Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What Is the Difference Between the Upper and Lower Radiator Hose?

radiator hose

Your radiator is an essential part of your automobile. It does more than just hold the bulk of the car’s coolant, though. It’s actually responsible for removing excess heat from the coolant before it is sent back to the engine once more to start the process over again.

How a radiator works

Your radiator is made of both metal and plastic. Metal fins allow the heat absorbed by the coolant to radiate outward, where it is wicked away by moving air. Air flows over the radiator from two sources – the cooling fan (or fans) blow air over the radiator when it reaches a certain temperature. Air also flows over the radiator when you’re traveling down the road.

Coolant is transported into and out of the radiator by hoses. There’s an upper and lower radiator hose. While they both transport coolant, they’re very different. If you were to place them side by side, you’d find that they were different lengths and different shapes. They also do different jobs. The upper radiator hose is where the hot coolant enters the radiator from the engine. It cycles through the radiator, cooling as it goes. When it reaches the bottom, it moves out of the radiator through the lower hose and back into the engine to start the cycle once more.

The upper and lower radiator hoses on your engine are not interchangeable. What’s more, at least one of the two is probably a molded hose, rather than just a length of standard rubber hose. Molded hoses are specially designed for specific applications and are not interchangeable with other hoses, even other molded hoses on different vehicles.

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

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...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: What Does Cold Weather Do to Engine Hoses?

Engine hoses are constructed of rubber compounds (EPDM) that are designed to operate in a wide variety of adverse conditions, including temperature variations. Cold weather (above 0 ℉) has the effect of stiffening the hose material. When combined with the...

Q: I have a coolant leak in the hose just under the manifold on my 2007 Mazda CX7

If you can see the coolant line that is damaged, and can reach both ends of the hose, you should be able to replace the coolant line rather easily after removing the engine cover and air cleaner. However, on your...

Q: Is a Leaking Hose in a Car Serious?

Leaking hoses are an indication of a problem with the system that they are associated with. A leaking hose will cause the fluid that a system requires for operation to be lost, which compromises the system’s function. The loss of...