Pros and Cons of Using a Silicone Radiator Hose

A silicone radiator hose.

A silicone radiator hose is a popular alternative to the standard rubber hoses that typically connect the various parts of the radiator to other systems in your car. While the functionality of both of these types of hoses is essentially the same, and they serve the same purpose, there are nonetheless a few important differences between them. Read on for a list of a pros and cons of a silicone radiator hose. Silicone hose setups are available at most car repair shops and specialty stores.

1. Pro: Easier to Remove

Silicone hoses attach to the different components of the radiator more easily than rubber hoses. Additionally, they are less likely to stick to those components than their rubber counterparts, which can sometimes become bonded or attached to the various vents and ports on the radiator. Because of this, if you ever need to remove a hose after it has been in use for several months or longer, it's generally much easier to remove a silicone hose from your car's radiator than a rubber hose.

2. Pro: Aesthetic Differences

One of the primary reasons many people choose silicone hoses over rubber hoses is that they have a more appealing look. They have a metallic sheen that helps to enhance the appearance of your vehicle. Because many people are highly concerned with the appearance of their cars, including the appearance of the internal mechanisms of the engine and the radiator, this can be an important reason to consider installing silicone hoses instead of standard rubber ones.

3. Con: More Expensive

Perhaps the single biggest downside of silicone hoses as compared with other types of radiator hoses is the cost. Silicone is a more expensive material than rubber, and the result is that you'll pay a good deal more for a silicone part for your vehicle than you would for an equivalent rubber part. If you're looking to keep costs down, silicone hoses are probably not the best choice.

4. Con: Requires Different Hose Clamps

The silicone hose walls tend to be a bit thicker than the walls of equally sized rubber hoses. The result is that, if you're replacing an existing rubber hose system on your vehicle with a silicone system, you'll most likely need to purchase a new set of hose clamps to hold the silicone hose in place. This further contributes to an increase in cost.

5. Con: Poor Sealing Ability

Silicone does not fit quite as snugly over the metal surfaces of the radiator vents and ports. Because of this, it's also more likely that your silicone hose will not have a completely fluid tight seal with the radiator that it's connected to. This can result in a loss of system energy and a radiator that is less efficient than a radiator that uses a rubber hose system instead.