Hoses are frequently overlooked in normal maintenance. Both upper and lower radiator hoses and all heater hoses should be checked for deterioration, leaks and loose hose clamps at every tune-up. Check the hoses by feel; they should be pliable. Any hose that feels hard or brittle should be replaced as soon as possible; in any case, replace radiator hoses as necessary every two years or 30,000 miles.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Remove the radiator pressure cap.
- Position a clean container under the radiator and/or engine drain cock or plug, then open the drain and allow the cooling system to drain to an appropriate level. For some upper hoses only a little coolant may need to be drained, to remove lower hoses the entire cooling system must be drained.
- Loosen the hose clamps at each end of the hose requiring replacement. Pull clamps back on the hose away from the connection.
- Twist, pull, and slide the hose off the fitting taking care not to damage the neck of the component.
If the hose is stuck at the connection, do not try to insert a screwdriver or other sharp tool under the hose end to release it, as the connection may become damaged. If the hose is to be replaced, use a single-edged razor blade to make a cut perpendicular to the end of the hose. The hose can then be peeled off the connection and discarded.
- Clean both hose mounting connections. Inspect the condition of the hose clamps and replace them if necessary.
- Dip the ends of the hose in coolant for ease of installation.
- Slide the hose clamps over the hose and slide the hose ends onto the connections.
- Position and secure the clamps at least 1 / 4 in. from the end of the hose. Make sure they are located inside the raised bead of the connector.
- Close the radiator and engine drain plugs and properly refill the cooling system with the drained engine coolant or a suitable 50 / 50 mix of ethylene glycol and water.
- If available, install a pressure tester and check for leaks.
- Leave the radiator cap off, then start and run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature. When the engine is at operating temperature and the thermostat has opened, continue to fill the radiator until the level stabilizes just below the filler neck.
- Install the pressure cap and check the system for leaks.
- Shut the engine off and allow to cool. After the engine has cooled, recheck the coolant level and add as necessary.