Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed with the cool weather, starting the the car, turning on the heat, I get a very faint smell of coolant, that disappears in a few minutes.

No noticeable loss of coolant in the reservoir yet.

Is this a sign a small leak in the heater core , valve or one seals?

Any tips for trouble shooting. My first thought was start removing the interior side panels and look for any sign of a leak. The interior carpet feels dry to the touch.

How much fun is it to replace the core on a 2008 Outback ?
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
6,120 Posts
Is this a sign a small leak in the heater core , valve or one seals?
Let's work on localizing the odor of coolant first. Is the smell noticeable on startup either in the engine compartment or near the back of the car through the exhaust, with the doors closed? Or is it only on the inside with the doors closed that you notice it?
 

·
Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Let's work on localizing the odor of coolant first. Is the smell noticeable on startup either in the engine compartment or near the back of the car through the exhaust, with the doors closed? Or is it only on the inside with the doors closed that you notice it?

Yesterday morning, I started the car. No smell of coolant anywhere, inside, under the hood, or exhaust.

Could a radiator with a poor seal cause a smell inside the car? Its the easiest item to try.
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
6,120 Posts
My motivation for the question:

The HVAC system might not be involved, but could still draw in outside air and odors, whatever the source.

Or HVAC can be the problem, and distribute odors entirely within the car.

But it's not as likely that it would be the source and you would smell odors outside at startup, as long as the doors and windows are closed.
 

·
Registered
2015 3.6 Premium
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Check your front floor carpet to see if it is wet/damp. If it is the heater core they have a bad habit of dumping coolant inside your dash which then soaks the carpet.
 

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,619 Posts
you might check if the overflow hose is sealing well on the nipple at the radiator's neck.

always check coolant level in the radiator when any coolant-related problem is at hand - don't trust only the overflow bottle's level.
 

·
Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
you might check if the overflow hose is sealing well on the nipple at the radiator's neck.

always check coolant level in the radiator when any coolant-related problem is at hand - don't trust only the overflow bottle's level.

its good PM to use small hose clamps on the overflow hose?
 

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,619 Posts
its good PM to use small hose clamps on the overflow hose?
I did on my cars - the WRX was seeping coolant on it's hose connection. The Outback's hose was stiff and I could easily spin it. That seal also has to be airtight or the system will pull in air instead of coolant. There isn't a huge amount of pressure there, but if the hose loses it's 'compliance'?/'pliability'?, it may not seal well.
 

·
Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
There's no sign of coolant on the front carpets. Thats the first place I checked.

The over flow hose is hard. It doesnt have a good seal to the over flow reservoir (compared to my 09 Forester) . Is the formed hose a dealer part or can I buy a foot of generic hose at NAPA and form it?
 

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,619 Posts
not sure about OEM being formed ,but, if the hose is otherwise OK, just put 2 small zip-ties , offset from each other, on the hose at the nipple to act as a clamp. Some of us with older cars have also pulled our overflow bottle, cleaned them out (shake some ice cubes around inside it) and also cut the bottom of the o'flow tube at 45* angle - just extra caution against it sucking-down to the bottom or onto some debris.



but if it's cracked, or is in danger of cracking, maybe replacement is a good idea. mine are still original , 03 Outback and 06 WRX

new rad cap might be a good idea.
 

·
Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
On the 08 the over flow tank has a hole the hose fits in, so tyrap would do. The hard hose doesn’t proved a seal.
 

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,619 Posts
?

just to be clear, I put zipties on the hose at the RADIATOR'S neck's nipple. Both my soobs have the hose going thru a hole in the overflow tank's top.

it may not even be related to your problem, just something I found on my cars, easy and cheap insurance kinda thing.
 

·
Registered
2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Follow up. A year ago i had replaced the upper radiator hose with a hose from NAPA, the original hose looked like it was deforming too much when the engine cooled. I found slight weepage around the engine side of the hose. I replaced with an OEM from the dealer. After a month, smell is completely gone.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top