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How to Replace the Heater Hoses in a Dodge Durango

by Contributor

If you notice a puddle of engine coolant under your Dodge Durango, it's likely that you need to replace the heater hoses. The hoses, which allow coolant to run in and out of the heater core, can get brittle and hard over time. Fortunately, replacing the heater hoses is a fairly simple task that you can probably do yourself. Here's how to replace the heater hoses in a 1998 to 2003 model 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.

Tip

  • Be environmentally responsible and reuse engine coolant if it isn't too old or contaminated. If you choose not to reuse it, take it to a garage or hazardous waste facility where it can be disposed of properly.

Warnings

  • To avoid scalds, wear gloves and protective clothing, and always be sure the engine is completely cool before replacing the heater hoses in your Dodge Durango. Put a thick cloth over the radiator cap and turn the cap very slowly to open it. The steam and hot liquid can cause serious burns.
  • Keep engine coolant in a sealed container safely out of the reach of children and pets, and if any is spilled, clean it up immediately. Remember that antifreeze tastes sweet, and can be fatal if ingested in sufficient quantities.

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