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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else have an antifreeze odor especially after a drive on the freeway? My 2018 GLC43 has 18,000 miles and I just now noticed the smell. Can smell it mildly inside the car. Much stronger under the hood.

Being concerned I took into dealership who said this is normal and due to the plastic composite components. They said it might go away. They did do a press test and found no leaks.

I have never heard of any car with a normal antifreeze smell. Anyone else??
 

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I'm having same issue with my 2017 glc coupe. Never notice until recent oil change at dealer... they pretend to not smell anything..36k miles
 

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I have smelled it also on occasion. I opened the hood and saw some dried antifreeze residue on the outside of the coolant tank. I took off the cap and retightened it but I feel like it was already tight to begin with. Not sure why some leaked out. It happened to me on my 2016 X3 and it had the same type of round coolant tank.
 

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I also have noticed this coolant smell after pulling into my garage and walking round the front of the car , I have kept a check on the coolant level and it does seem to go down a little but I can't find any signs of seepage so I thought I would mention it at the next service . There is a seperate reservoir under the engine cover I assume for the water cooled intercooler , quite how that works I don't know . I tried to look for the spark plugs the other day think ing that might be a DIY job but I couldn't even find them , that engine is seriously complicated which is probably why it's so powerful.
 

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I also have noticed this coolant smell after pulling into my garage and walking round the front of the car , I have kept a check on the coolant level and it does seem to go down a little but I can't find any signs of seepage so I thought I would mention it at the next service . There is a seperate reservoir under the engine cover I assume for the water cooled intercooler , quite how that works I don't know . I tried to look for the spark plugs the other day think ing that might be a DIY job but I couldn't even find them , that engine is seriously complicated which is probably why it's so powerful.
I have a 2018 GLS450 with 15k miles on it. It smelled like antifreeze from day 1. The first time I took it to the dealer about the smell they "checked it" via a pressure test and said they found no leaks. They topped off the antifreeze in small plastic reservoir that sits under the plastic engine cover. They said " because the reservoir is plastic AND it's located right on top of the hot engine, the coolant will evaporate through the plastic tank over time and it will need to be topped off once in a while". Hummm. This seems odd. The next time I changed the oil (I do it myself), I found the lower radiator hose had a leak where it connected to a plastic adapter that feeds the heater core or something. I brought it back to the dealer a 2nd time for some other warranty work and showed them a picture of the leak they missed the first time. The dealer replaced the hose and clamps and topped off the coolant and said it was all set. I brought it home and it continued to smell like antifreeze so I rinsed down the lower engine/radiator area thinking there was most likely some old antifreeze remaining in that area from spillage when they changed the hose/clamp. I ran the car another month but it still smelled like antifreeze when the car was pulled into the garage. The dealer insists the coolant light coming on every few months is normal. Since I paid 85k for the car, and it's paid in full, I'm really uncomfortable with that answer. I keep my cars for 10 years or so and the last thing I need is a major repair after the 5yr warranty is up. It's a nice car and it's baby'd by my wife so I don't expect any issues. I called MB CS today and logged a complaint since the dealer hasn't been able to solve the issue. I'm hoping a call from corporate might light a fire under the dealer to investigate the problem in more depth. I should have just bought another Pilot or Camry. I have 160K on my 10-year-old Toyota and I've never had one problem. I guess quality is too much to expect from MB?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a 2018 GLS450 with 15k miles on it. It smelled like antifreeze from day 1. The first time I took it to the dealer about the smell they "checked it" via a pressure test and said they found no leaks. They topped off the antifreeze in small plastic reservoir that sits under the plastic engine cover. They said " because the reservoir is plastic AND it's located right on top of the hot engine, the coolant will evaporate through the plastic tank over time and it will need to be topped off once in a while". Hummm. This seems odd. The next time I changed the oil (I do it myself), I found the lower radiator hose had a leak where it connected to a plastic adapter that feeds the heater core or something. I brought it back to the dealer a 2nd time for some other warranty work and showed them a picture of the leak they missed the first time. The dealer replaced the hose and clamps and topped off the coolant and said it was all set. I brought it home and it continued to smell like antifreeze so I rinsed down the lower engine/radiator area thinking there was most likely some old antifreeze remaining in that area from spillage when they changed the hose/clamp. I ran the car another month but it still smelled like antifreeze when the car was pulled into the garage. The dealer insists the coolant light coming on every few months is normal. Since I paid 85k for the car, and it's paid in full, I'm really uncomfortable with that answer. I keep my cars for 10 years or so and the last thing I need is a major repair after the 5yr warranty is up. It's a nice car and it's baby'd by my wife so I don't expect any issues. I called MB CS today and logged a complaint since the dealer hasn't been able to solve the issue. I'm hoping a call from corporate might light a fire under the dealer to investigate the problem in more depth. I should have just bought another Pilot or Camry. I have 160K on my 10-year-old Toyota and I've never had one problem. I guess quality is too much to expect from MB?
Thank you for the detailed response. I too feel like the smell of antifreeze should not be normal in a $80k vehicle (or any vehicle). I baby mine as well, garaged day and night. Due to covid I have only used two tanks of gas in the past year so don’t pay as much attention to it. Now I will take a closer look at the hoses you mentioned. It has to be coming from somewhere!

I had a similar issue with squeaky brakes. Dealer said it was normal. After a little persuasion they did install new rear pads under warranty. I should not have had to argue about squeaky brakes on this expensive car. Really - they said squeaky brakes normal. I said why don’t you advertise that feature on TV?
 

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Does anyone else have an antifreeze odor especially after a drive on the freeway? My 2018 GLC43 has 18,000 miles and I just now noticed the smell. Can smell it mildly inside the car. Much stronger under the hood.

Being concerned I took into dealership who said this is normal and due to the plastic composite components. They said it might go away. They did do a press test and found no leaks.

I have never heard of any car with a normal antifreeze smell. Anyone else??
Same here i had a similar smell in my GL450. We traded that in for my wife’s GLC and the smell is strong. The dealership recognized the smell as well. But cant find where its coming from and has said since they cant find it you have to pick the car up.
 
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