MONITORING AND REPLACING COOLANT HOSES
01 Whenever you take your car in for an oil change, it’s a good idea to check the condition of all of the coolant hoses. It’s fairly easy. Give them a slight squeeze. If they feel super soft and mushy (or crunchy), it’s time for a replacement. Same goes if they feel hard and brittle. A good hose is pliant and springy. Be familiar as each brand feels different.
02 Look closely at the areas near the clamps. If the hose has ballooned a bit, it’s also time to replace it. Study the engine. Are the hoses located close to any heat sources like the exhaust manifold? If so, these are likely to age faster. Look out for small cracks, and tiny leaks, too.
03 Never wait for a hose to fail. This will leave you stranded because the engine will surely reach critical temperature and be damaged by an overheat. There’s no true lifespan for a hose. You have to monitor these things closely.
04 When it is time to replace the hoses, make sure that the engine has cooled down for a bit. You might scald your hands on hot metal components. The actual coolant is super hot, too. Drain it from the radiator drain plug first. Be careful when pulling the hose free from the engine or radiator. Don’t break anything. On an older car, plastic radiators can be brittle. So can alloy thermostat housings.