I have to change a cracked composite water outlet and will replace all of the coolant at the same time. Right now I’m going to re-use the same hoses if possible. Based on some discussions I’ve seen, modern hoses seem to last a lot longer. Maybe I’m being penny-wise and pound-foolish, but they all seem to look good right now. Also, this limits the number of plastic fittings that I need to try and wrestle hoses off of without breaking. I have some other questions though:
- Does distilled water really make a difference? We have some of the cleanest tap water in North America here in Vancouver.
- Is it easier to get the hoses off when hot or cold?
- I’ve heard about using soap to lubricate the hoses while reinstalling. Doesn’t that just make the hoses slip off under pressure more easily?
My hoses are 5 years old and they are all being replaced as preventive maintenance. Hoses usually deteriorate from the inside and look fine on the outside. The cleanliness of the water is not the issue, its the minerals in the water. Simply using coolant as a lube seems to be as good as anything.
If the hoses are warm, they usually will slip off a little easier. Not that much of a difference compared to room temperature though. Usually when I do this, I have to use a small screwdriver and pry under the hose in several places to break the bond. If it still won’t budge I’ll (carefully so as to not crack the fitting) use slip joint pliers around the hose to provide some more twisting leverage. I’ve heard reports of folks using compressed air to break the hose/fitting bond in a similar way to the small screwdriver too, seems like it might work and less likely to damage the fitting.
When installing a hose, sometimes warming the hose in a bucket of hot water helps, if the fit is tight. I usually dab on a bit of silicone grease whenever I install a rubber hose on a fitting, seems to help, and also make removing it easier next time. I haven’t had any problems of the hoses coming loose. Best of luck.
Does distilled water really make a difference? We have some of the cleanest tap water in North America here in Vancouver.
Then I’d say you’re good to go. Distilled water is probably only worthwhile if the alternative is well water that’s harder than the Gates-O-Hell.
Is it easier to get the hoses off when hot or cold? 3. I’ve heard about using soap to lubricate the hoses while reinstalling. Doesn’t that just make the hoses slip off under pressure more easily?
There are some hose installation tools that work pretty well.
I’m in the Seattle area and I have never used distilled water in a cooling system, either my own or for a customer, and I’m a professional mechanic. The water around here is, like you say, just about the sweetest you can find.
I also no longer have a scheduled maintenance interval for hoses. Time was when at every 60,000 mile service I recommended new hoses. But rubber technology has come a long way in the last 25 years. I see cars that have over 200,000 miles on the original hoses–if the coolant is clean and has been properly maintained.
I do however recommend replacing any hose that is removed in the course of another service or repair, such as water pump or radiator replacement. The main reason behind that is that the hose may be damaged during removal.
Well, I ended up wasting a lot of time looking for the radiator drain only to find out that Chrysler hid it behind some splash shields and piping. It’s not far off the ford heater core joke. Ended up pulling the lower hose instead. Made a mess. My condo management probably won’t be happy with me.
Got the hoses off without trouble, pulled off the water outlet and found out that Chrysler also changed the size of the heater hose nipples for some reason. My new Dorman part follows the new spec. The dealer parts guy had mentioned there was a note about needing new heater hoses with a replacement water outlet, but couldn’t tell me why.
Lucky for me, it looks like the old part wasn’t actually cracked - just a thermostat gasket had gone flat. Switched all the new bits over to the old part, put it on, and hoses went on ok. I’ll fill it in a couple of hours and see if she leaks…
My standard method of draining radiators is to remove one end of the lower radiator hose. I don’t even bother looing for a drain. Some radiators don’t even have petcocks.
As regards the water, I’m an advocate of using distilled water, about 98 cents at the grocery store. It eliminates the risk of mineral buildup, however slight it might be, Besides, the well water we had in Litchfield was so acidic it actually ate through my copper plumbing. I started springing pinhole leaks less than a decade after I had the house built, and by the time I replumbed the house (with heavier gage pipe) about a year later I had sixteen patches on the pipes. I can only imagine what that might have done to my cooling system.