Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  Radiator Hose Inspection - Tricks of the Trade
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Radiator Hose Inspection - Tricks of the Trade

Helping You Wrench

Scott Tsuneishi
Sep 22, 2011

With the summer days upon us, your engine’s cooling system should be inspected, flushed, and refilled with fresh coolant. One area of cooling systems that even do-it-yourself mechanics overlook is checking the radiator hoses. A quick visual inspection could uncover a weakened hose that could leave you stranded if remained unrepaired. If you’ve never inspected radiator hoses, we offer this simple guide.

Impp 1110 01 o+radiator hose inspection+hoses Photo 2/5   |   Radiator Hose Inspection - Tricks of the Trade

1. Upper and lower radiator hoses, along with the heater hoses, should be checked for deterioration, leaks, and/or loose hose clamps every 3,000 miles. When checking the hoses, make sure the engine and cooling system are cold. Begin by visually inspecting for cracking, rotting, or collapsed hoses. Firmly squeeze both the upper radiator and heater hoses. They should feel firm, stiff, and rigid. A hose that feels very hard or makes a “crunch” when squeezed is an indication of age-related hardening or deterioration and should be replaced immediately. Oil is another enemy of rubber hoses. A swollen, soft, or spongy hose could be caused by transmission fluid leaking in the coolant or an internal engine oil leak breaking down the composition of the rubber hose.

Impp 1110 23 o+radiator hose+damage Photo 3/5   |   Radiator Hose Inspection - Tricks of the Trade

2. Next, you want to finish inspecting your car’s hoses with a warm engine. After driving the car, turn off the engine and immediately open the hood. If a weak, swollen, or ballooning effect is present on any part of the hose, it should be replaced.

Impp 1110 02 o+radiator hose inspection+warm engine Photo 4/5   |   Radiator Hose Inspection - Tricks of the Trade

You also want to look for small, damp spots or trails of coolant at the hose ends. Dry coolant tracks, often greenish or pink in color, depending on the type of coolant, leaking downward from the hose ends, thermostat housing, firewall, or radiator, may indicate a damaged radiator neck, or a leak caused from a hose clamp that was overtightened, causing the hose to separate and tear on either side of the clamp.

3. Silicone hoses such as Samco Sport’s are an excellent replacement, and are designed to operate at much higher temperatures and pressures, are chemically resistant to oil and fuel, and are more durable than OEM rubber hoses.

Impp 1110 26 o+radiator hose+samco hoses Photo 5/5   |   Radiator Hose Inspection - Tricks of the Trade

Following these simple inspection tips only takes a few minutes, and can save you a great deal of stress and costly repairs in the long run.

By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE HOW TO

Swapping out the VX's original drums for some del Sol Si rear disc brakes.
RodrezJan 15, 2019
Honda recently handed us the keys to a 2018 Si sedan. We'll have the car for the next 10 months and during that time we'll be making some changes all around while bringing you along for the ride with the progress
RodrezJan 4, 2019
It's amazing how much of an impact a seemingly basic maintenance procedure can have on the big picture—not only from the standpoint of performance but also of the safe operation of your vehicle.
Richard FongDec 31, 2018
Sleepers Speed Shop rebuilds a 3.0-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder power plant.
Bob HernandezDec 17, 2018
A six-pack of items of which everyone should be conscientious
Richard FongDec 6, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP