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  1. #1
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    Any auto mechanics out there?

    I'm driving a '99 Toyota RAV4, handed down from the wife, 120,000 miles on it. Honestly it's been a gem to this point -- nothing but oil, brakes and tires. A couple weeks ago I parked it outside for a couple hours at night and was surprised when I came back that my car was the only one in the parking lot with ice on the windows. I was even more surprised to find the ice was on the INSIDE. A few days later I noticed a foul odor -- almost like rotten milk. I searched Google and it seems these are classic signs of heater core failure. Anyone agree, disagree, or have any other suggestions? If it is the heater core, probably not worth fixing due to the car's age, is it? Is there anything I can do about the smell if I want to keep driving it till it dies? Thanks.



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    Re: Any auto mechanics out there?

    A lot of times when a heater core fails it will leak coolant into the venting system and it will actually cause a sweet smell, as antifreeze has a sweet taste/smell. It will also fog up the insides of the windows.

    I'm thinking your issue may be something like a rodent getting into the ventilation system, and possibly got caught up in one of the doors that regulates airflow and died there. If the door which allows fresh air inside the vehicle is stuck open, it can cause frost to form on the insides of the windows. Likewise, if a rodent is stuck there and decaying....well, that would cause the nasty odor.



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    Re: Any auto mechanics out there?

    I agree the heater core would be a sweet smell.



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    Re: Any auto mechanics out there?

    Water either leaked in through the floor board somewhere, or a window was left down, or it leaked in through the firewall. If you check I bet you have wet carpet or a wet trunk. The leak will be hard to find. I still haven't found it in my wife's car. Her car leaks when parked pointing up hill. It smells like rotten milk. I have a heated garage so we just roll the windows down every night and eventually it dries out.

    Another possibility is that you tracked a bunch of ice and snow in your car and it melted and now the carpet is very wet.



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    Re: Any auto mechanics out there?

    I just had to get my heater core flushed I have an 01 Taurus that the wife drives. I drove it last winter and it had a problem with the inside frosting but no smells. The heater finally just quit working and that is why we got it fixed. It cost about 100 bucks to get it taken care of. Were going to get something new in the spring but the 100 bucks was worth it because the heater works better now than the 5 years that I drove it.



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    Re: Any auto mechanics out there?

    Its water in your carpet, Heater core I would say no, simple test, turn the heater on in the car, if it blows heat, its a safe bet it is still good. With the snow outside, I would seriously guess its water in the carpet. Buy floor mats and clomp your feet befre you get it. Getting the smell out I sugest Febreze and get a shop vac and see what you can suck up...park it in the garage and let it air out for about 24hrs



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    Re: Any auto mechanics out there?

    Another way to get moisture out of your car is to start the car, crank the heater, and crack the windows. The heat turns the ice to water to vapor, and having the windows cracked allows the moisture to escape. rolling the windows down in a garage with a fan inside the vehicle also works.


    Walking on water is easy. Just do it in December when it's frozen.

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