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When do you change raditor hose?

I made a mistake, I did not ask to change the radiator hoses when the mechanic changed radiator on my 96 Honda accord. Top hose cracked yesterday and now I am wondering if I should change bottom one too? First, it is a pain to access, second it seems to be soft/flexible to touch.

What is the normal maintenance schedule for radiator hoses?

There is no “normal” schedule. When a new radiator is installed it makes sense to install new hoses. I’d replace them both and save yourself from having the bottom hose fail on the road somewhere.

It’s a common sense issue for many mechanics. A quick feel of the hoses will tell you if they need replaced. A soft feeling radiator hose needs to be replaced.

Agree, a “soft” hose needs changing, and a bottom hose which has a spring inside to prevent collapsing definitey needs it if it feels soft.

I worked in the Middle East and the main contractor changed ALL belts and hoses very 2 years on vehicles that had to go out in the desert.

Your hoses are well overdue as are likely your heater hoses. Check the belt(s) while you are at it.

Definitely change the bottom rad hose and maybe the cabin heater hoses too. Also check the smaller bypass hoses, throttle body and PCV heater hoses.

After one coolant hose fails all the others are suspect IMHO. No point risking overheating the aluminum parts of your engine.

The top and bottom hoses will tend to age as a set. Since the top one split, it’s a real good bet that the bottom one may too.

Change the bottom too. It’ll be less of a pain than a sudden loss of coolant on the highway.