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Your heater hoses are your best friend on a cold morning. These circulate hot coolant from the engine and use it to warm you up. As these hoses are constantly having water flow through them and at great temperatures, they do eventually wear down and need replacing.
A heater hose is usually made up of a thick rubber material with plenty of braiding or wire running through it to help it hold its shape when it gets hot. It feeds hot coolant from the engine to the heater core and then sends the coolant from the heater core to the radiator. Seeing as it goes through such high temperatures and pressures, the hose wears out and will start to leak.
Without heater hoses, you’d be unable to warm your car up or clear your windscreen. They also carry coolant from the engine and then back to the cooling system so if they leak or develop a blockage then it can lead to serious problems down the track.
If you notice that your car has started leaking on your driveway or garage and you can trace the leak back to a hose behind the engine then it’s time to replace them. Another good idea is to squeeze the hose and see if it springs back into shape. If it doesn’t then you may need a new one.
The mechanic will drain the coolant and disconnect the hoses from the inlet and outlet sides of the cooling system. They will then inspect the heater core and fit the new pipes. They will then pressure test the coolant system and refill the coolant. The car will be run up to temperature and checked for leaks.
Depending on how hard it is to access the hoses, prices can vary from between $100 to over $400.
As they are constantly running and circulating hot coolant they do wear out. They are made of pretty thick and strong hose though, so you should only have to replace them every 100,000 km or so.
Only if it leaks all of your coolant out and you seize your engine. Most of the time it’s a slow leak and can get spotted early. If you need a new hose - get it replaced.
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