Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Radiator Hose

radiator hose

Bad or Failing Radiator Hose Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

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:

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

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.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
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

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...


Related questions

Q: Steering wheel high pressure hose

Hello, thanks for writing in about your 2003 Volkswagen Golf. I am going to assume you are referring to the power steering high pressure hose. There isn't any power steering components in the cab of your car. If there is...

Q: Tundra 5.7L overheating on highway.

There are two things that come to mind. Air in the system, and a worn coolant pump. Given the mileage, I am leaning towards air in the system. Have your coolant system property bled of all air and then retest....

Q: Power steering return hose leaks.

Check the clamps and make sure they are tight. If not, the line may have to be replaced. A Fluid leak like this can come from several different places. The hose can experience high pressure, especially where they meet with...