Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Garage gave me a huge list of things to be able to fix my car, but I want to know if it's all necessary to get it running.

asked by on

Thermostat broken on van and constantly refilling coolant. On really humid days we would see a white kind of mist come through the a/c. Then the other night out of nowhere, the car had white smoke coming from under the hood at stop signs but would disappear when driving resumed. Then pulled in the driveway and while the car was idling dark smoke began. I turned the car off and looked under the hood and saw condensation on all the parts and a large liquid spot on the hood. The garage says the fan doesn't work either but they are saying we need spark plugs and belts and all kinds of stuff replaced totalling $3200 because coolant "could have" gotten on those things when the radiator hose came off is what they told me. What do I actually NEED to get the car back on the road?

My car has 107000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. It’s hard to definitively say what the problem is without inspecting the car and doing some testing. The condensation and liquid was most likely coolant. If the hoses or the connections where they engage the engine or radiator are damaged, the hoses will be prone to popping off. Your hoses are the more likely cause, and will need to be replaced. The fan, if truly not working, will also need to be replaced. It may also be the reason the coolant overheated in the first place. The fan plays a huge roll in cooling down the engine, and assists the radiator in decreasing the temperature of the coolant. As far as the damages caused by the incident, further testing would need to be done. If the spark plugs and wires were shorted out and fried in the process, may not work anymore. Replacing them is your only option at that point. However, you can always get a second opinion to verify what that technician quoted. Here at YourMechanic, we can have a technician come to your home or office to perform a 75-point inspection for you, and give you further advice.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Garage gave me a huge list of things to be able to fix my car, but I want to know if it's all necessary to get it running.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Crank seal leak.

The problem you are referring to is clearly described and well documented by other consumers in the NHTSA database of consumer complaints about the vehicle, as well as in copious commentary on the Internet. I am not aware of any...

Q: Transmission light illuminated

Hello. Thanks for writing in about your 2008 BMW 750i. If the transmission light is on, there's a 98% guarantee that the transmission has developed a flaw. I suggest that you attempt to have the trouble code retrieved by a...

Q: After replacing the output speed sensor my Chrysler van is still causing problems

Hello, the issue needs to be addressed, the vehicle will become inoperable. The automatic transmission has three systems; electronic, hydraulic, and mechanical. You should check your fluid level as well as condition of the fluid. What you describe is...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...