How to Replace the Heater Hoses in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

When most people think of car maintenance invariably, oil changes, tune-ups and the like come to mind. Often people will overlook the hoses and more specifically the heater hose in their Vehicles. This is a mistake, as the hoses are a prime source of leakage problem in your cooling system. Replacing the heater hose doesn't require in-depth knowledge of auto mechanics and nearly anyone can do it.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Pontiac Grand Am

Determine the location of the heater hoses on your Grand Am. They attach to the heater core's outtake and intake valves. Shut off the car's engine and check the heater hoses for leaks or wear and tear. If they show signs of leakage or damage, replace them.

Empty the radiator of coolant by opening the petcock. Place a bucket underneath the radiator to catch dripping liquid. Put the used coolant in a sealed container and keep it way from pets. Once you drain the coolant, loosen the old heater hoses by twisting them.

Cut the heater hoses with a knife or razor blade. For easier removal, use a heater hose removal tool for the Gran Am, which you can find at an auto supply store. Loosen the clamps that secure the hoses. Then remove the hoses slowly, making sure you don't pull it too hard and damage the heater core or heater tubes.

Wipe the fittings with a cleaning solution. Then use gasket sealer before putting in the new Grand Am heater hoses. Slide clamps over the new hoses until they fit at the mouth of each hose. Then put new coolant in the radiator.

Start the engine. Wait until it warms sufficiently and then look for dripping coolant. If there isn't any, do one final check of the coolant level before closing the hood. Maintain a level halfway between full and low at all times to ensure that the Grand Am's system has enough coolant to keep it running properly.

Items you will need

  • Bucket

  • Sealable container

  • Heat hose removal tool

  • Knife or razor blade

  • Cleaning solution

  • Gasket sealer

  • Heater hoses

  • Clamps

  • Coolant

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Jeep Grand Cherokee

Allow the engine to cool down and then locate the heater hoses. The top hose runs to the thermostat while the lower hose fits behind the air conditioner compressor.

Empty the radiator of coolant. Place a drain pan underneath it to catch excess fluid. Put the coolant in a sealed container and properly dispose of it according to your local municipality regulations.

Loosen and remove the clamps connected to the heater hoses with a screwdriver or pliers. Use a utility knife to slit the old hoses, and then twist them and take them out of the engine compartment.

Measure the old heater hoses before buying new ones to ensure you purchase the proper replacement parts, especially if you order Grand Cherokee parts from an auto supply store.

Clean the fittings with a multipurpose cleaning solution. Grease them with a gasket sealer to ensure a tight connection with the new heater hoses.

Slide the clamps over the new Cherokee heater hoses, and screw the hoses onto the fittings. Check both ends of the hose to make sure you have a firm, snug connection. Use pliers to tighten the fittings if necessary.

Add coolant to the radiator, and then cap it. Run the Jeep Grand Cherokee's engine until the hoses are warm. Check for coolant leaks. Adjust the fittings if coolant drips from the hose connections.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Utility knife

  • Multipurpose cleaning solution

  • Gasket sealer

  • Clamps

  • Heater hoses

  • Coolant

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Ford Mustang

Locate the heater hoses on your Mustang. On most Mustang models, one heater hose runs up to the thermostat housing intake and the other hose runs to the heater core. Measure the old hoses before buying replacements. Some models use two different size heater hoses.

Shut off the Mustang's engine and then examine the heater hoses for tears and leaks. Look for mushy or brittle rubber and worn out clamps. Look for telltale bulges in the middle of hoses. If your heater hoses are swollen they can rupture and you need to replace them immediately.

Eliminate the coolant in the radiator by loosening the radiator petcock. Drain it completely before taking off the old heater hoses. Keep a bucket underneath to catch any spills and then seal the excess in a closed container.

Take off the clamps that connect the hoses to the heating tubes. Use a heater hose removal device, a screwdriver or pliers to do this. Use a razor blade to slit the old hose from the end to just above the heater tube. Then turn or pull the Mustang hoses to loosen and remove them.

Use a gasket sealer to seal the gaskets. Make sure the clamp fittings are clean and then attach the new heater hoses by sliding the clamps over to the end of the hose.

Pour coolant in the radiator and maintain a level halfway between full and low at all times to ensure that the cooling system has enough fluid to keep it running properly.

