Don't Let A Blown Hose "Blow" Your Trip

courtesy of The Car Care Council

Andy K's family and travel gear were in the car. Everyone was anxious to leave on their extended vacation when Andy had a last minute thought. He ran back into the house to shut off the water supply line to the washer, only to discover a huge bulge in the hose. It almost certainly would have burst while they were away, allowing a prolonged flood of hot water.

Andy's preventive measure reminded him of another rubber hose that might have hampered their vacation had he not found it in time, a radiator hose that was in marginal condition. He had taken the car to the shop for a complete "physical" and discovered several things that might put him and his family at risk.

Whether on the road or driving around home, you want to know your vehicle's cooling system parts are not running on borrowed time. Coolant loss due to a leaking hose or connection can lead to some very expensive trouble including major engine damage. To help prevent such a crisis, the Car Care Council suggests a thorough visual inspection plus a pressure check (which can be done by most service dealers). Then flush the system and install new antifreeze.

The Council offers this cooling system check list:

Soft? Hose clamps secure?
Brittle? Drain valve dry?
Bulging? Freeze plugs secure?

Glazed? Internal rust or corrosion?
Cracked? Seeping?
Frayed? Mountings secure?
Correct tension? Pressure test OK?

Valve and spring OK? Bearing condition?
Seal condition? Leakage at gasket or shaft?
Tight fit?
Pressure test OK?

Thermostat functioning normally?
Fan clutch engaging and disengaging properly?
Electric fan (on systems so equipped) functioning properly?

For more information on the care of your vehicle's cooling system send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
Car Care Council
Dept. C
42 Park Drive
Port Clinton, OH 43452.

The Car Care Council is a non-profit organization and is widely considered to be the most widely respected source of car care information in North America. The Council's staff does not answer technical questions but you can call the C.A.R. Show at 1-88-88-CAR-SHOW ( for your repair questions.

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