it? Is it oil soluble? etc. Basically break out your amatuer chemical experiment and analysis skills to see if you can figure out what it is.

Maybe somebody spilled something on the dash at one point, and it managed to leak down into the blower and heater core. Say for example someone put an open can of flavored and sugared soda on the dash, and then rolled around a corner at speed and the can rolled and poured out all over the dash. Put a sugary flavored soda on something warm like a heater core, the sugar will burn and form an oxidized odor. Not saying that is your issue, but it is a possibility.

Good luck.
I've vaccumed it, so I'm screwed. What the hell is that leak I have zero ideas, but tried to clean all of the spots that were reachable and will use some kind of air desinfecant to minimize the smells. Will see if it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After putting everything back last night, this moening the horrid smell is back. It seems that it is instantly there as I just turn on the blower and dissapears after some time. If engine is warm, it dissapears quicker.
Thinking, that maybe the issue is with all of the dirt that got through the blower.
Welp, next step, odor bomb.
 
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