05:02PM | 10/21/05
Member Since: 12/28/04
48 lifetime posts
I have an 03 altima and keep smelling burnt antifreeze after driving it. I check the antifreeze well and it appears to maintain it's level, perhaps a few drops a week... Any ideas???

Jim D

01:37AM | 10/24/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
TSIMKO - hi, I've nursed several old cars along over the years and ran into this at times. I also Google'ed "burnt antifreeze smell" and got about 9200 hits. After reading the first few items, I saw the same fixes I had to make.

First - are you smelling the antifreeze inside the car or outside? If inside, were you running the heater/defroster system? This indicates a heater core leak. Your heater core is likely somehwere behind the dash area or along the firewall on the passenger side of the car (just guessing here). The clue is moist air from teh vents and the windows fogging up. If you're smelling it outside the car, it may be a water pump problem that's about to get big. Your pump's bearings may be starting to go.

Other causes could be an inlet pipe to the radiator, engine block, or thermostat. Also, it could be an O-ring seal. Finally, you may have picked up a small puncture in the radiator from a rock. You may need to do a little more searching to see if you can spot any leakage...if you have a garage, park over the top of some newspapers and see what drips it catches. You may need to drive it up on a ramp and look underneath with a good bright flashlight to spot any dripping onto the block or exhaust system. Also, try to look it over while the engine's running - you may spot a slight bit of steaming if antifreeze is leaking out of a very small hole somewhere after it's gotten good and hot.

I hope this helps some - keep us posted, and good luck! Jim D/West Point, VA


05:30AM | 10/28/05
Member Since: 12/28/04
48 lifetime posts
thanks for reply. The smell is outside the car - all the time. I suspect there is a small leak somewhere but wanted to know it Altimas had problems with their gaskets. Again thanks and take care
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