Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Radiator Hose

The radiator hose is part of your vehicle’s cooling system. The hose carries the coolant to the radiator, where the fluid is cooled, then back to the engine to keep the vehicle from overheating. This allows your vehicle to operate at the optimal temperature and prevents the engine from getting to hot or cold. There are two hoses that connect to the radiator. The upper hose attaches from the top of the radiator to the top of the engine at the thermostat housing. The lower hose attaches from the bottom of the radiator to the water pump of the engine. If you suspect either radiator hose is failing, watch for the following symptoms:

1. Leaking coolant

If you notice green fluid beneath your vehicle, chances are your vehicle is leaking coolant. This fluid will have a sweet smell to it. The fluid can come from the radiator hose, the radiator drain cock, or the radiator itself. Since there are many possibilities, it is important to have a professional mechanic diagnose the problem. They will be able to replace the radiator hose if that is the issue.

2. Engine overheating

The vehicle’s engine should not overheat, so as soon as you notice this symptom, it means something is wrong with the cooling system. The radiator hose may be to blame because they crack and leak over the years from the high heat and pressure they are exposed to. The radiator hose is the most common cause for overheating. If the engine is allowed to continue to overheat, it may cause the engine to fail and the vehicle will no longer operate.

3. Low coolant

If your Low Coolant Light comes on, or you are having to constantly replenish the fluid, there could be a leak in the radiator hose. This type of leak should be visible as drips where the vehicle was parked. Driving on low coolant is not a good idea as you can run out on the way to your destination. This means your car can stall or overheat and leave you stranded on the side of the road and cause serious damage to the engine.

4. Collapsed radiator hose

If you look under the hood and notice that the radiator hose has collapsed, then there is a problem. The hose can collapse because the hose is soft or has become to weak. In other cases a cooling system fault can cause the hose to collapse. In either case an inspection must be performed as a coolant hose that has collapsed cannot flow coolant properly. This can result in the vehicle overheating and engine damage.

5. Radiator hose is broken

The radiator hose can be broken in a variety of different ways. If you feel comfortable inspecting it yourself, check for leaks, swelling, holes, collapsed, cracked, or a soft hose. As soon as you notice any of these, your radiator hose needs to be replaced because it has gone bad.

As soon as you notice leaking coolant, your engine overheats, the Low Coolant light illuminates, or your radiator hose is broken, have a professional mechanic inspect and/or replace the radiator hose. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your radiator hose easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.


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Ben

41 years of experience
1410 reviews
Ben
41 years of experience
Volkswagen Beetle L5-2.5L - Heating AC - Houston, Texas
i am well satisfied with Mr Smith working on my car(s). He replaced the Jaguar fuel pump like an expert, and then he diagnosed the VW bug ac compressor and fixed it on the spot. I would recommend him to anyone with a car issue
Nissan Altima - Heating AC - Houston, Texas
Incredibly nice and took the time to show me the problem, including comparison pictures between my unit and what a new unit should look like.

Peter

43 years of experience
1321 reviews
Peter
43 years of experience
Saab 9-3 L4-2.0L Turbo - Heating AC - Phoenix, Arizona
He knows what he's doing. Very polite and explained everything. I would no doubt use him again. I highly recommend him.
Mazda Miata - Heating AC - Peoria, Arizona
We are so thrilled to have found Peter as our new mechanic. He is very thorough and knowledgeable. He is also friendly, professional, and extremely honest. He explained to us exactly what services were needed on our vehicle to repair the air conditioner and provided us with an written estimate of the cost. He literally saved us thousands of dollars in repair costs. A local major competitor quoted us a repair cost of a minimum of $1,400 and said that the cost would go up to $2,400 if they discovered an additional part was required. Peter charged us only $202, plus performed the work at our home. The air conditioner in our 2004 Mazda Miata has honestly never worked so great--it always blew out warm air. We just assumed it was how that particular car was manufactured. We would highly recommend Peter to anyone who is in need of an experienced and honest mechanic.

Pedro

31 years of experience
78 reviews
Pedro
31 years of experience
Chrysler PT Cruiser L4-2.4L - Heating AC - Portage, Indiana
Pedro was wonderful! He was early first and foremost. He was very professional and he explained things to me. He worked quickly and was very thorough. Very happy with his service.

Manuel

32 years of experience
580 reviews
Manuel
32 years of experience
Ford Taurus V6-3.0L - Heating AC - Long Beach, California
Good guy. Knows his stuff. Knowledgeable and straightforward with diagnostics and repair costs. I’d love to work with him again! Thank you Manuel!

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