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We bought our 2018 Touring L Plus in the middle of January. A day or two after we purchased it, I noticed a weird smell coming from the heater. Sort of like a sweet smell syrupy smell. Well, it has progressively gotten worse, up to the point where I won't turn on the heater when I'm in the van. Anyone who rides in the van instantly complains about the foul smell. I read online that a syrup smell could be a coolant leak or heater core issue. I took it to the dealer a few weeks ago and they said they checked everything out and there are no leaks. They said they ran the heater and the AC on full blast for several minutes and it decreased the smell. They assured me it was glue/styrofoam and other stuff simply burning off and it will eventually go away. Well, I got in the car and it was still there and is just as bad. It's sad we got this new car and not only can't we enjoy the new car smell, but I don't even want to drive it. It just still smells toxic after 1,700 miles when we turn on the Heater or AC. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? My wife has been nervous because she's pregnant and thinks she's just breathing in poison! Thanks.

As of now, I'm taking it to a different dealer on Thursday to see what they say.
 

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As of now, I'm taking it to a different dealer on Thursday to see what they say.
I was thinking the same thing, and then I read your last sentence. I hope a different approach on the part of a new technician, or perhaps them having dealt with a similar situation on a previous vehicle will fix your problem and make you a happy camper.


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A sweet smell could be coolant. It's one of very few fluids that can get in the air system - pretty much that or water. Water through an external/environmental leak or coolant through a heater core leak.

The other off-chance thing is something crawled in there and died, or something gross was shoved in there.

Any signs of abnormal moisture on the carpeting / under side of dash / firewall? If you run the system on defrost are you getting a greasy / foggy coating on the bottom of the windshield? Any of that stuff is signs of a coolant leak.

You could pull the air filter for the HVAC and see if it's wet / soggy or if there's something foreign in there.

If it were me and it's how you say it is I would try a different dealer as well. It doesn't sound like something I'd want to leave as-is.
 

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Hi, we had the exact same problem with our Limited. We just dropped the van off to be repaired at AutoNation Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Spring (Houston, Texas). We too were told there was nothing wrong and no leaks on first inspection. When my wife insisted there was, told them she was a law professor and asked specifically about the heater core, they were suddenly able to locate the problem. They claim it will be ready in 5 days. We are keeping our fingers crossed because we like the van. Interesting that 2 new vans have had this problem.
 

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Hi, we had the exact same problem with our Limited. We just dropped the van off to be repaired at AutoNation Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Spring (Houston, Texas). We too were told there was nothing wrong and no leaks on first inspection. When my wife insisted there was, told them she was a law professor and asked specifically about the heater core, they were suddenly able to locate the problem. They claim it will be ready in 5 days. We are keeping our fingers crossed because we like the van. Interesting that 2 new vans have had this problem.
production numbers for the Pacifica so far are a little over 200,000. Two with a heater core leak....
 

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Hi, we had the exact same problem with our Limited. We just dropped the van off to be repaired at AutoNation Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Spring (Houston, Texas). We too were told there was nothing wrong and no leaks on first inspection. When my wife insisted there was, told them she was a law professor and asked specifically about the heater core, they were suddenly able to locate the problem. They claim it will be ready in 5 days. We are keeping our fingers crossed because we like the van. Interesting that 2 new vans have had this problem.
Hi oilpan,
We are glad to hear that your dealer is working on getting this addressed further for you. Should you find you need any additional assistance while you are working with your dealer, please feel free to send us a PM and let us know.
Julie
Chrysler Social Care Specialist
 

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I'm suspecting what you're smelling is overheated poutine that was spilled on the heater core during a lunch break at the Windsor factory. It probably came from Frenchy's Poutinery.
 

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Same problem here 2018 Pacifica lx have smelled coolant since week two of ownership in brand new vehicle. Took to dealer ship per Chrysler cares because coolant was dangerously low topped off coolant returned in two hours and said could not find leak at north Olmsted cjdr was told to take to dealer I bought from smh. After four recalls performed wide went out last week to completely dead car both brand new batteries completely shot could not jump or charge coolant dangerously low another recall to service as well. Chrysler towed to same dealership they did the recall replaced both batteries and and dye to system and topped back off called me and told me again can’t find leak specifically told them that I can smell in cabin and I suspect heater core. Told me that I need to take to dealer I bought from again that’s an hour away. Called Chrysler was told to go to another dealership seriously!!! Went to pick it up they apologized and told me if I wish you would of told Ilya you smelled in cabin for real did you think that while driving I had my head under hood. Long story short I hope that this next dealer is honest and replaces my heater core the smell makes you sick and I have four kids Chrysler has been useless next option is legal really just hope it’s repaired I will never buy another Chrysler
 

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Same problem here 2018 Pacifica lx have smelled coolant since week two of ownership in brand new vehicle. Took to dealer ship per Chrysler cares because coolant was dangerously low topped off coolant returned in two hours and said could not find leak at north Olmsted cjdr was told to take to dealer I bought from smh. After four recalls performed wide went out last week to completely dead car both brand new batteries completely shot could not jump or charge coolant dangerously low another recall to service as well. Chrysler towed to same dealership they did the recall replaced both batteries and and dye to system and topped back off called me and told me again can’t find leak specifically told them that I can smell in cabin and I suspect heater core. Told me that I need to take to dealer I bought from again that’s an hour away. Called Chrysler was told to go to another dealership seriously!!! Went to pick it up they apologized and told me if I wish you would of told Ilya you smelled in cabin for real did you think that while driving I had my head under hood. Long story short I hope that this next dealer is honest and replaces my heater core the smell makes you sick and I have four kids Chrysler has been useless next option is legal really just hope it’s repaired I will never buy another Chrysler
I am so sorry to hear about this! Can you send us a private message with your VIN? We are happy to look into this and help get everything taken care of. Thank you!

Kaitlin
Chrysler Cares
 
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