Most hoses are made of rubber. Some hoses are reinforced, but rubber remains the primary construction material. Rubber offers the right mix of capabilities – it can easily expand and contract with temperature fluctuations, it’s relatively light, and it’s affordable.
The rubber is susceptible to wear and tear, mainly due to heat exposure. As rubber is heated and cooled over and over again, it loses its elasticity and becomes brittle, which leads to cracking.
Can Cracked hoses be repaired?
Cracked hoses cannot be repaired. They must be replaced.
They can be temporarily reinforced with duct tape or something similar to allow you to reach a mechanic for a professional replacement. Driving with cracked hoses is an invitation to disaster – a blown radiator hose can leave you stranded on the side of the road. A cracked hose can also cause the temperature in your engine to rise so much that it actually damages the engine.
The best option is to ensure that all of your hoses are being inspected by a professional during your regular maintenance. This should include both a visual inspection for cracks and obvious signs of wear and tear, but it should also include a touch test to feel for brittle and “crackly" hoses.