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What is a radiator hose? 

The radiator is an important part of your car that prevents your engine from overheating. Coolant absorbs heat from the engine and travels to the radiator where it gets cooled down by air from the fan. Once this has happened it moves back to the engine, where it can absorb more heat again. 
The coolant moves to and from the engine through a radiator hose, also called a coolant hose. There are two car coolant hoses, the upper and the lower hose. The upper hose, the inlet hose, transports the hot coolant to the radiator, while the outlet hose brings the coolant back to the engine after it has vented its heat. 
While one can be a flexible radiator hose, at least one of the two hoses is a moulded hose. This means the two hoses cannot be interchanged. Both hoses are made from thick, durable rubber to withstand the hot coolant moving through them. 

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Why does a car radiator hose leak?

It is quite normal that even the most durable rubber hose might leak after some time. Since the car radiator hose is exposed to extreme temperatures and high pressure you should inspect your hose regularly and replace it if it shows cracks or tears. If you check your car radiator hoses yourself, always make sure that the engine has cooled down completely before you touch anything in the vicinity. 
The car radiator hose connectors that keep the hoses in place can also weaken over time and lead to a leak.

These signs might be an indication of a leak:

  • When you see steam coming from the engine, it means your engine is overheating. This is an indication that there might be a problem with your radiator, which is not doing its job anymore. 
  • Puddles of coolant under your car. The fluid is sticky and either green or orange.
  • The coolant level is lower than usual and even after topping it up, it goes down again quickly. 
  • AC is not working well. 

The best way to prevent a radiator hose leak is to use clean coolant that doesn’t damage the hoses. Therefore, you should flush the coolant regularly or have your garage flush it for you. 

How to fix a leaking radiator hose?

You should not continue to drive for too long once you have spotted a car radiator hose leak. If you do, there is a good chance your hose will burst and this could lead to some more serious overheating issues and expensive repairs. 

You can buy a complete radiator hose repair kit, but patching a leak is only a temporary solution. If you do patch a leak you should then take your car to a garage as soon as possible. Your mechanic can show you how to replace a radiator hose or more advisably, do it for you. 

A leak or small crack seems like a minor issue but it can lead to bigger problems and costly engine repairs if the hose isn’t replaced in time. On autobutler.co.uk you can request various quotes to compare prices on a coolant hose replacement at garages near you. 

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Prices on engine repairs, cleaning and replacement

The average prices and savings for the car brands shown are based on different models and years. You must therefore create a job and compare quotes to see your actual price and savings.
Make Save on average*
Audi
5.0
(6)
£139 / 25%
BMW
3.5
(2)
£139 / 28%
Citroën
5.0
(1)
£172 / 23%
Ford
4.7
(10)
£152 / 24%
Mercedes-Benz
4.8
(4)
£135 / 24%
Mini
3.7
(3)
£173 / 30%
Peugeot
4.5
(8)
£154 / 25%
Renault
5.0
(1)
£183 / 24%
Vauxhall
5.0
(14)
£138 / 25%
Volkswagen
4.8
(8)
£156 / 26%

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