White smoke under hood from coolant leak - mechanic “fixed” but still smoking

I have a ‘93 Chevy Lumina that started spitting white smoke from under the hood after driving to work last week.

I took it to the shop on Monday, they told me a hose had a hole burnt in it and it was leaking coolant on the hot engine thus creating smoke. Makes sense. 300 or so bucks later I get the car back from them on Wednesday after diagnostics, hose replacement, and an oil change.

It was smoking again by the time I got it home.

Figuring maybe there’s still leaked coolant that just needs to burn off, I just got it home. Didn’t drive on Thursday. Drove into work on Friday and it’s still smoking.

Is it possible this is still just excess from the repaired leak? I don’t want to have to get into a fight with this mechanic for not fixing it but now I’m stressed out, worried and I can’t afford more repairs. Like why didn’t they test it afterwards or warn me if this is normal? Did I get played?

It’s possible, although if there’s that much coolant sitting on the engine it might have been nice of the mechanic to at least take a rag to it.

I’d do one of two things in your position depending on how comfortable you are with car work. Either I’d get the car up to temperature and smoking, and then look under the hood to see where the smoke was coming from, or I’d just take it back to the mechanic and tell them it’s still smoking.

The other possibility is that they replaced the leaking hose, and now that it’s good, the next-weakest hose sprung a leak. That’s not uncommon. The first leak keeps the pressure from building up enough to break the slightly-less-weak hose, and then when you fix that leak the pressure builds and breaks the second hose.


Spilled coolant doesn’t evaporate like water. When the engine is cold, flood the areas where the coolant sprayed with water. After it dries, if you still get whie smoke or smell coolant, you have a problem.

At any rate, check your coolant level frequently if you don’t take it in.

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