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

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Gasoline smell in car when I fill gas tank

The tank seal where the fuel pump is inserted may be leaking or the vent hoses as well. Typing your year model and vent hose schematic into a search engine shows a few pretty detailed listings of what you're looking...

Q: Is it safe to switch from 5/30 weight formula Shell oil to a synthetic oil to store for the winter?

Hi, thanks for writing in. You should not need to change the oil from the 5/30 you have in order to store the car for the winter. I would recommend filling the car up with fuel and having the tire...

Q: Car hose to engine is cracked

It is possible that the cracked hose is the source of the leak. I would recommend thoroughly inspecting the engine to locate the source and nature of the leak(s) to see if the two are separate issues. Depending on where...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...