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I just put a new water pump, after the van over heated. Now the van wont go over 50mph and I see smoke coming from behind the engine, and the oil light turns on.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at


Thank you for writing in. You may have a blown head gasket. The first step is to check the oil and see if it has coolant mixed in. Coolant will turn the oil a milky color and you may see bubbles. If the oil is the right color, clean, and at the right level, then you will want to verify that the water pump was properly installed. You can also approach the issue by determining what is causing the smoke from the engine. If you can see what is leaking and causing the smoke, you can identify what fluid is to blame, and what system therefore needs your attention. 

If you think there is coolant mixing in with the oil, you will not want to drive the car. Have it towed if possible to your mechanic. If you do not have a mechanic that you trust, look at our list of local Certified Female Friendly service centers in your area. Good luck!

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