How to Repair a Radiator Hose

  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-60
What You'll Need
Replacement hose

Even if you are not an expert on car repair you can easily repair radiator hose problems. A radiator hose is easy to find as it is a thick black hose which is flexible. It is made out of rubber and other materials that can withstand high heat. The radiator hose is located at the top of the radiator and continues on to the engine block. Two metal rings hold the hose in place right below the engine's intake. This hose is used to move radiator fluid and coolant to the motor. The radiator hose is prone to breaks (often found in the middle of the hose) and becoming loose. When this happens the hose will spray hot liquid around the engine. Without this coolant the engine can easily overheat. You usually do not know your hose is bad until it is too late. Luckily the radiator hose is easy to find and fix. This article will show you how to do just that.

Step : Draining the Coolant

Before you can replace the radiator hose you need to drain your cooling system. Make sure the car is turned off and that engine is cold. Trying to do this with a hot car can lead to serious injuries. Also make sure that your car is on level ground as this will prevent fluid from remaining in the radiator. Place the bucket under the radiator's drain plug. Some newer vehicles can have the drain plug on the side of the radiator. If you aren't sure which plug is the right one, consult your manual or else you could accidentally drain your oil. Remove the cap on the radiator and wait for the coolant to finish draining.

Step 2: Remove the Radiator Hose

Find the radiator hoses under the hood and locate the metal clamps at either end. Use the screwdriver to loosen the clamps. Once the clamps are loose you can remove the hose. Some newer cars have the hose designed to be a permanent fixture at which time a professional is needed. Other vehicles have it where a special tool is needed to remove the clamps. There may be as many as four hoses connected the radiator but you only have to remove the broken hose. Remove the hose on the top first then the second hose (if needed). The second hose may be only accessible from the bottom of the vehicle. When you remove the hoses be extra careful not to damage any clamps or fixtures.

Step 3: The New Hose

Attach the clamps to the hose you are installing and attach to the radiator and the engine. Add the fittings and then tighten them. Be careful that you do not over tighten the clamps or fittings.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Replace the drain plug and properly get rid of the coolant. Now you can start your engine and while it is running you add the coolant. Check over the new hose for any loose fittings by way of leaking.