Radiator hoses must be replaced every four years. Learning how to replace the lower radiator hose is crucial if you don’t want to be abandoned in the middle of the road just when it breaks.
In this guide, we’ll cover how you can check them on your own to ensure they’re in great shape and how you can replace the lower one.
Furthermore, we’ll also walk you through the most reliable lower radiator hoses in the market for your vehicle.
4 Signs You Need To Replace Your Radiator Hose
If you’ve recently noticed a small problem when riding your car, you might want to check up on the radiator hoses. They tend to get damaged as time goes by.
They are relatively easy to replace and are not as expensive. That being said, here are the most common signs:
01. Engine Overheating
If you noticed that your engine is overheating when driving, it could indicate something wrong with the radiator hoses. If this problem keeps ongoing, you might blow the engine. That’ll be a huge bill you probably don’t want to deal with.
Here are some steps you should follow to determine whether the radiator hoses are messing with the engine:
- Squeeze all the hoses. They should not feel weak or hot. Instead, the hoses should feel flexible.
- Also, if the hoses crunch, that’s a clear indicator that they must be replaced.
If you’ve determined that the hoses were the culprit all along, you should replace all the hoses. They are the same age and have been in your vehicle from the get-go unless you’ve replaced them before.
02. Coolant Leak
Another common symptom that indicates the radiator hose went bad is poor coolant.
When that happens, you should check up on the hoses as soon as possible.
Follow these steps to determine whether the hose broke or not:
- Pop the hood of your car. If you noticed that the hoses got corroded, you should replace them before it escalates into further problems.
- A small cut can also indicate that the hoses are not in great shape anymore.
If you’d like to take care of it before it gets any worse, you must replace the radiator hoses.
03. Low Coolant Light
Ever noticed that light on your dashboard that you perhaps decided to ignore? Well, it’s basically an indicator that you’re running low on coolant.
If the light ever pops up again, we suggest parking nearby to inspect the inside of your vehicle. If you notice any bulges and cracks, there’s a high chance you’ll have to replace the hose.
04. Worn-out Hose
Hoses need to be replaced just like any other part of your vehicle. Generally speaking, they should be replaced at least every four years. Even if you don’t have that many miles on your car, the hoses get weaker over time.
Radiator Hose Replacement Cost
In this section, we’ll discuss how much to replace lower radiator hose on average. Any price that we discuss is subject to change depending on your location. But if you want an estimate, this section is for you.
Replacing a hose costs about $160, that is, of course, taking into account both the labor the unit itself. The labor costs about $110, and as far as the part itself goes, you should expect to pay roughly $40-$70.
3 Best Lower Radiator Hoses For Your Vehicle
Planning on replacing your damaged lower radiator hose, but can’t seem to find a decent one? We got you. Here, we’ve gathered the best hoses in the market. We’ll go over why they are the perfect fit for your vehicle.
01. ACDelco Lower Radiator Hose – Best Overall
Our favorite replacement for the lower radiator hose is none other than the model from ACDelco. If you noticed a small leak, this is the product you need to fix your car.
Offering a well-constructed radiator hose, this model is made of heavy-duty materials to withstand ECD overtime. Ever noticed how the rubber loses its chemical elasticity? That is not the case for this one.
In addition to that, it also has a protective layer that helps it withstand heat coming from the engine.
The installation process is also relatively simple. It does not take much time since the hose does not buckle when setting it up.
Despite being an aftermarket product, this model sets itself apart by being almost on par with the original one.
It also has a protective layer sleeve, which is almost similar to that of the original radiator hose.
And to top it off, this model was designed to reduce the springs you might need for the installation process.
What We Liked
- Holds up to heavy use
- Well-made radiator hose
- Withstands heat
- Easy to install
- No buckling when installing
What We Didn’t Like
- Can’t be used for transferring oil
02. Gates Lower Hose – Cheapest Option
Competing with the likes of original lower radiator hoses, Gates’s excellent model does a pretty good job of replacing your damaged hose.
The quality of this one is simply outstanding. It is flexible enough, and the elasticity feels just like the original one.
The installation is pretty simple. It does not take much time as this brand offers everything you need to set it up. You might have to trim it a little bit, but that’s about it.
Moreover, it fits in perfectly for your vehicle. It feels tight and does not feel clumsy, making it a great fit to match the OE ones.
If that weren’t enough, it also has a convenient protective layer all over the hose to protect it from possible electrochemical degradation.
Furthermore, this model is also quite affordable and saves you a lot of money compared to going to your local OEM dealer for a brand new radiator hose.
