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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 11-28-2003, 12:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Whenever I start the car I feel some light but distinct ethyl alcohol-like smell from the A/C vent. It goes away almost immediately. I've never noticed that before - but maybe it's my damn allergies that are letting me breathe just this time of the year

A similar smell appears when somebody else starts my car and I'm by the exhaust.

My coolant is not leaking internally (level is always high). What the heck is it - maybe my O2 sensor is going, and the car burns rich causing this smell?
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Old 11-29-2003, 04:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hmm not sure, probably a quick gust of freeon,
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Old 12-02-2003, 07:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i have the same problem.I beleive its a small pin size leak thats why you dont notice the level change.Also sometimelos water will get in thr box where the blower motor is and you smell that.usually on bmws the heater core usually doesnt leak or blows open.very rare to have a small leak in it.pressure test the coolant system while the heater core is exposed
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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on this subject. you say the heater core rarely leaks. it usually blows. well when I run my heater about 50% of the time it smells like coolant in the car. the windows dont film up though, but still smells sweat like coolant. I was thinking I have a bad heater core, and might have to replace that, but if heater cores dont usually leak in bimmers, what might be my problem??
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Old 12-04-2003, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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always check u never know are u loosing fluid do u have to add fluid to your car they are many parts to the heater system.maybe the control valve is leaking.Get your system pressure checked out if you are reallly woried.
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