Smell of coolant in 308 cockpit | FerrariChat

Smell of coolant in 308 cockpit

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Doc, Nov 11, 2003.

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  1. Doc

    Doc Formula Junior

    Sep 13, 2001
    Latham, New York
    Full Name:
    Bill Van Dyne
    A couple of times during my last 2 rides in my '85 308 I got the distinct, but quickly-passing whiff of coolant upon taking very sharp turns. It would only last a couple seconds, then dissipate. I kept alert to this throughout these 2 trips--each one about 110 miles long, but only noticed when navigating very sharp turns. The temp remained fine, the coolant level is OK, and I don't see any signs of leaks anywhere--inside the car or out. Is this a prodromal symptom of something ? Could it be the heater core ? If so, is this located inside the cockpit or just on the other side of the front firewall?
  2. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    Austin TX!
    Full Name:
    Mike Z
    I bought my 84QV a few months ago, and I experience the same sort of thing, however, it seems to be random.
    It was at LFSC for another issue, they gave it the once over, did not find anything wrong.
    I'd love it if we could get to the bottom of it.
  3. Mule

    Mule F1 Rookie
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 25, 2003
    Full Name:
    Could it be on those sharp turns, that some coolant escapes from the small coolant tank near the left side of the engine? Either through the overflow hose or the cap itself? Seems if there is enough load laterally, then the coolant would be forced to one side of the tank and possibly overflow.

    When the engine is hot, more coolant will be in the tank and closer to the top
  4. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 F1 Rookie

    Oct 16, 2001
    La mamma dei fessi
    Full Name:
    e sempre incinta
    Doc, after a long run, open the bleeder valve on the rad and let out the air. You'll be amazed at how much air gets into the system, especially after a long or hard drive.
  5. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    It could be a leak in your heater core.
  6. MarkG

    MarkG Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Colorado Springs
    Full Name:
    Buy some floresent dye used to detect water leaks from the local parts store, along with a black light. After a good drive, with water reaching opoerating temp, park in very dark place a turn on the black light.

    You will see every leak, drip and pin-prick size dropplet in beautiful bright green!!
  7. jwise

    jwise Formula Junior

    Apr 2, 2003
    Portland Maine
    If you were running the heat during these runs (I bet you were) there could be a small leak where the hoses are clamped to the diverter (?)valves under the fiberglass cover that surrounds the spare tire. It's easy to remove that cover (a few screws, and the rubber seal) and check the connections. I had mine off a few weeks ago and there was evidence of dried coolant at the hose clamps so I tightened them and cleaned it up. Either way, it's good to have that cover off and check on all the cables, hoses, electrical stuff under there. While you are there, go ahead and lubricate all those moving parts associated with the heat.
    Also, make sure none of the hoses (coolant, vacumn, etc.) are rubbing anything and wearing through.
  8. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    Frank is correct. That's what it is.
  9. Drew Altemara

    Drew Altemara Formula 3

    Feb 11, 2002
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Full Name:
    Drew Altemara
    Heater core or heater valve that lets the water enter the exchanger. Had this happen on a 246GT and it was the valve. But both are possibilities.
  10. Doc

    Doc Formula Junior

    Sep 13, 2001
    Latham, New York
    Full Name:
    Bill Van Dyne
    Where is the heater core located--inside the cockpit or on the outer side of the wall? Is it accessible for a good visual inspection?

    Thanks for the input so far, guys!
  11. Drew Altemara

    Drew Altemara Formula 3

    Feb 11, 2002
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Full Name:
    Drew Altemara
    It's been a while but I think I can point you in the right direction.

    The heater cores are located in the front trunk area. There are two of them. One for the left side and one for the right side. Strarting from the front, either side, are the fans, then some duct work leading to the heater cores. The are square boxes roughly 6"X6"x6". To access them you either have to remove the wheel, then the fender shrouding or there is an access plate under the car. Can't quite remember how to get to them.

    The valve that diverts water to the cores (and there is only one) is located in the front trunk compartment behind some felt covered fiberglass that hides the wipers, etc. It is fairly easy to remove. Just some screws.

    I would start there and make sure the valve is not leaking.

    If OK, I would move on to the heater cores.
  12. Tod328gts

    Tod328gts Formula Junior

    Jul 23, 2003
    River Forest, IL
    Full Name:
    Tod Whitmore
    I had this same problem a couple of months ago.. I would come to a stop and smell coolant. I could never find any of it leaking on the ground or in the car. After a month of driving like that, it got worse. I had pulled the car into my garage and noticed steam coming from the rear engine area. I shut the car off and popped the trunk. I noticed it was comming from the water pump and dripping on the exhaust manifold.

    I took it in and it was the water pump. Got it fixed and that solved the problem. So, it could be anything, even a leaky hose dripping on the exhaust manifold very slightly...

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