Funny smell (coolant?) from heater vents at stop
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Funny smell (coolant?) from heater vents at stop

This is a discussion on Funny smell (coolant?) from heater vents at stop within the Focus RS TroubleShooting forums, part of the Focus RS Garage category; Greetings, folks. Well the multitude of head gasket and other leaks from RSs have me concerned. My RS is a '17 with a VIN ending ...

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Thread: Funny smell (coolant?) from heater vents at stop

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    Funny smell (coolant?) from heater vents at stop

    Greetings, folks.

    Well the multitude of head gasket and other leaks from RSs have me concerned.

    My RS is a '17 with a VIN ending in 8187 and built in 9/16.

    I have been driving harder since I hit the 1000 mark and floored it the first time (not from low revs and not to red line) around 550 miles.

    I have noticed that sometimes when coming to a stop, I can smell something through the heater. Its not clutch, brakes or anything. I'm afraid it may be coolant. The fill level is in the middle and I have looked with a flashlight to see any sign of liquid anywhere and cannot find any.

    I read on some ST forums of a similar symptom that went away over time and was attributed to hoses inside the engine bay.

    PLEASE tell me some of you have experienced this and it is nothing to be concerned about... I want to love this car as much as I loved my ST, which never did anything wrong the 3 years I had it...

    Thanks
    Current: '17 Shadow Black RS , '15 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, '09 F150 FX-4, '12 Fusion 3.0. Past: '14 Focus ST, '05 Lotus Elise, '04 Honda S2000, '04 Nissan Titan, '01 F150 Lightning, '04 Toyota Tacoma, '02 Land Rover Freelander SE2, '84 GMC Sierra S-15, '98 GMC Sierra 1500, '01 F350 7.3 6-spd

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    RS Expert focus pilot's Avatar
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    I used to smell raw fuel sometimes in my ST at stops. I believe the valve cover pcv vent was the cause. check that tube, it goes from the valve cover to the air intake tube. another thing to think about, everytime I am behind a diesel or a poorly running car it seems like their exhaust comes right into my RS
    Keeping it pinned down while all cylinders are -6 is not good practice

    Money comes and goes, RS don't.
    Dude your life is also ticking away.
    Buy th damn car and mod away.

    The ST is an ST that's all it will ever be.

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    RS Member BE3RS's Avatar
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    When you stop and smell that smell get out and look at your exhaust for smoke. Could be oil burning. Have you had it serviced yet? Could be an overfill of oil causing it to go through your pcv back in to your intake.
    Mountune B7 Package, Intercooler, Breather Plate, Lethal Performance Downpipe, Radium PCV Catch Can, Cobb AP,
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    Cars: 2016 FoRS, 2012 Jeep GC Overland Summit, 2005 F-250SD

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    Any chance you just cleaned your windscreen?

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    I've noticed that any time I use the heat in this car, the cabin defaults to outside air.

    I'll be driving along then get an overwhelming smell of exhaust(usually diesel), I'll look at the air circulation control and notice it's on outside air again.

    It doesn't do this with the AC, it stays set on re circulation after I set it. It's a battle of wills when it's using the heat though( it keeps resetting to recirculation every few minutes, ugh).

    Also... When the car is still relatively new, after driving hard for a short burst.... You'll get a strong smell of oils being burnt off of parts of the exhaust, engine, and other parts... It's pretty noticeable for a second or two. It usually goes away after a few bursts, and putting on more mileage. The first time I noticed it was at about 200 miles, I turd in a camaro didn't want to let me merge onto the freeway. I had to drop a gear and hammer the throttle, went from 60 to 80 briskly then smelled the odd smell once I got into a normal pace. It passed in 15 to 20 seconds. Now the car has more miles on her, I don't smell it anymore after speed bursts.

    If you're really concerned, take notice of the coolant level and keep an eye on it.
    2016 Shadow Black RS 2 Thumper

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    Thanks for your replies, folks.

    Since 70 miles ago and I started taking it near red line and getting full boost, the smell has gotten worse. Even if I drive slow it reeks of coolant, though the level seems ok (right in the middle), but I did not remember the level on day 1 so couldn't say for sure if I have lost any. The aroma was so bad in the car that it gave me a headache.

    At any rate, I had someone stand behind me while I revved a little and sure enough, there is coolant smell in the exhaust too... Accompanied with a slightly rough idle, I'm fearing the worst and the car is at Ford now.
    Current: '17 Shadow Black RS , '15 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, '09 F150 FX-4, '12 Fusion 3.0. Past: '14 Focus ST, '05 Lotus Elise, '04 Honda S2000, '04 Nissan Titan, '01 F150 Lightning, '04 Toyota Tacoma, '02 Land Rover Freelander SE2, '84 GMC Sierra S-15, '98 GMC Sierra 1500, '01 F350 7.3 6-spd

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvanRyan View Post
    I've noticed that any time I use the heat in this car, the cabin defaults to outside air.

    I'll be driving along then get an overwhelming smell of exhaust(usually diesel), I'll look at the air circulation control and notice it's on outside air again.

    It doesn't do this with the AC, it stays set on re circulation after I set it. It's a battle of wills when it's using the heat though( it keeps resetting to recirculation every few minutes, ugh).

    Also... When the car is still relatively new, after driving hard for a short burst.... You'll get a strong smell of oils being burnt off of parts of the exhaust, engine, and other parts... It's pretty noticeable for a second or two. It usually goes away after a few bursts, and putting on more mileage. The first time I noticed it was at about 200 miles, I turd in a camaro didn't want to let me merge onto the freeway. I had to drop a gear and hammer the throttle, went from 60 to 80 briskly then smelled the odd smell once I got into a normal pace. It passed in 15 to 20 seconds. Now the car has more miles on her, I don't smell it anymore after speed bursts.

    If you're really concerned, take notice of the coolant level and keep an eye on it.
    Well my coolant level is fine. I took the car in to ford and they dove it around claimed not to smell anything (!) and that the pressure was good etc. I still think what I am smelling is coolant, but if it is, the leak must be very slow as there is no sign of anything.

    I took the cap off of the coolant fill to take a whiff to see if that is indeed what I am smelling and I would say that the smells are very similar. So... I don't know. I guess all I can do is drive it and eventually something bad will happen if there is indeed a leak.....
    Current: '17 Shadow Black RS , '15 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, '09 F150 FX-4, '12 Fusion 3.0. Past: '14 Focus ST, '05 Lotus Elise, '04 Honda S2000, '04 Nissan Titan, '01 F150 Lightning, '04 Toyota Tacoma, '02 Land Rover Freelander SE2, '84 GMC Sierra S-15, '98 GMC Sierra 1500, '01 F350 7.3 6-spd

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    Just curious what you ever found out with this

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    Quote Originally Posted by gift horse View Post
    Any chance you just cleaned your windscreen?
    I've noticed I always get a chemical smell when I was my windscreen. May or may not be your issue though, but worth exploring.

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