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Our vehicle is a 2016 75th AE, 3.6L.

If the vehicle is warming up with the autostart and I walk up to it, I can smell a sweet smell that my nose tells me is coolant. I've also been able to occasionally smell the odor through the vents.

I brought it into the dealership and they claim they couldn't replicate the odor, which surprised me as I found it rather strong. They verified that there were no visible leaks in the system, removed the fan to confirm the condition of the radiator and pressure tested the system, which passed.

I have no doubt that all the work they did is true, but I can still catch a whiff of a smell when I'm outside the Jeep. I feel like I'm going crazy but my brain is telling me something is still off. Any ideas on an area to look at? Is this one of those things that it's a simple fix (a loose overflow cap, or a common known issue otherwise)? I'm going to try and figure out if there's a set of conditions that can make the odor stronger for when it goes in for it's next service.

We've seen no ill effects mechanically, but I don't like smelling an odor while I'm driving either.
 

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Keep an eye on the overflow/reservoir to see if it's dropping slowly over days or weeks. If so, then that confirms a leak somewhere. If it's an off and on leak that is noticed at times and not others then one suspicion that I would have would be the radiator where the plastic tanks mate to the aluminum core.
 

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...one suspicion that I would have would be the radiator where the plastic tanks mate to the aluminum core.
Mine failed at the core/tank junction with only 15,000 miles on the odo. I had the same symptoms. The overflow barely changed level. They found it with a pressure test.
 

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Had this on my '15 diesel GK with a lot more miles on it, turned out to be the water pump.

WP seal might just be starting to go and only when cold, like others have said keep on eye on the level in the overflow tank.
 

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Our vehicle is a 2016 75th AE, 3.6L.

If the vehicle is warming up with the autostart and I walk up to it, I can smell a sweet smell that my nose tells me is coolant. I've also been able to occasionally smell the odor through the vents.

I brought it into the dealership and they claim they couldn't replicate the odor, which surprised me as I found it rather strong. They verified that there were no visible leaks in the system, removed the fan to confirm the condition of the radiator and pressure tested the system, which passed.

I have no doubt that all the work they did is true, but I can still catch a whiff of a smell when I'm outside the Jeep. I feel like I'm going crazy but my brain is telling me something is still off. Any ideas on an area to look at? Is this one of those things that it's a simple fix (a loose overflow cap, or a common known issue otherwise)? I'm going to try and figure out if there's a set of conditions that can make the odor stronger for when it goes in for it's next service.

We've seen no ill effects mechanically, but I don't like smelling an odor while I'm driving either.
Hello MikeyMcFly,

We understand why this smell is rather concerning. If you're thinking you'd like to get a second opinion, let me know. I can get this over to a Case Specialist who can assist while you work with the dealership.

Jasmine
Jeep Social Care Specialist
 

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Had the same problem. Dealer replaced the water pump, under warranty, even though I was out of warranty by 6 months. which leads me to believe its a common problem. Im pretty sure mine was caused by the lower radiator hose freezing. I had the car in my shop, heat cranked in shop and jeep running for over 15 min, and the top of the lower radiator hose near the pump was warm, but the other end of the hose near the radiator was ice cold. Radiator cap ice cold, but still had pressure. Thought the frozen hose was the issue all along, thawed it out, cleaned all the coolant puddled up on teh skid plate, engine was bone dry. Drove for 2 days, and had coolant smell and coolant on the skid plate.... took to the dealer. Replaced waterpump. no problems since.
 

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If you're leaking coolant then your coolant level will go down. It may be slow, but eventually you will notice.

Was the vehicle recently serviced? Cause if someone spilled anti-freeze on the engine, that could create the smell for a while.

Finally, someone recommended keeping an eye on the overflow tank, and yes I know the O.M. says to check the coolant level by looking at the overflow tank, BUT, that only works if the system has no leaks.

The overflow tank is for when the coolant heats up and expands, as it expands it will force its way past the pressure cap and into the overflow tank. The pressure cap has a small reverse valve in it, so as the coolant cools off and contracts it forms a vacuum and will suck coolant back in from the overflow tank.

But if you have a leak in the system, it might suck air back in through the leak instead of from the overflow tank. I see it all the time, the overflow tank indicates the system is perfectly serviced. When its cold, I open the pressure cap and look inside and the radiator is bone dry.

Only open the pressure cap when the system is cold, I know guys that had to spend time in the hospital from opening a hot pressure cap and get drenched in boiling fluid.
 
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