Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Radiator Hose Last?

Radiator Hose

Your car’s engine needs coolant in order to operate safely. Automobile engines generate a significant amount of heat while operating, and that heat must be removed and limited to a specific temperature range. If allowed to overheat, the engine could sustain serious damage (up to and included a cracked head).

Coolant flows from the radiator, through and around the engine, and then back to the radiator once more. In the radiator, the coolant releases its heat into the atmosphere, and then starts the journey around the engine once more. It enters and leaves the radiator through two hoses – the upper and lower radiator hoses.

Radiator hoses are subjected to very high temperatures, both from the coolant flowing through them, and from the engine. They’re also subjected to very high pressure. While they’re made to be very durable, they will eventually fail. This is normal, and they’re considered regular maintenance items. In fact, it’s highly recommended that you have your radiator hoses inspected at every oil change to ensure that you can replace them before they fail. If a hose fails while you’re driving, it could be very damaging to the engine (the loss of coolant could very easily overheat the engine).

There is no true set lifespan for a radiator hose. They should last for at least five years, but some will last longer, particularly if you’re vigilant about having your coolant changed and your vehicle maintained properly.

Given the importance of having good radiator hoses, it makes sense to know a few signs to look for that might indicate one of them is about to fail. These include:

  • Cracks or splits in the hose
  • Bulges in the hose
  • A “crunchy” feel when squeezing a hose (do not check this while hot)
  • Bulging or damaged ends (where the hose connects to the radiator)
  • Coolant leaks

If you suspect that one of your radiator hoses is about to fail, don’t wait. A certified mechanic can inspect the radiator, radiator hoses and other coolant system components and make any repairs needed.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: Why Don’t Engine Hoses Melt with the Heat?

Engine cooling hoses are made from a variety of rubber compounds (EPDM) that provide us with several desirable attributes. The hoses should be able to withstand multiple thermal cycles (hot/cold), last for a long time (years), have resistance to abrasion,...

Q: Air conditioner quit running - 1986 Dodge D150

Hello. The best thing to do is to buy a retrofit kit for the A/C system. This will have fittings that will replace the R12 fittings with 134A fittings that your manifold gauge set should fit with no problem. If...

Q: How Do Molded and Universal Hoses Differ?

Molded hoses are specifically engineered and manufactured to fit your vehicle according to how it is equipped. Molded hoses are known as exact-fit hoses. Molded hoses are the most trouble-free hoses but are a little more expensive than universal, non-molded...