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How to replace a radiator hose?

How to replace a radiator hose?

The radiator hose is a flexible tube that carries coolant from the expansion tank. Changes in temperature and pressure can cause the hose to deteriorate over time. It must be replaced to keep your engine cool.

Why replace and repair a radiator hose?

A damaged radiator hose will eventually leak. With a lack of coolant, the engine is at risk of overheating and causing irreversible damage. During normal operation, the cooling circuit is under high pressure. A damaged radiator hose can explode, releasing virtually all of the coolant. That's why it's important not to neglect maintenance.

When should a radiator hose be replaced?

There are several signs that a radiator hose needs to be replaced. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Coolant leaks:This is often the most obvious sign. If you notice a puddle of fluid under your car, especially near the front where the radiator is located, you may have a cracked or punctured hose. However, these leaks can also be caused by a loose bushing. Be careful of splashes, as the fluid is dangerous and very hot. Wear gloves and safety glasses for your own safety.
  • Engine overheating: If coolant can't circulate properly because of a damaged radiator hose, the engine may overheat. If you notice that the temperature warning light on your dashboard comes on more often than usual, it's possible that a hose needs to be replaced.
  • Swollen or soft hoses: Over time and exposure to high temperatures, hoses can become soft or swollen. This is a sign that they are deteriorating and need to be replaced. If you notice these signs, be aware that your hose is severely worn and needs to be replaced.
  • Cracks:When you visually inspect your hose, you may sometimes see cracks on the surface. This is a sign of wear and an indication that the hose needs to be replaced.
  • Older Hoses: If the hoses are more than four or five years old, it may be wise to replace them, even if they appear to be in good condition. Hoses can deteriorate from the inside, which may not be visible from the outside.

How to change a radiator hose?

Step 1: Turn off the engine

Start from cold, with the engine off and the car parked on a flat surface. Wait until the engine is completely cold before attempting to replace the hose or you may burn yourself.

Step 2: Open the expansion tank cap

Open the cap on the expansion tank (coolant reservoir) to release any remaining pressure.

Step 3: Drain the cooling system

Drain the cooling system, making sure to collect the liquid in a drip pan. To drain, open the cap above the radiator, then open the drain plug. Collect the coolant in a drip pan until it's completely drained.

Step 4: Disconnect the radiator hose

Loosen the clamps with the appropriate tool.

Remove the hose, starting at the top end to drain any remaining fluid before removing the bottom end.  The hose is often difficult to remove because of the previous tightening and pressure inside the hose.  The trick is to tighten the hose a little while rotating it, this will "lift" it from its original position. Then pull on the hose to release it.

Clean the ports (where the hose sits on the parts) with a rag and scraper to remove any buildup.

Step 5: Connect the new radiator hose

Connect the new hose, being careful not to touch other nearby parts. Be sure to tighten the clamps.

Step 6: Add coolant

Now that you've installed your new radiator hose, it's time to add coolant to your cooling system, make sure the coolant level is correct, and finally bleed the coolant and check for any other malfunctions.

How to choose a coolant hose?

To identify your radiator hose, use our Vehicle Finder by selecting the make, model, year, and engine of your vehicle. You can select the compatible part for your engine by shape, length, and diameter.

How much does it cost to replace a radiator hose?

There are several price ranges. You can expect to pay between $15 and $20 for a new radiator hose. Don't forget to include the cost of the coolant can, which is between $10 and $15.If you are going to use a professional, you will also need to add the cost of labor. This can take up to 2 hours, so you'll need to budget between $50 and $100.

The radiator hose is an essential part of circulating coolant between your vehicle's engine and the radiator. Because of its importance, we recommend regular maintenance. This will prevent damage to other parts and excessive bills.

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