Is That Waffle House or My Car? What To Do When Your Car Smells Like Syrup

Drivers occasionally mention that they smell maple syrup when in or around their vehicle. If that is you and you have not been to a breakfast joint in the last day or so, treat the smell seriously.

It could mean a problem with the coolant circulation system in your vehicle.

Why That Matters

Your vehicle's coolant circulation system helps regulate the temperature of your engine. It also plays a role with heating and defrosting your vehicle. If there is a problem and your coolant circulation system is not performing properly, you could end up with major engine damage.

What the Problem Could Be

The chances are good your issue is a pinhole leak in one of the hoses that make up your coolant circulation system. There are many hoses that make up the coolant system and depending on what hose is punctured, the fix can be simple or take a bit of time.

The coolant can smell like maple syrup. Here are some other indicators of a coolant leak:

  • A sticky film develops on your windshield after using your defroster,
  • A wet spot on your carpet,
  • Your vehicle no longer heats as efficiently as it did,
  • You notice the maple syrup smell outside your vehicle, which could mean there is a coolant leak inside the engine compartment.

If you added coolant to your engine's system recently, you should check to see if you spilled any in the engine compartment as that could be the issue.

The Solution

If you notice any of the above symptoms, get your vehicle into the garage as soon as you can. Do not wait until your vehicle starts to show symptoms of overheating.

A mechanic can diagnose the problem quickly in most cases. The repair is also an easy fix that should not cost all that much and is much cheaper than repairing a damaged engine or getting a new vehicle.

If you smell maple syrup in or near your vehicle, have any of the symptoms from that list or know you need a coolant leak repaired, give our auto repair shop a call today!

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