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Old 03-14-2017, 03:54 PM   #1
Xath
 
Drives: Camaro 1SS (A8, Black/Black, NPP)
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Expected Engine Odors With New Camaro? Need Advice.

I bought outright a new 2017 1SS Camaro in February. It's an absolutely amazing vehicle in every way.

I'm a retired certified mechanic, however, I'm having some possible issues and I'm honestly not sure if it's to be expected with newer Camaro models or not, despite my experience.

I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people/mechanics and those with experience with Camaros specifically that can hopefully help.

Simple:

1) I'm not remotely overheating, but on-and-off getting strong odors of coolant. It comes and goes for days, but when it's happening it tends to happen for a few days and be relatively strong then disappear.

I've checked all caps, fluid levels, under the car and everywhere in the engine compartment and have seen nothing. Since this is my DD vehicle, and it's been winter weather/dirty roads, is would help to see if there were a leak since much of the compartment (especially lower) is dirty.

I see heavy white smoke in the mornings if it's cold, and light white smoke on warmer days but it stops relatively quickly ... roughly a few minutes after it's warmed up.

I do smell it while driving, when it's occurring.

I thought the smell was only when I was using the heat on colder days, so considered the heater core, but it's been happening this last week when it's been warmer.

2) I also have noticed another odor mixed with it that smells like lightly burning oil (not extremely strong, but noticeable at times, then disappears) and my exhaust (NPP) is definitely covered in a bit more black than I'd like to see.

So, here's the question:

With modern Camaro, is this just all part of the "break-in" of the engine and nothing to worry about?
Or am I leaking coolant somewhere that is not visible and/or is the smell indicative of a possible issue already?


Note: I'm at just under 500 miles, ready for first oil change.

It's running fine, like a complete beast, but it seems a little excessive when I'm noticing these smells ... smells and sounds being something I'm keenly in-tune with regarding cars.

I've a private mechanic I'm going to take it to, as I will NOT go a dealer. I'm too experienced a mechanic, I know better, warranties or not.

I'd just like to know if this is something to be expected with new Camaros and if anyone else has had similar experiences with Gen 5, 6 or 7.

I'm a "hard driver" ("spirited", as they say) but there's no way it could be a gasket unless it's a defect. But if I'm already somehow leaking coolant into the engine/oil from a more serious issue, this is going to be a disaster.

Thanks in advance to anyone who might know more than me regarding new Camaros and be able to help out!

Last edited by Xath; 03-14-2017 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:22 PM   #2
Rock-It Man
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Engine exhaust is largely water vapor, so when it's cold outside, you see white "smoke" that is actually steam.

After the exhaust system warms up, the vapor comes out hot enough that it disperses before condensing, so you don't see it.

I would say that if you have looked everywhere for leaks, including under the car, and don't see anything wet, you're OK. That's IF you are really looking at all hose fittings, and not just checking for drips on the ground. Check the hoses that run coolant to the oil cooler and back again. Check the oil cooler and the radiator.

As you probably know, coolant getting into the engine oil creates a foam that shows up on the oil fill cap.

In general, brand new cars do smell of oil and coolant, in my experience.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:32 PM   #3
Xath
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock-It Man View Post
I would say that if you have looked everywhere for leaks, including under the car, and don't see anything wet, you're OK. That's IF you are really looking at all hose fittings, and not just checking for drips on the ground. Check the hoses that run coolant to the oil cooler and back again. Check the oil cooler and the radiator.

As you probably know, coolant getting into the engine oil creates a foam that shows up on the oil fill cap.

In general, brand new cars do smell of oil and coolant, in my experience.
Appreciate the response.

Absolutely, I've checked everywhere ... hoses included, not just under the car, and am seeing absolutely no leaks. Everything seems fitted strong and no moisture anywhere to be seen. I could be missing it, but I'm not low on coolant, nor have any other symptoms.

Keeping in-mind I cant fully get under the car because I live in a condo complex and don't have ramps.

It's possible that it's a small enough leak that it's burning off too quickly and evaporating, as it doesn't take a large coolant leak to give off a powerful smell. So, the issue is that, in many cases, you wont actually see a puddle on the ground.

I've never driven or worked on a new car that put out the smell quite this strong, however, and I know Camaros have their own issues just like this for some people, so it's better to be safe and ask if anyone else has had the same experience.

I'll check as closely as I can and have my mechanic do give a thorough look, but I'm hoping it's just the "new car breaking-in" period and perhaps just normal for the new gen of Camaros and these engines.

Any other feedback is certainly welcome and appreciated.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:04 PM   #4
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xath View Post
Appreciate the response.

Absolutely, I've checked everywhere ... hoses included, not just under the car, and am seeing absolutely no leaks. Everything seems fitted strong and no moisture anywhere to be seen. I could be missing it, but I'm not low on coolant, nor have any other symptoms.

Keeping in-mind I cant fully get under the car because I live in a condo complex and don't have ramps.

It's possible that it's a small enough leak that it's burning off too quickly and evaporating, as it doesn't take a large coolant leak to give off a powerful smell. So, the issue is that, in many cases, you wont actually see a puddle on the ground.

I've never driven or worked on a new car that put out the smell quite this strong, however, and I know Camaros have their own issues just like this for some people, so it's better to be safe and ask if anyone else has had the same experience.

I'll check as closely as I can and have my mechanic do give a thorough look, but I'm hoping it's just the "new car breaking-in" period and perhaps just normal for the new gen of Camaros and these engines.

Any other feedback is certainly welcome and appreciated.
Without ramps, you can't see the hose fittings for the coolant lines to and from the oil cooler.

Now it's been six years since this was a known problem, but still, it's worth a look. The oil cooler is on the driver's side, and the threaded fittings are tucked up where you have to get the car up on ramps and crawl all the way under. When I had this problem, it resulted in wetness that didn't drip on the ground except after an hours long road trip. It took three years before I noticed it. Yes, I could smell coolant before then, but I wasn't losing enough to make a difference.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock-It Man View Post
Without ramps, you can't see the hose fittings for the coolant lines to and from the oil cooler.

Now it's been six years since this was a known problem, but still, it's worth a look. The oil cooler is on the driver's side, and the threaded fittings are tucked up where you have to get the car up on ramps and crawl all the way under. When I had this problem, it resulted in wetness that didn't drip on the ground except after an hours long road trip. It took three years before I noticed it. Yes, I could smell coolant before then, but I wasn't losing enough to make a difference.
I appreciate the information, thank you.

Even it's been six years since it was a known issue with Camaros, as you've said, still worth a look. Of all the issues with modern Camaros I've looked into, including any possible leaks, I've not seen that one mentioned in that specific place. I'll check it out as soon as possible just in the event, and thanks again for the detailed info.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:21 PM   #7
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I wonder if the faint smell of coolant maybe could be the heater core ? Maybe not leaking any or enough to tell but you would still have the smell. Just a thought on that .
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:11 PM   #8
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I have a 2015 and it's always had a faint coolant smell too when running. Never smell it inside though. It's got 5000 miles on it and I never got a coolant light or other warning. Must be inherent to these things. Dunno?
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