And finally, to strengthen it, even more, this hose includes a reinforcing agent called rayon knit.
What We Liked
- Compounded with reinforcing materials
- Holds up to electrochemical degradation
- Meets OEM-quality standards
- Can be installed within 10 minutes
- Pre-shaped to fit most vehicles
What We Didn’t Like
- Might be too short for some cars
03. Mishimoto Silicone Hose – Premium Option
This excellent model from Mishimoto has made a name for itself for its exceptional quality.
To get things rolling, this radiator hose is reinforced with a heat-resistant layer that protects it from considerably high temperatures all the way up to 330°F.
Besides that, this model provides an excellent protective layer that essentially makes it more durable to pressure inside the vehicle’s hood.
As the name suggests, this is a silicone-made hose. This type of material acts just like rubber, it holds up pretty well to water, and it’s pretty flexible.
Another feature we love about it is that the inside of this model is super smooth, meaning the air has an easier time going through it.
And if that weren’t enough, it can also withstand the oil that might make its way onto the unit.
Even though this is an aftermarket product, it is designed to fit right into your vehicle, just like any other OEM product would.
What We Liked
- Heavy-duty silicon
- Smooth on the inside
- Fits perfectly
- The installation is pretty easy
What We Didn’t Like
- Quite expensive
How To Install A Lower Radiator Hose
The approach to replacing lower radiator hose presented in this section is one of the easiest ways to install one on your own. Even if you have never done anything related to vehicles, you’ll definitely have an easier time when installing it.
With that being said, here are all the steps required for the installation:
What You’ll Need
For this job, you will need the following tools:
- Pliers—there are a couple of clamps you must remove, and the best way to do so is by using pliers
- Clamps—if your clamps are damaged, you might need a new set
- A bucket—if the liquid is leaking out, you might need to get a bucket before it makes a mess
01. Find The Lower Radiator Hose
The first thing you want to do before installing the lower radiator hose is to find the lower radiator hose on your vehicle.
Pop the hood of your car and then find the lower hose, which can be found connected to the water pump.
Next, you want to place a bucket underneath the lower radiator hose. Liquid might come out as you disconnect the hose, so be careful.
Once you’ve done that, take your pliers and remove the clamps holding the radiator hose together. And now take it off by twisting it around.
02. Install The New Hose
Here is how to replace the lower radiator hose: you want to take your hose clamps and put them in the middle. Next, you want to run the hose underwater.
After that, hold the hose, and then put the curved part first. That part must be connected to the water pump. As for the straight part, it must go right into the lower radiator. Now, you want to put the hose clamps on.
03. Fill The Radiator With Coolant
Open up the overflow tank. Next, you want to find the radiator cap and then take it off. From there, you want to fill the radiator up with the coolant using your funnel.
As you fill it up, you might notice that the coolant is not getting into the radiator. If that’s the case, you want to burp the system.
To burp the system, you want to head over to the upper radiator hose and then squeeze it. As you press it down, you’ll hear a burping sound coming from the funnel.
Now add more coolant to the funnel. Keep doing this until you know it’s good enough according to your vehicle’s manual.
04. Fill The Overflow Tank
Once you’ve filled the radiator up, you also want to fill the overflow tank. You want to add enough coolant until it reaches the mark that says “full.” From there, put everything back on.
05. Start The Engine
After filling up both the overflow tank and the radiator, you must start up the engine. Sometimes, after adding coolant to the vehicle, the engine might overheat as you drive.
So, to ensure everything went smoothly, you want to start the vehicle and then let it run for fifteen minutes. Pay close attention to the dashboard.
As your car is running, please check the hoses to ensure they are not leaking. And finally, turn the heat on to get the coolant running through the heater core. If everything is working fine, you should not have any issues with the vehicle.
For more information on this process, please refer to this well-made video. It goes through all the steps we went above:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here, you’ll find a couple of questions related to the lower radiator hose:
What does the lower radiator hose connect to?
The lower radiator must be connected to the water pump. And the straight part of the hose must be connected to the radiator.
Is it hard to replace a radiator hose?
No, replacing a radiator hose is not hard at all. It barely takes any time and can be done by anybody.
How long to replace lower radiator hose?
For most people, it takes about 20-30 minutes. If it’s your first time doing so, you might spend 40-50 minutes.
By now, you should have a clear understanding of how to replace lower radiator hose. It does not take much time or effort.
As long as you follow all the steps we went through above, you should be fine. As for the radiator hoses we covered before, we carefully selected them based on how much feedback they have received from consumers on Amazon.
Overall, they are an excellent fit for your vehicle and way cheaper than going to the dealer for a new part.