How To Diagnose A Bad Or Failing Radiator Hose

Your car has two coolant hoses– the upper hose attaches from the top of the radiator to the top of the engine and the lower hose attaches from the bottom of the radiator to the water pump.

These small parts carry coolant to and from the engine to keep the engine at the optimal temperature, and to help prevent overheating.

Your radiator hoses are an integral part of your car’s cooling system. If you suspect either radiator hose is failing, watch for the following symptoms:

Leaking Coolant

If you notice a sweet smelling, green or orange fluid beneath your vehicle, there is a very good chance its coolant fluid. Leaks can sprout from the radiator hose, the radiator drain cock, or even the radiator itself. With so many possible culprits, it’s important to have a professional mechanic diagnose the problem, and replace the radiator hose if needed.

Engine Overheating

Your car’s engine should never overheat. As soon as you notice this symptom it’s time to see the mechanic, as there is likely a serious problem with the cooling system. The radiator hose is usually the most common cause of overheating. If you put off a visit to the mechanic and the engine is allowed to continue to overheat, it may cause the engine to fail entirely and your vehicle will no longer run.

Low Coolant Levels

If your “Low Coolant Light” comes on, or you are having to constantly add fluid, there could be a leak in the radiator hose. This type of leak should be visible as drips where the vehicle was parked. Driving on low coolant is not a good idea as you can run out on the way to your destination. This means your car can stall or overheat and leave you stranded on the side of the road and cause serious damage to the engine.

Collapsed or Broken Radiator Hose

The radiator hose can be collapsed or broken in a variety of different ways. Over the years, they tend to crack, warp, and possibly even leak from the high heat and pressure they are exposed to. If you feel comfortable inspecting it yourself, conduct a visual inspection for leaks, swelling, holes, collapsed, cracked, or a soft hose. If you notice any of these, you should get your radiator hose replaced, as these are all signs the hose has gone bad.

At V&F

In any of these cases, a professional inspection should be performed. All of these symptoms will prevent coolant from flowing properly which can result in the vehicle overheating and engine damage. If you notice any of these, or you’re concerned about your car’s cooling system, call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online. At V&F, our certified mechanics use the latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Plus, our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor.

Written by Nicole Palange

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