Q: What Does Cold Weather Do to Engine Hoses?

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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.

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