Marked URGENT, because I'm on a cross-country road trip, and have one more full day (about 400 miles) of driving ahead of me.
Last night, after about 400 miles of driving (fifth consecutive day), I noticed a strong coolant smell inside the passenger area of the vehicle.
Yes, I was operating the heater (and had run the A/C during the day - currently in TN, fairly warm during day, cold at night).
This morning, I started the car, popped the hood, and inspected everything I could think of (coolant, oil, leaks, temp. Gauge (inside car), sniffed for smell inside and out, checked for pooled coolant anywhere, checked hoses (connections, for holes) that I could easily see (hose inspection wasn't complete or professional. Just the best I could do as a " non car guy", with a fairly surface level inspection).
My MAIN question is: if I watch coolant levels, should the car be safe to drive (the 400 miles today gets me to my destination, where I can address the issue, as needed).
Beyond that, any other suggestions (is it safe to leave for a while? What is the likely cause, etc?)
Heater Core seems to be the main theory, around the web (and opinion seems to be, it's okay to drive, watching coolant).
I have to check out of my motel in just over an hour (Noon, CST, today, 02/28) -- so any answers before then, would be awesome - thanks.)
I should also note: I'm on an ULTRA-tight budget - so please factor that into your answer (if I could just plunk down a credit card to get the car checked out, I would - but don't have that option).
Thanks very much!
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 AT 10:49 AM