Do you have a leaking radiator hose?
The most common cause of overheating is a simple loss of coolant. This can be the result of a failure of dozens of components, but it's most likely that a coolant hose is leaking. Radiator and coolant hoses are made of a very strong rubber, and are designed to take the high temperatures that your coolant absorbs. Over time, however, connections tend to get cruddy and corroded, and hoses get old and brittle. When that happens you'll see small pools of green or yellow coolant on the ground under your engine compartment when your car is parked, and you'll also notice your temperature gauge will tend to spike after short trips. This could spell disaster for your engine, since your coolant hoses are responsible for moving coolant through your engine components and keeping the operating temperature constant and manageable. Otherwise, you'll be stranded at breakdown city needing a tow to the repair shop.
Why so many coolant hoses?
When liquid-cooling engines became the norm around the middle of the 20th century, it was evident that the most efficient way to build them was NOT to integrate each cooling component into the engine. Rather, they would be built and attached separately and a series of coolant hoses would transport the cooling medium from the outboard components back to the engine and vice versa. An upper radiator hose
connects the engine to the radiator, and a lower radiator hose
connects the radiator to your water pump. Coolant hoses are like the veins of your engines cooling system, and it is vital that they are all performing as they should. In most engines, they are composed of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber that can resist temperatures up to 250-degrees Fahrenheit. For higher temperatures or more advanced applications, silicone coolant hoses can be used rather than rubber. They tend to weigh less and last longer than traditional EPDM coolant hoses.
Hose replacement: It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Depending on its location, replacing a worn out or old coolant hose should not be a difficult task. It is most common for your front upper or lower radiator hoses to leak, and those are the easiest to replace. Sometimes the hoses located near the rear of the engine require a little more finesse and patience to replace. Still, it's a fairly straightforward procedure.
- First, you will need to perform a complete coolant flush. You will have to drain and collect all the fluid from your radiator and the coolant passageways of your engine.
- Next, locate the coolant hose or hoses you need to replace. If one or more are difficult to reach, you may need to lift the car or remove other parts that interfere with your access to the leaking hose.
- Now, loosen the clamp that is connecting the hose at both ends. Be careful when you pull the hose away, since some connectors may be hiding small T-pipes or other water necks. Make sure you are aware of all the parts you are removing.
- Once the bad coolant hose or hoses have been removed, you can replace them using all the same steps in reverse.
- Finally, refill your radiator and coolant reservoir with new fluid. You will want to fill the radiator core, tighten the cap, and run the engine for a few minutes. Top off if necessary.
Keep your cool.
A problem as simple to fix as a leaking coolant hose should keep you off the road for long. We know that when it comes to buying new replacement coolant and radiator hoses, there are many choices online. At Car Parts Discount, you can get top quality brand coolant hoses from the best manufacturers. Whether you need original equipment or a well made reproduction, compliant with SAE low oil/high heat specifications, all at everyday low prices. Plus, the majority of our radiator and coolant hoses can ship right away, so you'll be sure to get your car back on the road without emptying your pocketbook.