Your radiator hoses carry coolant between your engine and radiator. It’s an important job. If a hose fails, you could lose your engine coolant which might lead to overheating and very expensive engine damage, so you want to make sure you always have good hoses.
Radiator hoses are very resilient, but they are subject to very harsh conditions. Think about it, the temperature might be below freezing when you start your engine and the coolant could be up over 100 degrees Fahrenheit within a mile. These extreme internal temperature fluctuations contribute to hose degradation from the inside. Oil splashing on the outside of a hose will cause the hose material to soften over time.
Ozone can also eat away at the hose. The bottom line is that hoses don’t last forever and will need to be replaced.
If you see steam coming from under your hood, you probably have a cooling system leak somewhere. Other signs are puddles of coolant under the vehicle, bulges in the radiator hose, cracks or a spongy feel. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, have your cooling system inspected.
If you have any cooling system repairs, like a water pump replacement, hose replacement or radiator repair, it is also a good idea to have your hoses replaced at the same time along with the radiator pressure cap. It is very important that the coolant be serviced when you replace a radiator or water pump so that there are plenty of anti-corrosion additives in the coolant to coat and protect the new parts that have been installed. Simply reusing the old coolant can lead to rapid corrosion of the newly installed parts.
The most common reason for engine failure is a failed cooling system. Ask your service advisor if it’s time for a cooling system inspection or service. You can eliminate potentially disastrous damage with proper cooling system maintenance.
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