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Coolant smell/leak

27905 Views 85 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  Nykolos
Update on my ongoing coolant smell/leak that I've had since around 5000 miles. My Promaster currently has 12,000 miles and is at my dealer for warranty service work including the following:
1. Leaking water onto the engine at the center seam on the cowl. Dealer say this is normal.
2. Driver side mirror glass flutters around above 50 mph. Dealer replaced the whole mirror we will see if it's fixed. Pass side is fine...
3. Coolant smell and or leak, I have a constant coolant smell near the nose and the bottle drops slowly over a month. Dealer says there are no leaks, and no pressure loss in the system.
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2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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i have a 2019 pro master 3500 ext. same problem antifreeze smell from 3 months old. since august 2019 have had the radiator changed 4 times. the leak is coming from the top seams of the radiator thats why no visable leak ever found it leaks from the seams and just evaporates, you get the constant smell but no signs of a leak. this is unbelievable and totally unacceptable!!! i am waiting again to get my truck in to fix again!!!!!
You're having the worst luck. 4 different brand new radiators leaking? Do you have any pictures? I'd like to inspect mine in the same areas just in case. I don't have any coolant smells though, but my reservoir level is always hovering around the low mark.
 

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2018 ProMaster 3500 159" extended Fulltime 4 season van build
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470 Posts
I joined the club of getting my coolant leak fixed on my 2018 with 9k miles on it. From the initial purchase I've always detected the smell of radiator fluid after driving the van but it wasn't until a recent longer range drive that I had a visible loss of coolant by 1/2" in the reservoir. I stopped into a RAM dealership who topped me off and scheduled an appointment to have it pressure tested. The shop in St Louis- Lou Fusz, couldn't find a leak but kept telling me it's normal and not to worry about it but the shop in Orange Park, FL found the leak and replaced the radiator. It was all covered under warranty and took 2 weeks for the part to arrive. They could see a slight discoloration near the seam of the end cap located by the top hose connector on the drivers side. Here's a pic of the old radiator just in case you want to see the layout.
Shadow Aluminium Steel
Mesh Metal Grille Steel Composite material
 

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2021 Promaster 2500, I have less than 12K miles and I'm experiencing the same coolant smell issue, I took into the dealer last week and they just informed me they need to change out the radiator, couldn't tell me where it was coming from, If I had to guess, it's where one of the tanks is crimped onto the core, a slow leak that evaporates before can drip onto the pavement.. Hopefully I'll get a confirmation on that when I pick up the van tomorrow.

No matter how many vehicles come into the dealer for the SAME issue, don't expect them to admit that it's a common problem, they'll treat it as though you're the only one. The way I see it, if 5000 Promasters have the same part from the same manufacturer, 5000 Promasters will experience the same issue, it's jut a matter of time.
 

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In my experience smelling coolant is often a sign of a leaky heater core. These are quite expensive to replace. The worst thing to do is ignore it.
The smell was not coming from the cab at all, it was definitely coming from the exterior, drivers side.. I picked up my Promaster from the dealer 2 days ago, they said it was leaking at the bottom where the tank meets the core, just as I suspected.. They replaced the radiator with a new one, however there was still coolant odor after I picked it up and less the day after, but today I couldn't smell much, whatever residual was there must have burned off.. I plan to monitor the reservoir in the next couple weeks just in case.
 
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