Weekly Checks – Radiator hoses

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Cooling System – Radiator hoses & Heater hoses
Radiator and heater hoses are designed to carry water at high temperatures or coolant under pressure from the radiator to the engine, heater core and also the inlet manifold to prevent the manifold from icing up, and a gas converter, if fitted. Radiator and heater hoses are designed to hold a pressure of 13-16 lbs per square inch (psi) before they will split.


Radiator and heater hoses may last 2 to 3 years before they require replacement. All hoses should be checked for bulges, brittleness and softness. It is easy to check these hoses. A pinch test will determine whether it is too soft or too hard or just right. One brittle hose anywhere in the cooling system is an indication that all the hoses should be checked. If a number of hoses are found to be perishing or brittle, it’s a good idea to replace all the hoses especially the radiator bypass hose, the very little one around the water pump area or thermostat housing. These little radiator hoses are the most troublesome as they are never replaced and always seem to burst at the wrong time.


Replacing a radiator or heater hose with the correct type is very important. Most hoses are moulded into shape allowing the hose not to rub against any sharp object. An average price for a radiator hose is $25.00 and for a heater hose $17.00.


Fitting a hose is usually easy but sometimes you might find that the housing or the pipe might be made of an alloy, it might be a thermostat housing or any type of alloy connection, and could be corroded. Replacing an original hose or a swollen hose on a corroded aluminium pipe could still leak after fitting, so it might be a good idea to replace the pipe or housing if it is too far gone.
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