How do you replace a lower radiator hose? The cooling system of your vehicle is comprised of rubber hoses, the largest of which can be found in the upper and lower radiator hoses. They tend to wear out in time, but you can replace them as long as you have the right tools and you can access the manual or online instructions of your cooling system vacuum fill tool.
While you can always refer the problem to a professional mechanic, you will be surprised that you can accomplish the task swiftly and efficiently. This article aims to help you in the process by explaining what needs to be done.
You need to perform the following steps when you have observed that your vehicle’s radiator hose needs to be replaced. These characteristics of the hose can usually determine the problem:
Things You’ll Need:
- Wheel cocks
- Safety glasses
- Access to a repair database or a printed repair manual
- Jack stands and jack
- Fluid container
- Fluid catch pan
- Cooling system vacuum fill tool
- Air compressor
- 50/50 pre-mixed coolant (the type will depend on your vehicle; it is best to refer to your manual to check)
How to Replace Lower Radiator Hose
Follow these steps after observing that the radiator hose needs to be replaced. It is important to keep the lower radiator hose fully functional as it allows the coolant to reach the engine from the radiator.
Wear your safety glasses before you begin removing the lower radiator hose. Check the engine and make sure it has cooled and it is not turned on.
Set up the jack and jack stands to raise the vehicle. Chock the rear wheels and set the brake.
Locate the hose you will replace and place a pan underneath it before removing the radiator cap.
Drain the hose of the old coolant. You have two options to get this done - opening the radiator drain petcock or disconnecting the lower radiator hose.
Between the two, it is safer to disconnect the hose since you might be replacing it anyway. Petcocks may be risky since they tend to become brittle and susceptible to breaking.
Loosen the hose clamp using the tool (a screwdriver or a pair of pliers) that will fit, depending on its design.
Disconnect the radiator by pulling it in your direction. Wiggle it as you perform this step to make it easier to disconnect.
Drain the coolant into the fluid catch pan.
Work on the other end of the hose. Pull it in your direction while wiggling to make it easier to disconnect it from the engine.
You will now begin the installation process. You must first make sure that the disconnected hose and the replacement have the same design.
Place the hose on the engine's connection before sliding the clamps on the hose. You will only slide down the clamps but don't tighten them yet.
Slide the hose on the connection in the radiator. Tighten the hose clamps using a screwdriver or a pair of pliers, depending on what will fit the type of clamps you have.
Lower the vehicle by carefully removing the jack stands.
Check the instructions included in your cooling system vacuum fill tool, or refer to its online manual for the proper ways on how to connect it to the air compressor. Once properly attached, the tool will refill the coolant while bleeding the cooling system of air.
Check the included instructions on how to safely refill a 50/50 mix of fresh coolant to the cooling system.
Monitor the coolant and top it off as necessary, before reinstalling the radiator cap.
Start the engine and keep an eye on the temperature gauge to ensure that the vehicle will not overheat. Continue doing this step until the electric cooling fan kicks in, and the engine reaches operating temperature.
Transfer the accumulated coolant from the catch pan into a bigger fluid container. Clean the surface and remove any traces of the coolant.
Here’s a short video that can make it easier for you to get the task done.
- You need to check the vehicle’s coolant level after driving it for a couple of days and top off as necessary.
- It is illegal to dispose of old coolant by pouring it down the drain. Check online resources for the nearest landfill in your area that accepts hazardous waste.
- Allow the engine to cool completely before proceeding with the process. Hot coolant can cause injury when it touches your bare skin. You can prepare the manual or online resources while waiting.
- You need to allow the air from your cooling system to bleed properly, or else the engine may suffer from damage due to overheating.
Your vehicle becomes vulnerable to overheating if not regularly checked, especially its radiator hoses. The latter serves as the connection between the radiator and engine.
The lower radiator helps in transporting the coolant from the radiator to the engine. On the other hand, the upper radiator hose allows the transportation of the coolant from the engine to the radiator, and it is connected to the thermostat housing.
It is easy to fix your problem with any of the radiator hoses. This article listed out what needs to be done to replace the lower radiator hose.
Before telling yourself you can’t get it done, it is best to gear up and prepare the tools. Open your vehicle’s hood, spot the problems, and follow the steps on how to fix them.