When Should You Invest in Custom Radiator Hoses?
More than just a slick paint job and shiny wheels will make your favorite ride cool. A good radiator hose literally keeps your vehicle cool and running.
If you can’t find the hose you need, though, what do you do? You seek out custom radiator hoses.
All Hoses Matter
Radiator hoses go through the mill in their lifetime. They need to be able to hold a 200-degree coolant and sustain intense pressure. Engineers design radiator hoses with these limitations and requirements in mind.
The hoses should last five years, but road warriors will soon discover that their hoses may not have the duration of a typical hose. In short, you may need a new radiator hose before your hose’s five year birthday.
So, how do you know if you need to replace your radiator hose, to begin with?
Your Hose Is Old
If your hose is more than ten years old, examine it carefully. Even before you’ve had your car ten years, you should have your radiator hose checked at every oil change because hose qualities vary.
If It Shows Signs of Wear
You’ll know your hose needs replacing if it shows signs of wear.
If you notice cracks or actual splits in the hose, replace it.
If you see bulges in the hose where you should not see bulges, you need to replace your hose.
After your hose has cooled down, check it by giving it a good squeeze. If it has a crunchy feeling, you need to replace it.
Examine the ends of the hose carefully. If you see bulging or damaged ends where the hose connects to the radiator, you need to replace the hose.
And finally, if you’re noticing coolant leaks, you must replace the hose.
Signs of a Coolant Leak
If your car is running fine, how do you know if you’re leaking coolant?
Before you go to bed at night, place a large slab of cardboard under your car. It will catch whatever drips you may have. Look for some fluorescent or bright drips that indicate a leak.
A slow leak will slowly drain your vehicle of the essential coolant that keeps your engine running. A new engine will end up costing you far more time and money than a new radiator hose, so watch for signs of a leak.
Signs of Overheating
Other than simply quitting, what indicates your vehicle has overheated?
Your first sign of overheating stars with your temperature gauge. It will creep or dive into the red, telling you the coolant isn’t getting to your engine.
Steam and smoke along with a burning smell indicate your engine is overheating.
To double-check, look at your gasket cap. If it looks compromised in any way, it could be undergoing unnecessary pressure as your engine overheats.
And it all could begin with a faulty radiator hose.
Discoloration or Rust
Even if you can’t catch a coolant leak with a piece of cardboard, corrosion or rust or discoloration around your radiator hose is a smoking gun for a bigger problem. The slow leak will cause this corrosion and give you a clue that your radiator hose is on its last days.
Why Custom Radiator Hoses?
Once you’ve discovered you need a new hose, why would you want to consider a custom radiator hose?
There are four different types of radiator hoses:
Accordion hoses: an accordion hose looks just like it sounds. It functions adequately as a radiator hose.
Molded hoses: Manufacturers create molded hoses from either custom silicone or stainless steel. They pre-shape the hoses according to the equipment manufacturer’s requirements. So radiator companies specify what each hose should look like.
These hoses create easy connections allowing coolants to flow easily. But, they do not fit on every make and model of vehicle.
Flex hoses: Flex hoses do just that: they flex. Their corrugated covers allow them to bend easily and move where a mechanic needs them to.
Accordion hoses, molded hoses, and flex hoses all exist for specific models. But what if you have an irregular model of a car, something you’ve customized for your own needs.
You can certainly attempt to fabricate your own custom hose. In the end, your hose may look like something from a science-fiction novel, pieced together with tape and other creative measures.
You can also purchase custom radiator hoses like the Snap-Loc coolant hose. This hose has sections that snap together, allow you to create a flexible and reliable hose at a length of your choosing without having to piecemeal sections of hose together.
If you want to learn more about this hose, check out the Snap Loc site.
You Have a Custom Car
If you’re reading this, you most likely already have a custom hotrod. You’re a do-it-yourself mechanic who thrives on automotive projects and weekends in your garage. You enjoy the smell of grease and auto paint.
If you have the blessing of a custom car, the kind where you have a 1942 Studebaker Champion coupe with a 1961 Dodge 383 underhood, no manufacturer’s hose will fit your engine like a glove.
You will need to figure out how to fashion one from random pieces, or you can use a custom-made hose that has just what you need.
Customized for a Custom Ride
If you enjoy working on cars, you need to check out custom radiator hoses. They will fit the needs you have, and you will find yourself cursing a little less under the hood and listening to the purr of your engine a little more.
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