If you notice a sickly sweet smell every time you turn on the air-conditioning, or are sure you notice a gas leak, then you should seek professional help right away.
The sweet smell can be the result of toxic liquid ethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. It just isn’t a good idea to breathe this stuff in and though fatalities are exceptionally rare and are more common when people drink the substance by accident, it can potentially happen. Ethylene glycol oxidises to oxalic acid that attacks the central nervous system and can have an impact on the heart and kidneys.
The smell is the result of a leak in the cooling system and it can come from a variety of sources, from a simple loose pipe to a problem with the heater core, radiator or coolant housing unit.
It’s essential to get the system checked out, especially if you have young children, as an ongoing fault could lead to health complications down the road.
Similarly, if you think you can smell gas when you turn on the car air con then trust your nose and call in an engineer. The gas can come from a number of places again, so it’s wise to get the fuel pressure regulator checked, the injector ‘o’ rings and also the exhaust system.
A minor gas leak is rarely a serious problem, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. A gas leak is unlikely to go away and will only get worse over time, so it’s better to diagnose and fix it as soon as you notice the problem. Besides, while it won’t cause any health problems it’s embarrassing to have to explain the unpleasant smell of gas in the car.
Whatever the case, your first port of call should be Cool Car, car air con specialists with more than 25 years of experience. With an army of mobile technicians all around the country we can come and assess the problem at home or at work. With a wealth of diagnostic kit on board, we can fix most problems and if there is a more advanced engine problem we can advise you of the steps you need to take to ensure that your car is safe and you keep cool.