Car Repair: How to Fix the Heater Hose

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  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-25
What You'll Need

When the heater hose in your car is in need of repair, your car can become unusable. The heater hose is an important part of your vehicle’s cooling system, carrying the coolant from one part of the engine to another. It is important to recognize the signs of a broken or blown heater hose in your vehicle. Signs of a broken or busted heater hose include but are not limited to; leaking coolant, steam rising from the engine or from under your hood or a sudden overheating or rise in temperature of the car’s engine.

Step 1 – Cool Down

If you want to repair your heater hose immediately after a break or shortly after using your vehicle, you will need to let the engine cool down. Open the hood of your vehicle to create a draft and release some of the heat. You will need to wait at least 30 minutes for the engine to cool down enough for you to be able to make the necessary repair. Do not try to make the repair while the engine is hot because this could result in serious burns.

Step 2 – Locate the Leak or Break

Now you are ready to locate the section of the hose that is leaking, has cracked or blown apart. Be sure to check the entire length of the heater hose and search for sections of the hose that are wet, dripping fluid or show visible cracks or breaks.

Step 3 – Remove the Bad Hose

If the leak is very close to the end of the heater hose, you can simply cut away the end section of the hose where the crack or break is using a sharp knife. You can remove the damaged section of hose you just cut free from the clamp and fitting and discard it. If the crack or leak in the hose is too far from the end of the hose or in the middle section of the hose, you will need to cut out the bad section of the hose. Cut as little of the hose as is necessary to remove the section with the crack or leak.

Step 4 – Reconnect The Hose

If you cut either end of the hose, you can now connect the new end of the hose back into the clamp and fitting. The heater hose should have enough slack or give to allow you to cut away a small part at either end. If you cut away a middle section of the hose, you will need to use the coupling and clamps to repair the hose. First, attach one clamp to the end of the hose where you just removed the bad section. Next, push one end of the coupling into the hose, using the clamp to hold the coupling in place. Next, attach the second clamp to the other end of the hose where you just removed the bad section. Now push the end of the coupling into the hose, securing it with the second clamp. At this point you should have one continuous heater hose.