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  1. #1

    Default 03 silverado Smells like coolant

    I don't know were the smell is coming from but every time I get out of my truck it smells like coolant and when I'm driving down the road the the display says low coolant level and I have climbed all over under the front end and I don't seem to find any on the sides or bottom of the motor. and the exhaust don't smell like it. if anyone can shed some light on were it is going please let me know I'm getting sick of smelling it.
    Corey M (CoDaChrome™)
    the vehicles I have/had
    1989 GMC 2500 4wd (Sold)
    1989 Palomino hard-side popup
    1990 GMC 2500 pickup 2wd
    1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (Beater) (sold)
    1997 GMC jimmy sle 4wd (Sold)
    1999 Silverado Z71 offroad
    2000 Sunline 30' travel trailer
    2003 Silverado Z71 offroad
    2006 Yamaha wolverine 450 4wd

  2. #2
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Oakland,CA
    Posts
    51

    Default

    CoDa,

    I have the same thing happening with my '04. I get slight coolant spot in the garage from time to time, and since it's in the front center, my guess is a bad water pump. When they go bad, they dribble a little and it's annoying, but a sign that they need to be replaced. But, the coolant smell is hecka annoying, too.

  3. #3
    Master Mechanic
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brandon, FLA
    Posts
    748
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Yes, usually it's either the weep hole for the water pump and as you drive it blows and air drys before you can find it. It then as stated may leave a drip or two on the drive or garage floor. The other is from one of the hoses(Rad or Heater) that has a leak or tear at one of the clamps and also drips to an area that either blows and dries while driving or on the exhaust and it burns it off.
    So check all of you hose connections, make sure they are tight, check the weep hole with a finger if possible or something that can reach it, even a mechanic's mirror with an extension can display under the pump to see if its wet or clean in the area, if so its the pump.....Also, you have it pressurized and it will force the system to let the leak appear, it wil push the coolant out and the pressure will drop on the gauge.

    Jeff
    JMoney02

  4. #4
    Jr. Mechanic
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gettysburg, Pa.
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Also look for wetness at the bottom of the radiator driver side in the chanel that the radiator sits in. The plastic ends on the radiator tend to get hairline cracks where the inlet is. Not at the inlet engine compartment side but at the front grill side ( hot coolant flowing against the grillside wall of the radiator while the radiator is cold is thought to cause this) it never leaks much at all but smells a lot.

  5. #5
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Oakland,CA
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I spoke too soon! I was looking for my coolant leak and I found it at the thermostat. So I bought a new one ($12) and with a quick swap, the coolant leak (and smell) is gone. I would start there, it's the cheapest possible solution.

  6. #6
    Sr. Mechanic sdavis2702's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Fort Sill, Oklahoma
    Posts
    182

    Default

    Did you find where it was coming from? I'm with JMoney02.

    2007 Silverado LS 4x4 1500 | 4.8L Vortec | Crew Cab
    SGT Davis - US Army POW-MIA You are not forgotten...

  7. #7

    Default

    I have not found the leak yet, but i am going to put it up on the hoist at work tomorrow and see if I can find any wet spots from under the truck.
    (I kind of hope I find something.)

    thanks for all the help and I'm going to start changing parts if I don't find it. Until the smell if gone.
    Corey M (CoDaChrome™)
    the vehicles I have/had
    1989 GMC 2500 4wd (Sold)
    1989 Palomino hard-side popup
    1990 GMC 2500 pickup 2wd
    1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (Beater) (sold)
    1997 GMC jimmy sle 4wd (Sold)
    1999 Silverado Z71 offroad
    2000 Sunline 30' travel trailer
    2003 Silverado Z71 offroad
    2006 Yamaha wolverine 450 4wd

  8. #8

    Default

    the smell is coming from outside, not inside, right? If the smell is coming from inside, it's your heater core under your dash
    Rachel
    FL


    '05 Trailblazer LT



    Heartbeat of America!

  9. #9

    Default

    Ya its coming from out side the truck and it smells the most right around the front wheel wells but I figured that was just because there are openings in them from the engine compartment.
    Corey M (CoDaChrome™)
    the vehicles I have/had
    1989 GMC 2500 4wd (Sold)
    1989 Palomino hard-side popup
    1990 GMC 2500 pickup 2wd
    1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (Beater) (sold)
    1997 GMC jimmy sle 4wd (Sold)
    1999 Silverado Z71 offroad
    2000 Sunline 30' travel trailer
    2003 Silverado Z71 offroad
    2006 Yamaha wolverine 450 4wd

  10. #10

    Default

    sounds like you're going to need to pressure test it if you haven't found the leak yet.
    Rachel
    FL


    '05 Trailblazer LT



    Heartbeat of America!

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