Weird smell in cabin. Heater core? (1 Viewer)

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Apr 27, 2017
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354
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West Coast
99 LX470. Front and rear heater cores replaced by dealer (OEM PARTS) in 2016.

Bought in June 2020 and it's had this "smell" on the inside since I bought it. It smells kinda musty/sweet, but I really don't think it smells like coolant. It smells thick almost. Hard to describe. Is it possible that the heater core housing wasn't cleaned when they put the new one in? If it was all full of coolant and just over time evaporated into a sticky film, would it smell for years? Maybe the carpet is "dry" now but the coolant left a film underneath it? Again, if the smell is actually coolant. I really don't think it smells like coolant.

More just trying to figure out what might be causing the smell. Could it be the evaporator assembly?
  • Smell is strongest after the truck has been sitting in COOL weather. I noticed when I took it to Bend, OR this summer in really hot weather I barely smelled it when I would get in the car.
  • Don't really smell it when driving, either in ambient air or coming out of the vents.
  • Have not seen any misting from the vents.
  • There is a red stain on passenger footwell carpet, but it was there when I bought it and have put 4,500 miles on it since with a paper towel on the spot and it's dry. Under the carpet is dry too. I think the stain might have been from when they pulled the old core out? Maybe?
  • Heater Ts and hoses are all new recently.
  • Since replacing my thermostat heat has been working great.
  • Put a pressure tester on it today and it held at 15 psi for 20 minutes and didn't even budge.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
354
Location
West Coast
Did you find out what the smell was?
I did not. I’m wondering if it might be the evaporator for the AC. I did buy some foaming Evan cleaner but lost it and haven’t had a chance to look for it 🤦🏻‍♂️

I will say that the I think the smell has slightly improved since I sealed up the leaking third brake light. But it might be in my head too.
 

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