Breather Hose: Commonly Asked Questions
- A breather hose is connected to the engine’s crankcase. This helps release pressure that may build up inside the engine.
- The hose helps the engine breathe more easily by allowing proper amounts of air to get into the cylinders. This makes burning fuel more efficient.
- The breather hose helps recycle vapors that leak out of the cylinders by routing them back to the combustion chambers where they will be burned. This lowers car emissions.
- Because of pressure and heat, the hose may eventually get brittle. Over time, the hose may become clogged or may develop cracks, causing leaks.
- With a broken crankcase breather hose, the vehicle may fail to pass the emissions test. Not only that, the vehicle may suffer from poor fuel economy or decreased gas mileage. This may also lead to engine problems such as misfiring and rough idling.
- A breather hose replacement costs anywhere around $2 to more than $200. The large difference in prices is largely due to the breather hose setup.
- A breather hose kit may include an oil separator, a connecting line, and a vent pipe. Other kits come with a connector hose, an upper and a lower hose, a connector valve, a valve house, and connectors.
For the engine to perform well, they say it needs to breathe easily. A steady stream of clean air that is mixed with fuel to burn helps generate horsepower with less stress. The by-products of the combustion process must be kept from leaking all over the place. The crankcase ventilation system keeps unwanted gases—gases from combustion that blew past the piston rings and into crankcase—from being expelled into the atmosphere, which only adds to air pollution. Instead, the blow-by gases are sent back to the combustion chamber, so they can be recycled.
If not properly ventilated, the blow-by gases will become more concentrated and may mix with oil vapor in the crankcase. This will lead to a sludge or oil getting diluted with unburnt fuel. If too much pressure builds up in the crankcase, this will cause engine oil to leak past the seals and gaskets. Carbon will build up when blow-by gases blend with intake air. A crankcase breather is used as a source of fresh, clean air for the crankcase. It has baffles and filters to keep oil mist and vapor from spoiling the air filter. For the system to work, it needs a good breather hose.
What is a breather hose?
A breather hose is connected to the engine’s crankcase. The crankcase breather hose helps release pressure that may build up inside the engine. In a way, it helps the engine breathe more easily by allowing proper amounts of air to get into the cylinders. This makes burning fuel more efficient. The breather hose also helps recycle vapors that leak out of the cylinders by routing them back to the combustion chambers where they will be burned. This reduces car emissions.
What does a breather hose do?
The breather hose, along with other parts of the system, is crucial to reducing the car’s emissions that cause air pollution. Since it helps the engine breathe more easily and burn fuel more efficiently, a clogged or cracked hose can affect vehicle performance as well.
Because of pressure and heat, the hose may eventually get brittle. Over time, the hose may get clogged or may develop cracks, causing leaks. With a broken crankcase breather hose, the vehicle may fail to pass the emissions test. Not only that, the vehicle may suffer from poor fuel economy or decreased gas mileage. This may also lead to engine problems such as misfiring and rough idling. This is why you must diagnose the problem properly to trace the underlying cause. Check the hose, connection, valves, and other pipes. Replace the hose as soon as you can to address the issue and prevent more serious problems.
How much is a new breather hose replacement?
A breather hose replacement costs anywhere around $2 to more than $200. The large difference in prices is largely due to the breather hose setup. You may replace the entire breather hose assembly or just change a single hose in the system. This all depends on the configuration of the crankcase breather and the requirements for repair.
The hose is sold per piece and in a set of two or four. A breather hose kit may include an oil separator, a connecting line, and a vent pipe. Other kits come with a connector hose, an upper and a lower hose, a connector valve, a valve house, and connectors.
How can you find a breather hose replacement that fits?
As a rule of thumb, you should search for parts that match your vehicle specs. By specifying the year, make, model, and even the trim level, you will be presented with options that match the engine setup of your vehicle. It also does not hurt to check the other details such as the length of the hose.
The hose should not be too short or too long, nor too tight or too loose. With the right length, the hose can be easily connected without a hitch. The right measurement means that the hose will not be stretched or bent, which can cause wear or incorrect installation. Using your vehicle’s manual or the product OEM description, you can check not just the length but also the inside diameter and wall thickness to compare.
