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I've never smell windshield fluid when I'm inside the car, regardless what brand I used in the past. I noticed that the windshield fluid that came with my Q3 has a very weird smell. I've noticed it since the first day I had this car and I can smell it when I'm inside.


Not sure if the dealer topped off the windshield fluid tank when I went for my 5K oil change in January or so, but yesterday was the first time the light low fluid light came on.
 

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Today's washer fluids contain isopropyl alcohol as their antifreeze - so that's the typical odor - but I don't know what "very weird" means relative to that. In an Audi shop this is usually dispensed from large containers as it's used across the range. A little overfill will often evaporate near the normal cabin ventilation pickups so there's a good chance upon fill that some odor would get inside for a few cabin air changes. If you've had a recent service this is entirely possible, but if your service was in January and you're just now getting an odor, I would rather suspect one of the tubing connections to your hood or pump has come loose or broken (really unusual) and when you use the washers, this leak will also get into your cabin vents. This might also explain why the level has dropped off so relatively quickly. The top off is a normal thing for about every service of the car.
 

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I notice the antifreeze smell inside the Q3 too. I've never smelt antifreeze inside a car before my Q3.
 

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Antifreeze (propylene glycol) has no odor. Isopropyl alcohol has a very distinct, sweet aromatic sharp smell - not unpleasant. It is common as a solvent in perfumes and colognes too, but is masked by the perfumes themselves. You would most likely encounter isopropyl alcohol around a doctor's office or some of the hand sanitizers (main ingredient) that you find; or maybe recall your mom wiping a scrape with a dab of it.
 
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