high heat weather I Noticed a smell near the hood seam


Asked by Jul 27, 2016 at 08:46 AM about the 2003 Buick LeSabre Custom

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

its 94 degrees outside and I take a ride then when I park the 2003 Buick
lesabre v6 3800 custom , I shut it off in my driveway, then as I walked past
the car I notice a rubber type high heat smell through the seam in the hood
its like a combination of heater or radiator hose and belt rubber smell yet
when I open the hood no leaks no extreamly hot belt and the hoses just feel
normal hot the car runs fine ,no noises oil is high on the mark not low on
antifreeze nothing , I just got this car in the early spring and never noticed it
unlil now mid Summer high heat weather .
is this normal?

1 Answer


Keep an eye on your temp gauge and see if it climbs above normal. The smell you describe is typical of overheating. If it is getting too hot, replace radiator cap and thermostat as those are both cheap to do. I like to confirm a part is defective so you can test the thermostat by placing it in a pot of boiling water, it should open around 195 degrees. Radiator caps should be replaced every couple years anyhow, if they become defective the engine can't pull in additional coolant from the reservoir when it gets low. You don't mention if the radiator fans work or not, or whether you have run the AC. You can check those by turning on the AC, the fans should come on. If the fans do not work, and no AC, check the fan relays. If the fans do work but do not come on when the engine is running hot, you may have a bad coolant temp sensor. Keep in mind it's a hot summer, everyone's car is running hotter than usual, and you have an older car. The radiator itself has likely lost some efficiency. If you do replace the thermostat, do it in conjunction with a coolant flush. If the car continues to overheat, you'll have to have it inspected for a potential bad water pump or even head gaskets.

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