Coolant smell from heater after timing belt install
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This is a discussion on Coolant smell from heater after timing belt install within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I just had my timing belt replaced and noticed when I use the heater I get a coolant smell for ...

  1. #1
    Registered User wasisnt's Avatar
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    Coolant smell from heater after timing belt install

    I just had my timing belt replaced and noticed when I use the heater I get a coolant smell for the first few minutes then it seems to go away. Ive only used it twice since having the timing belt replaced about 3 weeks ago. Is that normal?

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Did they replace the water pump also or do any other kind of cooling system work? How many miles are on the vehicle? What model/year vehicle? Do you notice your coolant level getting lower?

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    Registered User wasisnt's Avatar
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    They didn't replace the water pump but did the cam seals and thermostat etc. 114k on a 2003 WRX. I haven't looked at the coolant level yet since I didn't think anything of it until this morning when I drove to work and turned on the heater.

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    Registered User wasisnt's Avatar
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    I also noticed a faint coolant smell from the outside after I got back from work. It didn't last long though. I checked the coolant bottle and its at the right level.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasisnt View Post
    I also noticed a faint coolant smell from the outside after I got back from work. It didn't last long though. I checked the coolant bottle and its at the right level.
    If you just had the work performed I would bring it back in and have them check it out, perhaps they just forgot to clean off some excess coolant...Did they replace the thermostat as a "maintenance" item or was there another problem they where chasing?

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    Registered User wasisnt's Avatar
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    They said replacing the thermostat was standard when doing a timing belt.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasisnt View Post
    They said replacing the thermostat was standard when doing a timing belt.

    Hmm, I have done dozens of Subaru timing belts, and unless customer request or another problem that might involve the thermostat is present I have never changed one with a timing belt change...They are easily accessible from under the vehicle...Anyways as I said I would bring it back to them...

  9. #8
    Registered User wasisnt's Avatar
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    Yeah I might have to do that. I'm bringing it in to my local non dealer mechanic on Friday for a 24 point inspection before I take it on my road trip at the end of the month. Ill have them take a look at it first and then if something is wrong Ill go back to the dealer. I don't want to go on a 1200 mile trip to CA in July with a cooling issue!

  10. #9
    The Default One SeattleJeremy's Avatar
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    I thought replacing the Water Pump and Thermostat was included in the Timing belt service?

  11. #10
    Registered User wasisnt's Avatar
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    I thought the water pump was part of it too but the dealer said it wasn't and that its rare for one to go bad on these cars. Maybe he doesn't know what he is talking about too.

  12. #11
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy96gase View Post
    I thought replacing the Water Pump and Thermostat was included in the Timing belt service?
    It might be at other dealerships however the way we look at it is...How many problems do we see with subaru water pumps? I personally have never seen one out of the thousands of subarus I have worked on...Its not like the old town and countrys or whatever with the plastic impeller that snapped off time and time again...

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    For what it's worth my water pump was replaced under warranty. However I neither know nor care if it really needed replacement vs. the dealer needed something to charge SOA.
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  14. #13
    The Default One SeattleJeremy's Avatar
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    Ok, that's good to know

    I heart plastic impellers

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