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?

A: Engine hoses are constructed of rubber comp...

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

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: My car overheated and was giving off white smoke, what's wrong?

Hello. The white smoke and overheating is usually a sign of a blown cylinder head gasket. When the car overheats for an extended period of time or is low on coolant (causing the temperature to rise), the severe heat can...

Q: Advice on Winter Prep

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to provide you with my suggestions to prolong the life of this car, especially for the cold winter in Michigan. First, here are some tips for driving an SUV in the...

Q: I recently had the starter and manifold gaskets replaced. Now my truck won't stay running.

It definitely sounds like you still have a vacuum leak somewhere around the repair area. Inspect all of the vacuum hoses for cracks and replace as necessary. Also inspect the throttle body gasket for damage as well as the vacuum...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...
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.