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6 Reasons Your Jeep Wrangler Smells Like Antifreeze

Jeep Wrangler is one of the most reliable models of Jeep out there. It predominantly has been one of the top choices for outdoor adventures worldwide. But have you ever got an antifreeze smell from your Wrangler? If the answer is yes, then you are in the correct place today. 

The Jeep Wrangler has an antifreeze odor caused by the car’s coolant leaking. A loosened serpentine belt might also cause an antifreeze scent by increasing the combustion temperature.

Even though this car is a popular choice among users, this antifreeze smell can be quite annoying to deal with. But this problem is solvable, and today we will discuss all the reasons for this antifreeze smell and how you can fix them in no time.

Is It Normal To Smell Antifreeze After Driving The Jeep Wrangler?

If your Jeep Wrangler emits a strange, pleasant scent after you’ve turned off the engine, you may have a coolant leakage, which is not normal. It would help if you strived to solve it as soon as possible. 

However, if you’re certain there’s no leak, you’re detecting the stench from the overflowing bottle’s outlet, which is perfectly normal.

Possible Reasons Your Jeep Wrangler Smells Like Antifreeze:

Coolant leakage is one of the most typical reasons your Jeep Wrangler smells like antifreeze. But there can be other reasons, too, which we will discuss down below.

1. Coolant Leak

The Jeep Wrangler requires a variety of liquids, including coolant and brake oil, that are essential for the car’s effective functioning. Any leaky fluid that spills into the exhaust pipe or hot engine components will ignite and emit a burnt odor. The inside begins to emit a stench, which may cause the driver or any occupants in the car to puke.

2. Faulty Drive belt

Faulty drive belts are another reason for the antifreeze smell in Wranglers. If this happens, you will have a burning rubber smell along with weird noises from inside. There might be a problem with the drive belt’s attachments, such as the pneumatic system, compressors, or gearbox. The belt also turns the pulleys, and the burnt rubber odor is caused by the belt sliding due to resistance.

3. Problematic Blower Motor

A blower motor can also cause a burning or antifreeze smell in your Jeep Wrangler. The air vents may emit a burning scent when you switch on the air conditioner, owing to an overheated blower motor or capacitor. If the blower motor overheats, it can melt the casing and emit a burning rubber smell in exceptional cases.

4. Short Circuit

A short circuit might also cause the burnt smell of vinyl in your Jeep Wrangler in the engine. Furthermore, the plastic coverings on the heaters or wiring might melt in certain situations, resulting in electric shocks and an antifreeze smell in your Jeep.

5. Brakes Sticking Out

Caught rear calipers are one of the most prevalent causes of sticking brakes, although they can also be caused by other braking system flaws or faulty fitting. As a result, if the braking pads in a Jeep Wrangler are constantly grinding against the wheels whenever the braking system is not depressed, severe scorching may occur, resulting in an antifreeze smell.

6. Faulty Alternator

The alternator is one of the essential components for any car, not just a Jeep Wrangler. It is responsible for charging the batteries. Along with that, it also helps to produce electrical energy to power all the components in your car. 

So, technically it runs continuously. Hence, it has a very high chance of overheating and getting damaged, resulting in an antifreeze smell.

How To Prevent Antifreeze Smelling Issue on Jeep Wrangler?

So far, we have seen the probable reasons for your Jeep Wrangler antifreeze smell. But, you can prevent and fix all these problems if you follow a few things correctly. Read below to know how to prevent antifreeze smelling issues on Jeep Wrangler.

1. Preventing Coolant leak:

The main reason for coolant leakage is usually a cracked or leaky head gasket. It might cause a burning odor in the fuel tank of the engine. To avoid this unpleasant antifreeze smell in your Jeep Wrangler, it is advised that you change the burnt coolant. Also, check your gasket and replace it if it’s broken or damaged.

2. Fixing Faulty Drive Belt:

You will need to check the drive belt properly, check if it makes weird noises, and look for any cracks or any ripping on the belt. If you find that the belt is damaged, you must replace it. Keep in mind that a sliding belt isn’t always a sign of a problem; there might be other factors at play, as we discussed above.

Check any other components related to the belt for filth and clean them thoroughly. If the problem persists, you will need to seek the assistance of a professional technician.

3. Blower Motor Issues:

The blower motor is usually placed in the glove compartment in Jeep Wrangler. Take the motor out and properly check it to see if there is any damage to it. Replace the blower and the resister next to it if you notice anything burned or if the blower doesn’t rotate quickly and effortlessly.

4. Preventing Short Circuit:

To prevent a short circuit, you will need to check the wirings properly inside your Jeep Wrangler. Sometimes wirings can melt due to overheating, causing an antifreeze smell. So if this is the case, you will need to replace the wirings; seek professional help for this. Do not attempt to change the wirings by yourself as this is very technical work and you can further damage the whole circuit.

5. Fixing Sticking Brakes:

Because stuck brakes cause scorching, the simplest technique is to use an IR thermometer to check the temperature of the braking system after a regular drive. If you don’t have the instrument, you can get the discs with water. The brakes are stuck if the water begins to boil and dissipates instantaneously as it comes into touch with them.

To avoid future antifreeze odors, you should adequately repair the stuck brakes before going for drives =.

6. Preventing Antifreeze Smell From Faulty Alternator:

If an overheated compressor persists or worsens, internal parts deterioration will occur, and the air conditioner will cease to cool adequately. So, if your Jeep doesn’t cool down even when the air conditioner is turned on, you have an alternator problem. An alternator is difficult to repair; therefore, the best solution is to replace it with a new one.


When searching for reasons for the antifreeze smell in your Jeep Wrangler, you will come up across many different reasons. From our research and personal experience, we could detect six main faults of antifreeze smell. 

Antifreeze smells can be very irritating and can even cause some serious health-related issues. So, whenever you get this type of smell in your Jeep Wrangler, make sure to fix it instantly. 

Follow all the prevention methods we discussed in this guide. However, if none of these fixes work for you, You will need to consult a professional maintenance specialist.

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