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Heater Core Problems

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I notice a sweet smell coming from the vents when either the heat or the ac is on, and I get headaches and become dizzy if I smell it too long. From what I gather this is most likely radiator fluid that I am smelling, so I can only assume that there is a leak in my heater core. I wonder if I could have damaged it when I was installing my new stereo deck? Either way, I will most likely have to have it replaced since the only way I can keep my car defogged is with the windows down (and that means being uncomfortably cold!).

What I want to know is how much should this cost me, would it be possible to do it myself, and is there anything I should inspect before taking it in?

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228 Posts
(sounds like) heater core problems


you could have a really dirty pollen filter, but I doubt very much that would cause a "sweet smell" in the cabin. Usually the sweet smell is anti- freeze. I haven't done enough poking around to see where the heater hoses run, but the heater core itself is pretty well protected inside the housing.

Is the carpet or pad wet? Pop the cabin filter cover off, pull the filter out and see if there is anti-freeze in the bottom of the housing.

Good luck with it!
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