My mother was driving her motorhome to a campground the other day. I was following behind her in our car. About 2 hours in, there was an "explosion" of some kind. It was massive amounts of white smoke with a little dark smoke, but not much and intermittent. She pulled into the rest area that happened to be right there. I would guess it took about 5 min for her to realize something was very wrong, since she didn't see the smoke and she didn't answer her cell, of course. In the cabin, she expierenced her own issues. She said she was losing power, but no idiot lights came on or gauges moved until the very end. She also heard a very angry noise...Not grinding...just loud and mean. Sorry poor description...but its all we have.

At the rest area...we called a mobile repair tech. He was not sure...but it sounded like the water pump went out. He told us to get it towed to his shop...and quoted us $1500 ish.
We were so far from home, but I called my husband to discuss. He agreed it sounded like the water pump. He also agreed to come repair it at the rest area.

After the repair, the engine sounded great. He let it run 20 min. No over heat. The thermostat didn't open, but he figured we just didn't give it enough time. We decided to try driving it. This time husband was behind motorhome, and once she got on the highway.... after 55 mph...it happened again right away. The "explosion", the white smoke with a touch of black, her loss of power inside.

We are somewhat baffled. He did not replace the thermostat...but wanted to. The nuts were so tight, he needed heat to get them off which we didn't have at the rest area. He isn't sure its bad though. It also had leaked transmission fluid.

His other thought was the vacuum shift module.

Looking to see if anyone else might have any other thoughts or ideas. Its 2 hours away at a Chevy dealership. We are going to go back...but would like to see what advice is out there.

Thanks in advance!

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! It's hard to tell from this end of the internet what the problem might be. I'd suggest you replace the thermostat first to see if it cures the ills, as this could be causing the engine to overheat and blow the coolant out the radiator cap. Until you know for sure, you're just throwing parts at it. I guess that's why your here, but I'm not sure we can provide you any more help than your husband is already giving you. The engine could be either a small block or a big block engine, but both should be fairly easy to change out the thermostat. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 23 '18 at 16:59

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