Should hoses be replaced as preventive maintenance?

My car is a 2000 Honda Civic with 76,000 miles. My regular mechanic at Firestone says the hoses look fine, but my mechanic friend is very protective of me and says to replace them (Firestone would charge some $450). How advisable is it to invest this under the circumstances? I do want my car to last another 6 or 7 years.

I will make no recommendation, just state that in the cars I have owned since '83, each for 10-13 years, I haven’t done this, and have never had any of the hoses burst. Let the recommendations begin!

An itemized list of the hoses and their price would be interesting…I know Honda’s can be difficult to work on but $450 is ridiculous…But if this includes EVERY rubber hose, brake hoses, vacuum hoses, everything, then $450 is about right…

Thanks for your replies. The $450 does not inlcude ALL hoses, just the 2 radiator hoses, water pump hoses, heater hoses (my plural may be wrong, I know next to nothing about cars!). “All the hoses that water goes thru,” is what I asked. I found an interesting reply from the Tappett Brothers: rarely are hoses replaced on Honda’s. In fact, both Firestone and Tom stated that even the Honda dealers often don’t even have the hoses in stock. Given all this, my preliminary decision stands: unless I get a real good deal from my friend (I will visit him in December, he’s 250 miles away), I don’t think this expense is called for now.

o.k. I’ll join in.
Much is relative to individual conditions and hoses can be checked.
Squeeze each hose,radiator and heater, and see if it’s pliable or stiff. look for mini surface cracks as you squeeze.

You bring up a good point for MY 92 before I sell it, But on a 2000 I’d just start checking for signs but not race down to the shop.
Is it time yet for an antifreeze change ?( proper cooland mixture has a lot to do with hose life too) Thermostat ? If you are prone to go with the hose change just save up for a while and check parts prices with parts houses too.

I would first do an inspection, and any “soft” or even slightlycracked hoses I would replace. If you are not driving in a critical area (such as Death Valley), I would only replace those that show craks or softness.

Some years back I worked in Saudi Arabia, and the contractors who worked with us changed all rubber hoses every 2 years. Their experience was that it’s better safe than sorry.

So, a lot depends on the operating environment. I have scrapped cars after 13 years where only the upper rad hose had been replaced. The bottom hose usually lasts a lot longer.

Today I was told that the hoses were pliable. One of the managers said the hoses should be replaced every 5 years, but when they really think you should do something, they really recommend it. This hoses thing sounds a bit too preventive right now.

The hose that will fail FIRST is the upper radiator hose. It’s the first to go because it carries the hottest water. The next is the SUPPLY hose to the heater. The others carry much cooler coolant and will last much longer…This is a $50 DIY project…

And another key place to check hoses is right as the hose meets the clamp. Look here for bulging and surface cracks that may not appear on the body of the hose. Most burst hoses pop here.

Follow the path of hoses and look for any rubbing areas. Add protection to a hose that could rub and replace a hose that has been rubbing.

Save your money. If the hoses are not in failure keep driving on. Just change the engine oil and automatic transmission fluid regularly and this car will last likely.

If you have not done already put the money towards that overdue timing belt.

I have a 97 Honda (155,000 miles) with the original hoses and I live in the mid south area of the country. I point out my location because where you live is important as well as the past maintenance of the cooling system.

If you live in a location that is hard on rubber or you’ve let the coolant stay in the system until it turned brown, you better check those hoses closely. If you live in an area no worse than mine and you’ve changed the coolant on a reasonable schedule (at least every four years for the old green stuff, 5 years for the newer universal long life) then you have time on your side.

I would schedule hose change with the next scheduled maintenance that requires changing the coolant. For example, if you haven’t changed the timing belt yet, you are overdue for that. A complete package for timing belt, water pump and oil seals is usually offered by the Honda dealers for around $600 depending on location. You might have new hoses done then for a little more.

Otherwise just do it at the next scheduled coolant change. Do not allow them to talk you into a coolant system flush, just drain and refill and new hoses. It should not cost $450 either.

Yikes, every 5 years?? If folks did that you’d see a line at the parts store day and night. Try ‘never’ for most cars, with very few failures.

I say not to change them. Those Honda hoses should last nearly forever. Most replacement hoses aren’t as good.

I change all my hoses and belts every 5-7 years. They WILL just give out, and when they do, it will most likely be during a 3 day holiday weekend. They’re cheap enough and easy to do yourself.

I would say your mechanic friend is just a little over protective.

An inspection of each hose by someone with experience with that car, might turn up a questionable hose or two that might be worth changing, but an inspection by someone not familiar with your car is likely not to be very accurate. One mechanics soft might be another’s OK.

I have a friend who years ago was a mechanic at a Honda dealership (has since moved up the ladder) and he said they never saw those hoses fail at less than 10 years old.
Probably true of some of the other Japanese brands back in the 80s-90s.
I owned a Civic and four Accords ranging from 75-88 m.y. and changed hoses at ~10 years with no problem.

Radiator hoses are apparently made of better materials now than in the distant past. I have a 22 year old car in daily use in warm weather that has the original hoses. As a precaution, I keep a spare set of hoses in the trunk; you might want to do at least that so you are prepared if one leaks when far from home.

I just traded a 1996 car, also with the original hoses.

I agree with Dr. Pinto.
Getting stranded while out of town is not something that I relish, so I also replace my radiator hoses, heater hoses, and serpentine belt every 5 years or so.

That being said, the price quoted to the OP is truly outrageous.

The best advice I’ve read so far is “buy them and put them in your trunk.” I don’t see any need for changing good servicable parts. If you were going to take a road trip, say around the country, it might be a good preventative measure. But otherwise it isn’t a bad to have them on hand in case one of them fails then you will at least have a part you might get a friend to change if you’re stuck somewhere. Many people probably remember the “old days” when a bursting rad. hose was a normal occurance, but so were fouled plugs, pitted points, and rusted exhaust systems. I haven’t changed a cooling system hose on my own vehicle since 1983, and between my wife and myself we’ve owned 12-14 cars since that time. That one blew when the rad. trans cooler failed and the engine overheated. So to sum it up, I’d find something else to lose sleep over.

I’ve always replaced hoses after 5-7 years on any car I’ve owned. And, each time, I replace the thermostat as well as the coolant. I just think it’s a good maintenance practice to do this type of thing. I usually keep my cars for 10-13 years and they’ve always all been in good shape because of this type of care. I do mostly all work by myself, so I save money there. I also use hoses I buy at the dealer and not after-market hoses. The $450 quoted for your work sounds rather high-priced.