How to repair a collapsed radiator hose

A major part of an engine’s cooling system, a radiator hose transfers the hot coolant from the engine to the radiator where it is cooled and then back into the engine. The two hos es that carry the coolant into and out of the radiator are strong enough to withstand huge amounts of heat and intense pressure. If you find that one of them has collapsed, don’t panic. It is often an easy fix.


The first thing you will need to do is find out what has caused the collapse. Place two caps of water into the radiator and turn the engine on so that you can observe whether the radiator hose goes back to normal.

A collapse is most commonly caused by a vacuum. This can be a result of a faulty radiator cap, which under regular conditions should release the negative pressure created when the car engine cools down and the coolant contracts. The solution for this is to replace the cap. Alternatively, the radiator runoff hose could be blocked. When the engine cools down, the fluid is unable to return to the tank, resulting in a vacuum and a collapsed hose.

It could also be that the hose has come to the end of its lifespan and is no longer resilient enough to connect to the radiator. If the hose is loose, cracked, sticky or easy to pinch together, it is time to change it. Silicone hoses from manufacturers such as
are easy to come by and easy to change.

Make sure the engine is cool and be ready to drain the engine’s coolant during the process. Remove the bolts that keep the hose in place, replace the hose with a newer one, and place the bolts back into their original place. Turn the engine on and see whether the hose collapses. If it is a new hose, this shouldn’t occur.


When dealing with your car’s coolant system, always make sure the engine is cool. Hot coolant under pressure can be dangerous – as can fans, which won’t stop if you put your fingers in their way.

If you don’t feel comfortable, it is always best to call out professional rather than risking your safety doing something you are unfamiliar with.

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