Your radiator hoses carry coolant between your engine and radiator. It’s an important job. If a radiator hose fails, you could lose your engine coolant which might lead to overheating and very expensive engine damage, so you always want to make sure you have good hoses.
Radiator hoses are very resilient, but they are subjected to very harsh conditions. Think about this, 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 the hose degrading from the inside. Oil splashing on the outside of a radiator hose will cause the hose material to soften over time. Ozone can also eat away at the hose. The bottom line is that radiator 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 to look for are puddles of coolant under the vehicle, and bulges, cracks, or a spongy feel in the radiator hose. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, have your cooling system inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
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 adviser 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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