Coolant smell in Xantia cabin - Billy Whizz
Is my heater matrix on the way out??? Again?

The moment I move the heater temperature control away from the cold setting there is that unmistakable sickly sweet smell of wet dog - i.e. hot coolant - in the cabin. Somewhere there must be a leak. There is no smell under the bonnet. Oddly the coolant level hardly goes down in the radiator expansion tank. Perhaps a cup every month.

I have just now put in a container of Forte Radiator Stop Leak (as recommended on here) and I will have to see if this helps.

The car is a 1995 Xantia petrol auto with 130,000 miles and otherwise a fine car. I will check the records but I think the matrix has already been replaced some years ago. Surely it should not go twice?

Where do I go from here if the Stop leak does not work? Is there anything I can do that does not require dismantling the dash? If it fails should I repair it?
Coolant smell in Xantia cabin - Mondaywoe
My sister has a 1995 Xantia and she mentions this smell to me every now and again, but it's been ongoing for quite some time and no signs of leakage into car or significant drop in coolant level. Her car has never had a replacement matrix.

Perhaps it's just a peculiarity of Xantias - maybe the air intake is pulling in a coolant smell from under the bonnet. Have you check in the engine dept for minor leaks?

I had a Xantia for 9 years - never any probs with matrix. I did, however, flush out system and replace with fresh Bluecol every 3 years or so.

Coolant smell in Xantia cabin - Billy Whizz
Hi Graeme,
your reply is somewhat reassuring. The smell has been noticable the last couple of months, over the summer but of course the heater has not been used much. However, I do find the smell rather overpowering so am dreading the inevitable onset of colder weather.

Is there any access to hose clips (that may be loose) or hoses without stripping the whole dash?
Coolant smell in Xantia cabin - Mondaywoe
Sorry, haven't been behind the dash in the Xantia. Another possibility might be airlocks in the system causing excess pressure at some points. Changing coolant on Xantia needs a temporary 'header tank' on the rad filler (old plastic bottle or suchlike that's a tight fit with end cut off) - open bleed valved - start to fill and keep going until if come out at lowest bleed point - close it - then wait for same at top bleed point. Keep level of coolant in temporary header wella bove highest point of cooling system. As I recall you also have to run the car until the system heats and fan cuts in (takes a while) Finally take off tank and adjust level. This should ensure no airlocks. The procedure is given step by step in Haynes.

Try the Xantia forum on Yahoo groups - lost of really knowledgeable folks there!

Coolant smell in Xantia cabin - piston power
a very simple pressure test will find the leak if my memory serves me right pump it up to 13psi and check for leaks, ie hose clips, perished hoses, even worn alumnium housings, and your heater matrix, to loose a cup every month is a slight leak hope its just a clip? good luck.
Coolant smell in Xantia cabin - RichardW
The Xantia matrix is a pile of rubbish. Yes it's entirely possible it's failed again - in fact I would say that's most likely. There's nothing you can do to tighten clips etc - it's all well hidden in the dash. £30 for a new matrix, and 10 hours or so to change it. Or, as you have done, add the Forte sealer and forget about it. My first Xantia TD had a smelly matrix (oddly it smelt a bit of curry!) for about 30k before the water started dripping out of the dash. The current car went from no sign to wet dash in a couple of k miles. Both have been sealed by Forte. Only side effect seems to be a light holding open of the thermostat, causing it to run at 70 rather than 80. I do NOT intend to rip the dash out unless I REALLY have to though....!

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....

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