Factors to Consider When Buying a Cooling Hose for Your Ride
Your cooling system keeps your engine at its best working temperature when it is functioning effectively. It circulates coolant in the engine's water jackets to absorb heat and dissipates this heat with the help of a radiator. Connecting your engine and the radiator are cooling hoses. Also known as coolant or radiator hoses, you will find four of their kind in the form of an upper and lower, bypass, and heater lines in your system. If any one of these is damaged, your engine is at risk.
What to consider when buying a cooling hose replacement
You will find a number of cooling hose replacements in the market these days, so restoring the overall functions of your cooling system won't be a problem. The real problem is choosing the correct replacement for your ride. Here are some of the factors you need to consider when looking for a replacement cooling hose:
- High-grade materials. Aftermarket manufacturers boast of quality products, but do they have hoses that are tough enough to resist extreme heat and pressure in your system? Here are some of the common materials used in today's modern cooling lines:
The fit. Always use the make and model of your ride to find:
- EPDM or ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class). This is a synthetic rubber that has high resistance to excessive heat, ozone, and weather. It has a working temperature range of -40 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and is rated with good resistance to polar substances and steam. If looking for tough but inexpensive material for cooling hoses, EPDM is an excellent choice.
- Silicone. Known for its rubber-like in texture, this synthetic compound is also characterized with very high resistance to heat. Thus, it is a very good material for a cooling hose. Available silicone hoses in the market are in multiple layers and are reinforced with polyester knit. Although a bit expensive than common rubber materials, they feature thicker and resilient tubes with -65 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit working temperature range.
- OE or original equipment from your vehicle manufacturer. This is the perfect match for your factory cooling hose, but it can be expensive.
- Direct-fit replacement. If OE is a bit pricey for you, made-to-fit aftermarket product is your pick. Don't think that it is substandard just because it is cheaper than an OE part. You can even find one from world-class brand like Gates or Dayco, one that has surpassed SAE standards.
How to Install a New Cooling Hose
Coolant leaks are among the things that you need to watch out for in your engine cooling system. They can mix with other liquids and cause burnt smell in your vehicle. So at the first sign of wear or damage on it, such as swelling, hardening, or cracking, you should get a replacement for the cooling hose. And if you are a DIYer, you'll love to do this task because it is easy and the hose is accessible.
- Screwdriver, flat or star
- Hose cutter
- Sandpaper or emery cloth
IMPORTANT: Drain the system of its coolant before attempting to remove any of your coolant hoses.
Step 1: Loosen the bolts that secure your coolant hose clamps to free the bad hose. Be careful not to damage the radiator or hose fittings.
Step 2: If the hose is difficult to pull off, cut it in several places.
Step 3: Clean the fittings with a sandpaper or emery cloth to ensure they will still make good seals for your new hose.
Step 4: Apply sealing compound to the fittings and place the clamps at their ends.
Step 5: Slide the new hose into the fittings and tighten the clamps. NOTE: DO NOT overtighten as this may damage your hose.
Check if you get the installation right:
- Refill your cooling system.
- Turn your engine on, and allow it to run for a few minutes to achieve its normal operating temperature.
- Check for leaks and inspect the tightness of the clamps as the heightened temperature may cause both your hose and clamps to expand and thus result to overtightening and damage.