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Coolant smell no leak

2322 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  pbethel
Hi everyone. I was hoping I could get some advice on what to do. I have a 2016 t250 ecoboost. I started noticing a sweet burning smell a few weeks back. When I popped the hood i noticed the coolant reservoir was low. I topped it off and brought it to the mechanic. He pressure tested it and couldn’t find anything leaking. Any ideas what I should do? Clearly something is wrong and I don’t want to breakdown with my kids in the car. I have ran the car until it smells and I tried to find the leak with no success. I ran my hand under the reservoir and I see no signs of leaking there. The smell is most noticeable on the drivers side of the engine and also in the driver wheel well. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
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FWIW this is where the reservoir was leaking on my 2015, and it only happened on an extended highway trip.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Fender Automotive exterior
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Thanks. I rechecked the reservoir and all fittings and hose near it. Nothing is wet and no signs of dried up antifreeze. Is it possible that I have a bad cap on the reservoir? The old cap broke when I tried to remove it so I replaced it. Is it possible my new cap is faulty and causing the smell?
I had a leak in the coolant reservoir in the the exact same location that's pictured above. In addition I also had a small leak in the coolant 1/4" black plastic coolant line that runs along the top of the radiator. It's supposed to be a soft pliable plastic material but mine was had a brittle and basically crumbled when I removed it.
I had the same issue. I kept smelling coolant but the dealer, my mechanic neighbor and myself could not find a leak at all. Turns out the leak was on the junction of the hose that goes back to the rear interior heat in the engine compartment ( I have a 2015 3.7L). It was only leaking when the coolant was fully warmed up and under high RPM. It finally cracked and broke and that's how we found where the leak was. Apparently it was leaking for a while as he said there was quite a buildup around the plastic T connector.

Unfortunately, it's only available as a entire hose replacement and it is a very time consuming job. I think it was 3 hours of labor.
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Thank you, I will try to get underneath tomorrow and look in that area
This guy has some ideas about the cooling system on Ford Transits FWIW.

Ford Transit coolant leak #1 coolant reservoir bottle

Check your turbos.
Ford Ecoboost Engines Can be so Hit or Miss:

I would smell coolant on occasion and was losing a small amount of coolant (2015 ecoboost). Dealer tested and couldn’t find a leak.

I finally realized that my auxiliary cooling fan does not come on like it should unless the A/C is on.

My water temperature would go as high as 210-215 degrees with no fan running. With fan running would be around 195 degrees. Of course the temperature gauge would never budge.

Never did discover where coolant was leaking.

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Small coolant leaks are the worse. It seems the smallest amount of coolant presents an apparent smell. Try coolant dye and a UV light. Amazon has some inexpensive options.
Thank you everyone for all of the info. That first video was a little troubling. I may have reconsidered buying a transit if I watch that a year ago lol. I ordered some dye and a uv light. Hopefully this will pinpoint the problem.
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Here is one more video, hope it this one vs the turbo leaking.

Ford Transit coolant leak short

That first video has been discredited more then once on this forum, for some reason people keep posting it.
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Transit coolant woes

I suspect the first video was posted by a Sprinter sales guy
Why would you condemn all Transits for one abused and neglected example.
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