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-   -   Antifreeze leak making me SICK? (http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115804)

JoCoMo 30th November 2007 12:53 PM

Antifreeze leak making me SICK?
 
10 years ago I was rushed to the doctors office because my tongue had swollen so big it was beginning to block off my airway.
The cause ended up being from a leak in the antifreeze system that was leaving a small puddle on the floor right below the brake peddle. (I have to put in here that when I first saw the puddle the mechanic I was going to at the time said it could not be causing my problem--he was wrong!)

Four weeks ago I had my oil changed along with my antifreeze. The next day my tongue started to feel swollen as it did 10 years ago. Four weeks later I am still struggling with a swollen tongue but not as severe.

I looked for a puddle but there is none. My question is-can there be a leak anywhere else involving the antifreeze that is getting into the air inside my car?
From the fan, heater, vents, anywhere???

I completely cleaned the engine and the area around it just in case some antifreeze got spilt and the fumes was coming through any vents into the car.

Help!!!!!

jetman 30th November 2007 01:07 PM

First, that sounds horrible. Now the only thing I can say is that whenever I've had leaks etc of antifreeze in the engine bay I've certainly been able to smell it and taste it when driving as it definitely gets sucked into the cabin air intake.
Also to consider is that if you have this strong of a reaction to the chemicals in anti freeze there's a reasonable chance that the same or similar chemicals are present in some form elsewhere in your daily happenings.
Does this only happen while you're in the car? It could be a food allergy of some sort. We have a friend who is allergic to avocados. But she really loves the Guacamole, so will eat it sometimes. Pretty funny to watch her lips get massive and her speech get slurry. yeah, we pretty much serve Guac every time she's over just to see if she'll eat it. :D

16saabs 30th November 2007 01:09 PM

unless you have a leak from your heater rad, it must be coming in from a spilt area, but even then it should be gone by now, unless you are extreemly sensitive, and even a small amount will react with you.

TheRedBaron 30th November 2007 01:14 PM

I was unaware that coolant fumes were harmful, I might suspect it is either a coincidence or that there is something in there that you are allergic to. Does benadryl help?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jetman
We have a friend who is allergic to avocados. But she really loves the Guacamole, so will eat it sometimes. Pretty funny to watch her lips get massive and her speech get slurry. yeah, we pretty much serve Guac every time she's over just to see if she'll eat it. :D

I have a very mild allergy to avocado, if I eat it on an empty stomach I get this weird, scratchy feeling heartburn that goes away in 20 minutes. I also love guac and sushi, and sometimes I forget that if I don't eat something else first I'll get this irritation. I also have gotting it once from a raw whole peach and once from two cherries (although not other times, and I've eaten a ton of cherries in my life). Weird. I think they're all related because they all have pits (rockfruit I think they call them?).

Sort of weird that this is my only allergy - I'm fine with pollen and all that, and I'm impervious to bugbites (they shy away from me, and when they do bite I never get a red mark).

SteveTheFolkie 30th November 2007 02:27 PM

Get your cooling system pressure checked to establish if there are any leaks - if you have a reaction like that to normal coolants you might discuss some alternative coolants (they're more expensive, but far safer) with your doc. I forget the name, but I know there was one advertised a couple years ago that was actually safe to drink (in the advert they pointed out that a small drink of normal coolant could kill a dog whereas this stuff wouldn't).

This isn't exactly what I was talking about BUT it claims to be safe -

http://www.synthetic-motor-oil-air-f...antifreeze.htm

Might be worth checking into.

If you switch, a full flush with good old H2O before re-filling would be in order.

Places I'd look - the heater core, the hoses to and from the heater core, the valve (you can check the hose connections and the valve by peering down through the LH front speaker hole - once you take the speaker out). If it's a small leak or mist - sprinkling talc powder or flour on the connections and hoses and then driving a bit can reveal trace leaks. I also seem to recall that the stuff glows under a blacklight - which may be useful.

A reaction like you're having is nothing to fool around with - be careful and get it checked out.

Steve

grif900 30th November 2007 07:00 PM

Leaking heat control valve or heater core, my money is on the valve.

900t 30th November 2007 08:01 PM

I'm surprised you had such issue unless the exposure was really great - if you drink antifreeze you will not be happy but if it smells, well it just smells...

Matt88S 1st December 2007 01:07 AM

Interesting, have you considered exposing yourself to some pure eythlyne glycol to see if its really the problem? :D
You might try having your antifreeze flushed and refilled with propylene glycol, supposedly a non-toxic alternative to ethylene glycol.

Some people have an allergy to mercaptobenzothiazole, its found in antifreeze and thus people with the allergy will react to antifreeze, but to the best of my knowledge its more of a contact rash type allergy, and also its found in so many other products that I'd be surprised if you were allergic to it as you'd be reacting to many other items around you as well.

Are you allergic to latex?

rawill 1st December 2007 04:56 AM

Be very very carefull
 
I suspect you could have had some kind of "anaphylactic reaction". Do not take our advice except to get what happened checked out by a doctor and medical specialist. I would not like to be right about this but if I am further exposure could be very dangerous.

SteveTheFolkie 4th December 2007 01:20 PM

just bringing this back 'cause I was wondering how JocoMo made out - reactions like the one he described are quite serious - hoping the guy is OK -

rawill 4th December 2007 01:40 PM

I agree
 
I'd like to know if it was an anaphylactic reation. I know 2 guys at work who had them and it is very very scary. The swollen tongue sounds like the start of it.

JoCoMo 4th December 2007 08:24 PM

Giving the car a rest
 
Thank you for all your suggestions. Since I just moved to Colo Springs and am in the process of finding a good mechanic I have stopped driving the Saab. Will let you know what I find out about my symptoms....

Now I have another problem with my Saab!!!!!

woywitka 4th December 2007 09:29 PM

How about your washer fluid!

What kind of washer fluid are you using?

c900 4th December 2007 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoCoMo
Thank you for all your suggestions. Since I just moved to Colo Springs and am in the process of finding a good mechanic I have stopped driving the Saab. Will let you know what I find out about my symptoms....

Now I have another problem with my Saab!!!!!

It is possible to have leaks from the heater control valve that leak coolant down behind the dash onto the floorpan, but it would be extremely rare to have an allergic reaction to small quantities of glycol molecules in the air. Not that I doubt it's possible - enough people have extreme allergic reactions to things like bee stings, peanut butter, etc. and I have an allergy to milk proteins (though fortunately not an anaphalectic reactive one).

That aside, when you have a chance get your Saab repairer to have a really good look at the heater control valve, hose connections to it, and also the heater core, just to check that there aren't any coolant leaks on the inside of the cabin that might result in a small pooling of leaked coolant on the floor.

Craig.

SteveTheFolkie 5th December 2007 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoCoMo
Now I have another problem with my Saab!!!!!

man, you can't make a statement like that and not give a description ....

mikey9864 5th December 2007 08:04 AM

There is a antifreeze called Sierra that does not use ethylene glycol I do believe. Available her in the US. By the way, ethylene glycol causes uric acid to form in your blood and you end up dead if it gets to high.......A friends son commited suicide by taking a tablespoon of the stuff. GO TO THE DOCTOR AND THE MECHANIC ASAP.:nono;


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