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Foul Smell Resolved?

 
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Old 21 Sep 2011, 09:38 pm
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Default Foul Smell Resolved?

Lately there's been a foul smell coming from my engine. I did a search on this forum and couldn't quite pinpoint how to compare the smell (e.g.: A coolant leak smells sweet like maple syrup). The smell did have a slight sweetness, but more sour or foul. I drive with my windows down to save gas, and it would almost give me a headache. I tried driving with AC on, and it faintly smelled.

I finally had the time to pop the hood to attempt to look for any leak (I'm still a noob at inspecting engines). Basically I just looked for wet spots lol. I spotted battery corrosion on the positive terminal. Did the original method baking soda in water and scrubbing it off with a lint-free cloth, wiped down with a wet cloth, and dried with paper towel. Hadn't had a chance to take it out for a drive yet, since it was my only opportunity between today and tomorrow to wash and wax my Cruiser.

Now as I said, the smell wasn't completely maple syrupy, and I couldn't detect a coolant leak, so it's not that.
Does battery corrosion have a distinct smell?
Does heavy braking have a smell too?

I'm hoping I resolved the problem. I will be driving a good distance tomorrow, but wanted some feedback as to what the problem is. If not, I'll try to see a mechanic. Just wanted to get some "free" answers before having to pay.

P.S. The fat wire (excuse my ghetto terminology) for my sounds are hooked up to the battery which may be the main cause of the corrosion. Is this correct? Will turning down the music prevent this? Or just get an Optima Red-Top battery? I've already drained my battery bone-dry earlier in January, and had it recharged for free at Wal-Mart.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 22 Sep 2011, 07:23 am
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

WELL lets see

Hard breaking will get the pads hot and yes they do ahve a smell but i would NEVER call it a sweet smell kind of like a burnt cluch smell

the battery is gonna corroe no matter what unless you spray some non corosive spray on it after a good cleaning if you did nto take it off and clean the post and the inside of the terminal you really need to then tighten adn either smear some grease on it or like already said get soem spray

Oh turning down the sound is a good hope but NO it wont do anything

if running the air helps it has to be coming from the outside air have you checked you catalotic convertor?? itn will usally smell like eggs

also you could have a heater core leak which is INSIDE the car and will smell sweet
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Old 22 Sep 2011, 01:00 pm
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

Thanks for breaking down some of my guesses.

It definitely didn't smell like eggs, so it's not the cat converter.

Could you give me more detail about the heater core leak, please? The smell was more sour/foul than sweet.
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Old 22 Sep 2011, 01:23 pm
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

well it kind of sounds liek some place you have some trapped water that is getting nasty the heater core on the PT is some place inside the dash and from what i ahve heard is not to bad to get to but i do think you have to take a lot of stuff off

it is inside the car so when it leaks it is usally in the passenger floor board

one more thing to try that is easy and cheap the PT has a place for a cabin air filter btu from the factory none were equiped with a filter so maybe getting a filter and putting that in may help Im nto sure but its worth a try
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Old 22 Sep 2011, 04:31 pm
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Talking Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

Its not very likely that you have enough acid corrosion to be able to smell it, unless you have a ton, or your nose is really close.
Besides, chemically the corrosion is a metal salt or chloride, which takes the addition of water to become an acid again.

Just think of when you poured baking soda water over the terminal......did it produce all that much fumes??? Prolly not much.

Hope that the foul smell isn't a dead animal stuck inside somewhere.

OH! And, don't forget to check your shoes & socks!
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Last edited by soonercruiser; 23 Sep 2011 at 09:11 pm.
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Old 22 Sep 2011, 09:14 pm
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

Lol! Umm, definitely doesn't smell like something died in there, haha.

Thanks cruserdad, after my little road trip today, I did kinda smell it on my first long drive and it does smell like moisture build-up. No smell at all after that.

Is this what you are talking about? A foul & mysterious odor..
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Old 24 Oct 2011, 04:50 pm
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

Alright, I'll admit I've been lazy and haven't checked the above post. But it got me worried when I overtook someone this morning, the smell seemed stronger and I actually smelled rubber for about 10 sec. I know my setup doesn't rub the struts or fenders. I'm off tomorrow, still trying to put off seeing a mechanic as bright as I am *smh* Anything else I should check?
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Old 24 Oct 2011, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

wonder if it's a mass exhaust leak, and he's smelling semi-burnt gas.
That'll make your eye's water, doubt coolant, even in large amounts, would
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Old 25 Oct 2011, 03:22 pm
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownSport View Post
wonder if it's a mass exhaust leak, and he's smelling semi-burnt gas.
That'll make your eye's water, doubt coolant, even in large amounts, would
Thanks! But which exact spots do I check?
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Old 25 Oct 2011, 04:02 pm
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Default Re: Foul Smell Resolved?

Listen-Look-Feel-Smell

EGR tube (It'd be loud)

Other end goes to driver's side of head, round Silvery thing in lower right of pic:

Exhaust manifold bottom (Sheilding might muffle leak somewhat)

Crack in one:

Gaskets
flex pipe or whatever PT uses to isolate engine rock from cat
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