White smoke from engine, not exhaust

Hey all. I recently had my water pump replaced by the stealership and now I am having sweet smelling white smoke coming from my engine, but not from the exhaust. My wife noticed it first about 10 days ago, but I didnt see it. When I was driving the other day, the engine overheated into the red zone and the overheat warning came on, but being 30 miles from home I had to drive on it. As I went along, it’d cool off then heat up again, etc. When I got home, the coolant reservoir was super low, so I figured the dealership didn’t completely and properly fill my coolant system (which I still fully believe…). I poured over a gallon of coolant straight into radiator before I even had to start the vehicle to finish the process. However, when I started the vehicle and revved the engine, I saw the smoke.

There is no sweet white smoke coming from the exhaust, ONLY from the engine, and only when the engine revs; it’s fine at idle. As of now, I’m thinking blown head gasket, maybe warped heads too, or god forbid a warped/cracked block. However, I’m only coming to this conclusion based off about 4 hrs of internet research of what causes white smoke and the symptoms of head/gasket issues. Are there any other possibilities that could cause this type of issue?

If it is worth ruining an engine for you to get the last 30 miles you made the right choice. If you wanted to attempt to save the engine you should have pulled over and shut off the engine when it went into the red and either had it towed or let it cool off enough to add coolant or in an emergency, water.

When your temperature gauge dropped, it was more likely that the coolant level in your radiator dropped below the sensor and then surged back up when you revved the engine. I think the only thing to do now is to have a competent mechanic assess the engine and hope for the best.

You don[t say what year or make this car is, but engines with aluminum heads and/or blocks are nowhere near as tolerant of this kind of treatment as the old iron block and head engines.


Driving it 30 miles while it’s overheated can cause those same symptoms,
my guess is you need a new engine.


The WP is driven by timing belt on many newer cars. And a WP job is not simple or cheap. Some cars it is driven by SERP belt so it’s slightly less complicated. I always like to know why the WP was changed. Leaking? Low coolant level? How long? But it’s kinda a moot point after long overheat episode.
Dealer changes WP. Car looses coolant soon after. Coincidence?