Which is a better choice: OEM or aftermarket breather hose?
Before you make your choice between an OEM breather hose and an aftermarket product, you have to weigh in the benefits and some disadvantages that each option offers.
Since OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are made by the vehicle manufacturer itself or for the vehicle manufacturer by an accredited company, compatibility will never be an issue. There will not be any difference in design and material compared to the factory-installed breather hose. In short, quality is standard and guaranteed. The choice will also be simple since you will just be looking into one option. Another benefit to buying an OEM part is that this will not void the vehicle warranty, especially if the vehicle is fairly new. The product will also come with its own warranty. With all these benefits, the major downside to buying an OEM part is the high price.
Aftermarket parts, on the other hand, are manufactured by different companies. This gives you far wider options especially when it comes to sources and prices. Availability is not just limited to the dealership or accredited suppliers. Some aftermarket parts may offer better features for performance and durability.
Picking Out the Best Breather Hose
A breather hose is very important because it allows you to release pressure built up inside your engine and it keeps you in line with strict environmental laws. The thing is that pressure in the engine has to go somewhere-else the whole thing just goes boom-but it comes with a lot of exhaust fumes, the breather hose helps hit two birds with one stone. You could survive without one, mind you, but even if you weren't the environmentally conscious sort, it would smell terrible when you drive about.
Lengths and breadths
The great news when it comes to most hoses is that they are fairly standard across the industry. Fit is not so much a problem because the inlets and outlets that they connect are regular. That doesn't mean, however, that you can just get any old hose and stick it in. There are still some measurements that you should be very careful and particular about.
Length is most important because the tight confines of the engine block and under the hood don't leave much room-and you can't get one that is too short neither. The safe bet is to get one that is the exact length as your old hose or, failing that, one that is just slightly longer. If it is too long, you might end up bending and twisting it just to fit-this increases wear and tear.
Width is less of an issue but it's still a smart idea to compare inner diameters between your old hose and a new one-this determines whether the attachment is secure. All in all, the smart move is to really just be very meticulous in your research.
The right stuff
Rubber used to be the material of choice when it came to hoses-this resulted in cheaper and affordable hoses. Unfortunately, rubber's flexibility tended to mean that it was more prone to becoming brittle and wearing out. Polyurethane is the better bet because, while hoses made from the material are less flexible, they're certainly far more durable and longer lasting. The price difference between the two are in the $10-15 range, and the increase in price is well-justified!
How to Install a Breather Hose
Over time, the stock breather hose that's installed in your vehicle will deteriorate. When that happens, it will leak vapor into your vehicle's engine bay. To solve this dilemma, you need to get a replacement breather hose right away. Once you've found a replacement breather hose for your ride, you can use the following instructions to install your new hose.
Difficulty level: Difficult
Tools that you'll need:
- Breather hose
- Hose clamps
- Screwdriver (flathead and philips)
- Pliers or vise grip
- Extra clamps
Step 1: To gain access to the breather hose, use your screwdriver to remove the screws on your engine cover.
Step 2: Using your pliers, remove the plastic tubing that holds the old breather hose in place. You have to be very careful here, because once the plastic tube breaks, it will make installing the new hose more difficult.
Step 3: Completely remove the breather hose by unclamping it from the DV tubing. You'll need to clean the area where the new breather hose will be placed.
Step 4: Remove the rings on the old breather hose. Take these rings and secure them onto your new hose.
Step 5: Install your new hose. Be sure to check its connections to make sure the hose is held securely in place.
Step 6: If the new hose falls short, then that means a part of the plastic tubing may have already broken off. In this case, look into the coupling-you should find a copper tube there. Carefully extract that copper tube and insert it into the DV tubing. To hold the copper tube tightly, you'll need the use of extra clamps.
Step 7: Insert your new breather hose into the new coupling you just made. Secure it with clamps. Make sure the connection is airtight.
Step 8: Start your vehicle's engine and make sure that the new breather hose won't fall off due to engine vibration.
Step 9: Reattach your engine cover, and you're done!