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Ever watch a sports game, and it looks like an athlete’s body is literally letting off steam? Well, that’s them cooling down. And that’s what the upper radiator hose does. It, too, wants to be recognized for its physical prowess. The upper radiator hose serves to connect the engine to the radiator. It takes all that coolant that’s removed heat from the engine and feeds it to the radiator to get cooled down. Simple as pie, but don’t let its simple nature fool you; it’s necessary for the safe operation of the engine. Sometimes the most important things are the simplest. Hopefully, it goes without saying that your car also has a lower radiator hose. While the upper hose carries the coolant from the engine to the radiator, the lower hose carries it back to the engine. But there’s some good news for you: This is the easier of the two main radiator hoses to replace. Now, the hose is made of a highly durable rubber, but it’s still a hose, and if you’ve ever had a garden, you know that hoses don’t last forever. Wear and tear can cause the rubber to wear down, grow brittle, crack, or even rip. And when that happens, it’s replacement time.
Imagine your upper radiator hose like a straw. If a straw breaks at all, it will leak when doing its job. And if a radiator hose is failing, then it will begin to leak. The area under your car should look clean and dry, so keep an eye out for liquids pooling under your car.
Look, nobody wants to work hard when it’s hot out. Your car is no different. A failing upper radiator hose can keep coolant from keeping your car cool. Not cool, radiator hoses. This results in an engine that isn’t cooling down properly, which can lead to diminished performance. Do you like poor engine performance? No? Okay then. Pay attention when your engine isn’t working right.
Cracks and signs of hardening are sure-fire indicators that those hoses need to be put out of their misery. And while I’m not exactly expecting you to be spending your precious (riiiiight) free time visually inspecting the hoses, you could surprise me. Or, more realistically, the technician changing your oil might notice that the hose has some visible damage. You can also feel your hoses and get a good sense of where their lifespan is. If they are brittle or hard to the touch, then get them out of there. Radiator hoses should feel firm and rubbery. No crumbling or cracking under stress.
Here’s a fun fact about your car: It has indicators for a reason. One of the indicators next to your speedometer displays the temperature of the engine. It shouldn’t get too hot. An engine that is too hot is a liability. If your upper radiator hose fails, the engine won’t be able to be cooled properly, and you’ll end up with an engine that, if driven long enough, will start to overheat. So, when you see that temperature gauge rising high, you’ve got a problem. Pay attention to it.
Are you into gambling? Great, then go to Vegas.
Because gambling is the name of the game when you put off a radiator hose replacement. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, it’s time to get it replaced.
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