Turn off the engine and check for leaks underneath the vehicle and at the heater hose connections. If you don't see any, recheck the coolant level, replace the reservoir cap and close the hood of your Mustang.

Items you will need

  • Bucket Sealer

  • Pliers

  • Screwdriver

  • Razor blade

  • Heater hoses

  • Clamps

  • Gasket sealer

  • Coolant

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Chevy Silverado

Position a bucket with at least a 2-gallon capacity underneath the radiator drain plug. Be sure the radiator is cool to the touch before you open the drain plug. Open the drain plug and let the coolant drain into the bucket. Pour the old coolant into a sealable container for proper disposal.

Use a pair of hose clamp pliers to remove the clamps from the old heater hose. You can use regular pliers or a screwdriver, but hose clamps make the task much simpler.

Make several lengthwise cuts on the hoses that connect the heater core and engine of the Chevy Silverado to each other. Then, remove the old heater hoses. Don't pull or twist the heater hose with too much force, as you can damage the heater core.

Place a small portion of gasket sealer on the engine and heater fitting connections. Slide the new hoses onto the fitting. Make certain the clamps are on the new hoses before you put them in place. Then, use the hose clamp pliers to tighten the clamps around the hoses.

Close the radiator drain plug and refill the radiator with fresh coolant. Start the engine of the Chevy Silverado. Let it run for about 15 or 20 minutes. Check the hoses for any leaks and dispose of the old heater hoses.

Items you will need

  • Bucket

  • Sealable container

  • Hose clamp pliers

  • Heater hoses

  • Coolant

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Honda Accord

Position a bucket with at least a 2-gallon capacity underneath the Honda Accord's radiator and directly below the drain plug. Then, open the radiator drain plug to allow the coolant to drain into the bucket. Make sure the radiator is cool to the touch before you open the drain plug.

Use a screwdriver or pliers to loosen the clamps, which hold the heater hoses in place. The tool needed will depend on the type of clamp on the hoses of your Honda Accord. Then, move the clamps down the hose and out of your way.

Make several lengthwise cuts where the hoses connect to the heater core and engine respectively. Next, remove the old heater hoses. Never pull or twist on the hose while removing it without cutting it first, because you can damage the heater core.

Scrape any leftover heater hose or debris away from the hose fitting, so the new hoses fit snugly to the heater core and the engine. If there's debris left on the fittings, it can cause a coolant leak.

Apply gasket sealer to each of fittings to help secure the new hoses in place. Be sure you don't put too much sealer on the fittings or it may cause gaps. A thin coat of sealer will suffice.

Put the hose clamps onto the new heater hoses and attach them to the heater core and engine fittings. Next, use the screwdriver or pliers to tighten the clamps on the heater hoses. Be sure there's a sufficient amount of hose attached to the fitting to prevent coolant leaks.

Fill the radiator with fresh coolant, turn on the engine of the Honda Accord and let it run for about 15 minutes. While the Accord is running, check for any leaks in the new heater hoses.

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Chrysler Sebring

Check the heater hoses every 15,000 miles or after a harsh winter season. Examine the clamps, which can cause cracks in the hose if they're too tight, and feel for soft or brittle spots next to the clamp connection. Replace any heater hoses that show damage.

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator and empty the Sebring cooling system of refrigerant by opening the radiator petcock. Put the coolant in a sealed container and dispose of it according to your local municipality regulations.

Use pliers or a screwdriver to loosen the clamps securing the hoses to the heater core. Some auto supply stores sell heater hose disconnect tools to simplify this task. Twist the hose and lift it from the fitting. Use a utility knife to slice the heater hoses to make them easier to remove.

Clean the fittings with a strong multipurpose cleaning solution. Use gasket sealer to cement the new heater hoses into place. Slide the clamps over the new heater hoses until you place them securely at the mouth of each hose.

Pour fresh coolant in the radiator and turn the Sebring on to look for leaks. If you don't find any, do one final check of coolant levels before you close the hood. If you find leaks, check the connections to be sure they are snug and free of leaks.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Sealable container

  • Pliers

  • Screwdriver

  • Utility knife

  • Multipurpose cleaning solution

  • Gasket sealer

  • Clamps

  • Heater hoses

  • Coolant

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Mitsubishi Eclipse

Turn off the engine, allow it to cool and locate the heater hoses on the Eclipse. On most Eclipse models, the heater hoses connect to heater tubes at the firewall.

