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.

A: Hi, thanks for writing in. It's hard to...

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Driver's side seat is stuck and power switch is not working

The power seat has three motors to control the three different motions. The switch is a multiple position switch that will control the motor direction. Your vehicle most likely has a defective switch but it would need to be tested,...

Q: BMW Turbo Misfires

One common failure on the BMW sixes is the intake manifold gasket. I can come off in chunks and leave air leaks going into the engine causing misfires. Check carefully the flange where the intake manifold bolts to the cylinder...

Q: How much time does it take a starter on a 2011 chrysler town and country 3.6

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Chrysler Town & Country. The book time for this is 2.6 hours. This time does not include testing. If you need to have your starter replaced, consider YourMechanic, as one of our certified...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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 Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.