A radiator does the job of maintaining optimum temperature in your car’s power source, but the hose carries the coolant and connects your car’s radiator to its engine.
When you have used up to 60,000 miles on your vehicle or used your car for about four years and above, you need to check your hoses for preventive maintenance.
If you ever had your car overheated, then it’s time to change your radiator hose. The big challenge, however, is figuring out the best radiator hoses to replace your old ones.
The Best Radiator Hoses Reviews
An upper hose moves coolant from the radiator to the engine, and a lower hose connects the bottom of the radiator to the water pump. Either of the tubes could get worn out, so here are five best options for replacement.
1. Gates 22433 Upper Radiator Hose
This coolant hose has a structure that allows it to pass around the serpentine belt, making it easy to remove the strap without taking out the tube.
It is a moldable hose with two alternators that prevent the battery from draining. The hose is excellent for Ford cars. For more amazing products like this, check out our guide to the coolant additive
- The fitting of the hose is innovative in passing around the belt
- It is suitable for your car battery life because of its alternators
2. Gates 21941 Lower Radiator Hose
This molded lower radiator hose is made for desert drives and is excellent for Chevy cars. Howbeit, the tube is not unique to Chevy cars alone.
It has a plastic shield that protects the hose’s rubber and maybe a competition for the OEM counterpart.
Installing it will be a pain, but the tight fit makes it worthwhile. You would appreciate having some of the Coilovers for Wrx, so take a moment to check them out.
- It is both durable and well protected with its plastic shield
- The tube is perfect for cooling your car in extreme heat
- A great fit
- This product has OEM quality and maybe better
3. Gates 21631 Upper Radiator Hose
This upper coolant hose is a molded type that is suitable for specific cars. It bends well to mimic a branched molded hose-type.
Once you figure out the part number, it is an ideal snug fit. While it doesn’t fit all vehicle brands, it is a perfect fit for Ford cars, especially the Bronco models.
- The hose fits like an OEM variety
- It is durable and works as expected
- Being pliable makes it easy to fit into engines without it touching unnecessary surfaces
- Without the need for alteration, it is a perfect molded fit
4. Gates 21615 Lower Radiator Hose
It is a perfect lower coolant hose replacement for Jeeps, especially Jeep Cherokees. This product continually cools your car even in extreme weather, so it is safe for hot temperatures.
In Cherokees, it can be used without a spring in case your spring is damaged or faulty.
A helpful tip in installing on an XJ is to go from above by pulling off your air filter housing because it is quite tricky installing from below.
- High-Temperature resistance
- It is a long hose, and this will be a joy if you enjoy the length
- The rubber is durable and has material that prevents collapse. However, it does not come with a spring
- This hose is the perfect fit for big cars
- Has OEM quality and shelf life
- Doesn’t have a plastic guard to prevent chafing
5. ACDelco 18221L Professional Branched Radiator Hose
From highly pliable rubber, this branched hose is moldable and made to resist electrochemical degradation. It’s made for the fitting of smaller tighter engine compartments.
This hose-type is capable of installing without bending out of shape or buckling for ease. The mold aims to be a perfect fit for the original curves.
Notably, this is one of the best radiator hoses for your engine because of its fitting and durability.
- Highly durable
- It can compete with the OEM quality
- The product’s fitting is excellent
Things to Consider Before Buying Radiator Hoses
When shopping for the best radiator hose for your vehicle, you need to confirm the fit and quality. They are made of rubber—although it deteriorates quickly— because it is the best material for making hoses. So, you have to focus on the fit for your vehicle since you cannot fully control the quality.
Types of Radiator Hoses
There are different types of radiator hoses, and you need to consider them to ensure fitting. If you cannot still figure out the type you need, check your owner’s manual.
As the name implies, it has a shape to fit a specific car engine configuration. They are not interchangeable and have a structure that avoids kinking and unnecessary contact around your engine.
Its build is to offer flexibility and a generic one-size for all replacement. Flex hoses are shortcut types and not recommended for replacement.
These are perfect for installations where there is no contact or kink concern. It is a straight rubber hose often used as a lower radiator hose.
Branched Molded Hose
These are also vehicle specific and have a central hose and a smaller branched hose from the main trunk. You should not replace them without discretion.
Apart from the type of hose, you need to confirm the location of the damaged one and the replacement to get the right model. Be sure the brand you bought is precisely the upper or lower hose based on the one that needs replacement.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Due to the necessity for right vehicle maintenance, here is a compilation of frequently asked radiator hose questions.
1. What is the best radiator hose for my car engine?
Your best option is a foldable hose because it is car-specific and fits perfectly. Always check the car manual for its perfect fit or check the seller’s website to see the model that fits your vehicle.
2. How often should I replace my radiator hose?
For preventive maintenance, you should ideally change your hose every four years or after a 60,000 mileage. However, if you are not big on prevention, a proper type can last you up to 250,000 miles or 15years.
You can always feel your hose to confirm its health or watch out for heating in your engine, typically with visible fumes.
3. How do I change my radiator hose?
To replace your damaged radiator hose, first, drain the coolant in your radiator then follow these steps:
- Remove the clamps at both ends of the hose
- Twist the hose to remove it or use a flat screwdriver to ease it off
- Clean up the fittings
- Install the new hose one side at a time
- Replace the coolant if it’s reusable or uses a new coolant-water mix in a 50:50 ratio
- Test your work by starting your engine and checking for leaks
4. Do I need to drain the radiator before replacing the hose?
When changing your upper tube, you do not need to void the radiator completely. You can drain the coolant until the top hose is empty.
5. Can any radiator hose fit my engine?
Every car has a specific folded hose that fits it so you cannot use any type. But you can use a universal or flex hose temporarily until you find a permanent fix.
The best radiator hoses are always a snug fit for your vehicle type. Guidelines and reviews like this help narrow your options, but they cannot replace your car manual. The vehicle manual is always more specific, and it is written by the manufacturer to help in both your choice of cooling hose and other replacements.