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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the titel says I have a leak somewhere in the front of my 98 S70 N/A (170,000 miles) on the passenger side. I have read that the sweet smell coming from the vents could be a bad heater core, but would I also be leaking antifreeze from the front of my car? The A/C doesnt blow as hard or stay as cool as it used to before this issue. I can't drive the car with the air on for very far before the low antifreeze light comes on, if I keep the A/C off I can drive a little farther without filling it back up. Any ideas on what the issue may be?

Thanks for all the help!
 

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If you smell coolant, chances are it is leaking into your cabin and you should stop driving it immediately unless you want a big cleanup!

However, the majority of the leak could be the external one. We can't help finding that unfortunately, but it could be from the heater core junction at the firewall.

Sounds like two different problems to be honest.
 

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The heater core grid itself sometimes seeps, creating the smell. Sometimes it's a bad leak, sometimes it just comes out of the vents as vapor. If it's dry inside, it's probably just the core that needs to be replaced sometime in the future. Front passenger side is where the coolant tank is, pop it out and check all of the hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The heater core grid itself sometimes seeps, creating the smell. Sometimes it's a bad leak, sometimes it just comes out of the vents as vapor. If it's dry inside, it's probably just the core that needs to be replaced sometime in the future. Front passenger side is where the coolant tank is, pop it out and check all of the hoses.
Checked all of the hoses from the coolant tank and all seems to be well. The leak gets worse while the A/C is running...Any ideas on that or to help where the issue might be coming from?
 

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Checked all of the hoses from the coolant tank and all seems to be well. The leak gets worse while the A/C is running...Any ideas on that or to help where the issue might be coming from?
When my heater core was bad, I could turn the heat on and vapor came out. But it was leaking pretty badly. Before it got very bad, it smelled like coolant in the car when you ran the AC. You might not notice the moisture in the carpet at first but you will as it gets worse. Luckily, '98s are petty easy to change the heater core in.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When my heater core was bad, I could turn the heat on and vapor came out. But it was leaking pretty badly. Before it got very bad, it smelled like coolant in the car when you ran the AC. You might not notice the moisture in the carpet at first but you will as it gets worse. Luckily, '98s are petty easy to change the heater core in.

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But would a bad heater core cause the leak under the hood?
 

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I'm not going to discount what's been suggested. Just refine your process of elimination. Switching off the A/C does a couple things that are ancillary to the smell. If you are shutting off the fan switch, then you are reducing the air flow into the cabin. If you are shutting off the A/C switch, the high speed radiator fan will shut off eventually, reducing the airflow out of the engine compartment. Either way the smell of a leak in the engine compartment will be reduced. A leak in the heater core smells very strongly like a McGriddle. Having just replaced the reservoir tank and hoses, I suggest looking for a small crack in the tank.
 

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A leak from one of your radiator hoses will cause you to lose coolant and give you coolant smell in the cabin with the heater on ONLY when the dash vents are in the "open" position.
 

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Is the Anti-freeze you are smelling, Smell burnt? I also talked to a Volvo tech about the water pumps in these cars (going to do timing belt). He told me that in Approx 25 years of working on volvos, he has never had a Volvo Water pump fail, or crack for that matter. Check all your hoses.. and see if you can find the source of the leak, It might even be a pin hole, and while under pressure leaks quite profusely.

Also... I wouldn't advise you to drive it... if possible.. that's how engines get damaged...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The smell is kind of sweet so I dont think its burnt! I can see coolant around the passenger side of the radiator. I need to get it up on a jack stand so I can take a better look.
 

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Also check the coolant line that runs across the back of the engine. Theres a small section of hose that connects two metal lines. Mine keeps leaking at that spot...

Yep, sent from my rooted, rommed Galaxy Nexus....
 

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Is the Anti-freeze you are smelling, Smell burnt? I also talked to a Volvo tech about the water pumps in these cars (going to do timing belt). He told me that in Approx 25 years of working on volvos, he has never had a Volvo Water pump fail, or crack for that matter. Check all your hoses.. and see if you can find the source of the leak, It might even be a pin hole, and while under pressure leaks quite profusely.

Also... I wouldn't advise you to drive it... if possible.. that's how engines get damaged...
Mine leaked, in my 1996 855R. Granted, it was the original one, but still....
 

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Also check the coolant line that runs across the back of the engine. Theres a small section of hose that connects two metal lines. Mine keeps leaking at that spot...

Yep, sent from my rooted, rommed Galaxy Nexus....
What type of clamp you got on it? Mine leaked when I had a worm clamp, and I switched to fuel line clamp. Problem fixed.
 
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