Is there a "best" material for engine hoses?
This is a loaded question. The answer completely depends on what you intend to do with the vehicle. For normal usage, daily driving, or what-have-you, EPDM hoses are the material of choice. They work extremely well and can last for years if the cooling system is properly maintained.
Then, there are silicone rubber hoses. These hoses are usually blue in color (EPDM hoses are black). Silicone hoses are used in vehicles that are subjected to abnormal use, such as in police/emergency vehicles or race cars. Silicone hoses are able to withstand higher temperatures and pressures than EPDM hoses and can last for a much longer time than EPDM hoses.
One drawback to silicone hoses is its permeability to water. That means that water inside the cooling system of your vehicle can evaporate through the walls of the silicone hose. This causes lower levels of coolant in your cooling system which will need to be replenished. Using silicone hoses require more frequent inspections of your cooling system.
Another drawback to silicone hose is its relative availability. Silicone is not available for every vehicle. You will find them most commonly being used on high performance vehicles or muscle cars. They are also quite expensive. Where an EPDM hose may cost you $20, a silicone hose may cost you as much as $80 for the same hose.
Whichever hose material you decide to use, you will need to weigh the pros and cons of each type to meet your needs and intended vehicle use.
If you run into any problems with your hoses, consider reaching out to a certified mechanic who can diagnose and replace your hoses if necessary. We’ll make sure that the job is done right, done quickly, and done without breaking your bank.
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