Examine the heater hoses for bulges or cracks. Look for mushy or brittle rubber and loose clamps. Telltale bulges in the middle of heater hoses indicate that hoses may rupture, so you need to replace them immediately.

Eliminate the coolant in the radiator. Place a drain pan underneath the radiator and loosen the petcock located at the bottom of the radiator. Put the old coolant in a sealed container and dispose of it according to your local municipality regulations.

Remove the clamps that connect the heater hoses to the heating tubes. Take a heater hose removal tool, a screwdriver or pliers to do this. Use a utility knife to cut the old hose from the end of the hose to just above the heater tube. Twist or pull the Eclipse's heater hoses to loosen and lift them out of the heater compartment.

Ensure that the clamp fittings are clean by wiping them with a multipurpose cleaning solution. Close the gaskets with a sealer. Put on the new heater hoses by sliding the clamps along the hose to the end. Be sure the clamps fit snuggly but not too tight as they may crack the new heater hoses.

Put fresh coolant in the radiator. Turn the engine on and check for leaks. If you see leaks, check the clamp and heater hose connections and adjust as necessary. Once the system is leak free, close the hood of the Eclipse.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Sealable container

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Utility knife

  • Multipurpose cleaning solution

  • Gasket sealer

  • Clamps

  • Heater hoses

  • Coolant

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Dodge Durango

Loosen the plug on the bottom of the radiator and drain the engine coolant into a clean, resealable container. Once the coolant has been drained, replace the plug.

Unfasten the clamps at each end of the hose that needs to be replaced. If the clamps are spring clamps, squeeze the tabs together to loosen the tension. If they are worm drive clamps, they will have a bolt that holds the tension against a band. To loosen the worm drive clamps, rotate the bolt counterclockwise.

Twist the hose and slide it off the radiator, thermostat, water pump or heater connection. If the hose sticks, don't use a screwdriver or other sharp tool to loosen it because the connections are easily damaged. Instead, make a shallow cut on the hose with a razor blade and carefully peel off the hose.

Clean the hose mounting connections on both ends with a clean shop rag. Inspect the hose clamps and replace them if necessary.

Dip both ends of the new hose into engine coolant, which will make it easier to install. Put the new clamps into position on the hose.

Coat the connecting areas with a light layer of waterproof sealer and push the hose into position. Make sure the clamps are past the raised area of the connector and tighten the clamps securely.

Fill the cooling system with recycled coolant, or if the coolant is old or contaminated, use a mixture of half distilled water and half antifreeze. Start the engine and allow it to warm up for several minutes, then inspect the hoses for leaks.

Items you will need

  • Resealable container

  • Replacement hoses

  • Replacement hose clamps, if necessary

  • Clean shop rags

  • Waterproof sealer

  • Recycled coolant or blend of distilled water and antifreeze

 How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Ford Focus

Locate the heater hoses in the Ford Focus in the engine compartment. You can find them easily under the hood on the passenger side. They connect to the firewall and thermostat housing.

Check the old hoses for brittle or mushy areas, especially next to the clamp connections. Replace soft or damaged heater hoses immediately. Measure the length of the heater hoses and the inside diameter of them, or bring the old hoses with you to the auto supply store to purchase the correct replacements.

Open the radiator petcock and empty existing coolant into a drain pan. Put all unwanted coolant in a sealable container before disposing. Keep it away from children, cats and dogs because they're attracted to the smell. This may result in illness or death if they drink or sniff it.

Shut off the engine. Loosen the clamps connecting the hose to the heater core of your Focus. Auto supply stores sell heater hose disconnect tools specifically for Ford models if you want to remove the old heater hoses easily. You can also use a screwdriver or pliers to disconnect the clamps.

Cut the old heater hoses with a razor blade. Loosen them until you can easily remove them from the fittings. Wipe the fittings with a cleaning solution and then use gasket sealer to fit the new heater hoses securely. Slide the clamps over the new hoses until you tightly place them at the hose end.

Put coolant in the radiator and maintain enough fluid to keep your Focus running properly. Start the engine and if you can't find any leaks or loose fittings, then you connected the heater hoses correctly.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Sealable container

  • Heater hose disconnect tool (optional)

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Razor blade Clamps

  • Cleaning solution

  • Gasket sealer

  • Clamps

  • New heater hoses

  • Coolant

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.