1998 Town Car with antifreeze smell in the car and now leaks on the catalytic converter

kingoftoys

Junior Member
51
9
8
Spokane, Wa.
I thought I had an antifreeze smell in the car several weeks ago and tried some Bar's Leaks radiator and heater core stop leak. Seemed to stop the smell. Coolant level did not go down. Now I get a strong smell in the car. Steam seems to come out of the defroster vent and the vents when put on outside air. I assume this confirms a bad heater core, but what about the leak that burns off the cat. The intake manifold has been updated and I can't see anything leaking. Can a bad heater core do this? Should I try one more can of stop leak as it states to try a second time if needed. Can not find any reason for the leak on the cat. Any help would be great.
 

mkfrd

Member
32
7
8
I thought I had an antifreeze smell in the car several weeks ago and tried some Bar's Leaks radiator and heater core stop leak. Seemed to stop the smell. Coolant level did not go down. Now I get a strong smell in the car. Steam seems to come out of the defroster vent and the vents when put on outside air. I assume this confirms a bad heater core, but what about the leak that burns off the cat. The intake manifold has been updated and I can't see anything leaking. Can a bad heater core do this? Should I try one more can of stop leak as it states to try a second time if needed. Can not find any reason for the leak on the cat. Any help would be great.

If your getting steamed up windows and smell inside the car, pretty good chance the heater core is leaking.
 

kingoftoys

Junior Member
51
9
8
Spokane, Wa.
I notice a more severe leak under the car that drips on the back cat on the passenger side. Once the car is warm, the coolant burns off the cat. I can not see any water on the passenger side carpet, but I have not pulled it back. Because of the severity of the leak, I will not try anymore stop leak. Seemed to help for a couple weeks. Must be a fairly large leak. Next step will be to bypass the heater core for now as pulling the dash will have to wait. Is it common for the heater core to fail so severely to leak on the ground? Thank you for the replies.
______________________________
 

wihr

New member
24
8
3
Problem Description
The 1996-2011 Lincoln Town Car 4.6L V8 engine is known for displaying the normal symptoms of a coolant leak, including overheating, especially when the vehicle is idling, the strong smell of coolant from the engine, and illumination of the low engine coolant warning light.
This leak is difficult to locate as it is buried underneath the intake manifold, and only begins to leak coolant onto the ground in advanced stages of disrepair. This leak springs from the heater tube, which allows coolant to flow between the water pump and HVAC heater core.
When the connection for this tube begins to leak, the coolant burns on the hot engine, and produces a sweet smell that is unmistakably engine coolant.
The remedy can be complicated, and will necessitate removal of the intake manifold, heater tube, and possibly the water pump. After removal of these items, the connector may be replaced, or a set of o-rings, depending on the year of the vehicle. Most vehicles, model 2002 and later, will have o-rings, and the water pump will not need to be removed.
(29 people reported this problem)
RepairPal Fair Price Estimate
$164 - $192
 

kingoftoys

Junior Member
51
9
8
Spokane, Wa.
I just finished bypassing the heater core. I chose to remove the heater hoses at the heater core and connect the ends. I used a 90 degree fitting and it worked fine. I did not want to cut the old heater hoses. When the heater core is replaced, I will also replace the two heater hoses. I knew about the possibility of the coolant line under the intake manifold failing, but it was not my issue.
 

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