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October 12, 2015

Coolant Hoses
Is it true that you canít tell if your coolant hose is failing by looking at it?

Until recently, the accepted way to check coolant hoses was by looking for signs of wear or "ballooning" under pressure. However, after four years of field tests, a group of engineers have discovered that they fail from the inside out, with little exterior warning of failure.

The researchers found that a type of electrochemical reaction attacks the inside of the hose, creating fine cracks that extend to the ends at the outside. Eventually, these cracks grow large enough for coolant leaks and/or pressure buildup to force a hose to burst.

To check the coolant hose, follow these steps:
  • Check only when the engine is cool.
  • Squeeze using only the thumb and fingers, not the entire hand.
  • Feel for any difference between the middle and ends of the hose where the hose might be weakened.
  • If the ends feel soft or mushy, replace the hose.
Although the industry recommends replacing all coolant carrying hoses every four years, you probably should install new ones sooner if you do a lot of stop-and-go-driving.

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