Q: Is a Leaking Hose in a Car Serious?

asked by on

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 fluid could result in a loss of that system’s operation, and will usually leave your vehicle stranded on the side of the road, requiring service, or a tow to a shop for repairs.

Our car systems, such as coolant, automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, are considered sealed systems. With this in mind, any leak is a cause for concern. For example, a leaking cooling system will cause the loss of coolant, which will result in engine overheating and can cause warping of some major parts, or severe engine damage if left unrepaired.

The coolant, which is under as much pressure as 15 psi (pounds per square inch) can spray out on the drive belts, causing them to slip or chatter, and can even cause them to fail in some instances. Also be careful as the cooling system heat and pressure can cause serious personal injury; never remove the cap from a hot cooling system that is under pressure.

Hoses break down over time due to temperature and normal wear combined with the continual cycling of heat and pressure they must endure. They are also subject to possible physical damage. Proper inspection is required so that these hoses can be checked for replacement prior to failure.

A common mistake made is to replace a worn or leaking radiator hose and leave the other original hoses in place. Hoses should be examined to determine the cause of the leaking condition. If the failure is due to some form of hazard, like physical damage through chaffing, contact with a sharp surface, or through an accidental contact with a foreign object kicked up or driven over on the highway, the affected hose could be the only one needing replacement. If the hose for a system has failed due to age, then it is reasonable for all hoses in that system to be replaced, since they have all been exposed to the same amount of wear.

If the hose is in a hydraulic system (such as power steering, automatic transmission or brakes), then the failure can also potentially cause a more severe hazard due to the loss of that system’s function. This could lead to loss of forward motion, steering control or stopping.

An old phrase comes to mind here, and that is “out of sight out of mind.” Too often, these system parts are overlooked until they reach a critical point and fail. To avoid or minimize these failures, it is best to have your vehicle’s hoses inspected at regular intervals and replaced before they fail.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Is a Leaking Hose in a Car Serious?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What's the best way to check for Evap small leak. I'm getting code P0442

P0442 indicates that you have a small leak in the evaporative emission system. Many times this is caused by a loose or faulty fuel cap. Make sure that the cap is tight and in good condition, so that it seals...

Q: Radiator fan making noise when running

The fan motor turns very fast, and these motors do go bad after continued use; five or six years is a good life span, you made it nine years. I recommend having a mechanic such as one from YourMechanic, inspect...

Q: The power steering is out in my 2013 Dodge Ram 1500. Can I drive it ?

This is a known issue in the 2013 Dodge Rams and is generally covered under warranty. As you know, your power steering is electronic and is controlled by a module that has been known to fail in this year Dodge...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...