Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What Does Cold Weather Do to Engine Hoses?

asked by on

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 increased range of temperature change between cold and hot (thermal shock), the hoses can leak at the mechanical connections.

Extreme cold (below -25 ℉), however, can have a disastrous effect on hoses. Hoses can experience accelerated wear due to excessive thermal shock.

There is a more important question to consider, however. What does cold weather do to engines? It’s really not the engine you have to worry about, but the coolant that flows through the engine and the hoses that are affected by cold weather.

If a vehicle is left out in extreme, bitter cold, the coolant can freeze inside the engine block and radiator. This will cause the engine block to crack. When the cooling system thaws out and the engine can be started, cooling system leaks appear. This can lead to the engine overheating and eventual engine failure. A cracked block already is an engine failure. Engine replacement is a must at this point. This is why vehicles that are used in extremely cold climates are either stored inside buildings, have engine heaters installed in them, or never have their engines shut off.

If you live in or travel through areas of extreme cold and you have questions about the safety or reliability of your vehicle, we’ll be out to help you keep your vehicle protected. We can help prepare your car for the elements with cooling system flushes, radiator hose replacements, and heater hose replacements.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Does it helps to run A/C or Compressor (by moving the knob to blue) during winter.

You can try to run it a couple time a month just to circulate the oil through the system. Yet, in most cases the a/c compressor may not come on if the temperature is too cold. You should use the...

Q: My 98 Jeep Cherokee Laredo smokes only when stopped, and antifreeze comes out but, doesn't overheat.

Check the radiator inlet, the core, and the upper radiator hose. Look to see where the leak is coming from and see if its repairable. It could be a hose clamp that is loose, a hose that is split, or...

Q: Car turns off after driving 20 miles

Hello there, a few different parts can cause the vehicle to stall out and die like you have described. The most likely are the fuel pumps, an intermittent wiring issue, a bad battery cable, a faulty EGR, vacuum leak or...

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 Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.