How to Replace the Water Hoses in a Dodge Caravanby Contributor
Like any other vehicle, the Dodge Caravan engine gets hot when running. That is why you need a water hose to work with the cooling system. When your Dodge Caravan's water hose shows signs of wear, it's time to replace it. Follow these simple steps to replace the water/coolant hoses in a 1997 to 2008 Dodge Caravan.
Remove Old Hoses
Buy the water/coolant hoses specified to fit your Dodge Caravan. These will be Gates preformed hoses #22625 for the upper hose and Gates #22626 for the lower hose. Other brands are available if the Gates is out of stock. All preformed radiator hoses fit specifically in the area meant for them on the Dodge Caravan.
Notice the placement of the two hoses connected to the radiator to determine the correct positioning. Loosen the old clamps on the radiator hoses with a flathead screwdriver and pliers as needed. Move it toward the middle of the hose.
Take a picture of the original placement with a digital camera so you can replicate it. Mark where the old hose came to on the machinery so you can install the replacement at the same point and avoid leakage.
Slit the top of the old hose with a utility knife if it has seized to the machinery. Cutting just a couple of inches below the insertion point will allow you to peel it away as needed. Use a piece of coarse sandpaper to clean the area where the hose was stuck to the automobile part. Clean the other connection areas while they are free.
Block the rear wheels and jack up the Dodge Caravan one side at a time. Place a container on the ground below the radiator to catch the expelled coolant so it does not go into the storm drains or the ground water.
Drain the radiator by opening the drain plug, located at the bottom, or take out the bottom hose. Remove the top hose by slipping it off the radiator shroud at one end and the thermostat housing at the other. Discard all the used hoses and clamps. Sand the areas where the old hose met the Dodge Caravan parts to remove pieces of hose and other grit.
Install New Hoses
Reverse the steps used in removing the old Dodge Caravan hoses to install the new ones. Use adjustable clamps with screws for greater protection in holding the new hoses in place.
Place the clamps on the top hose and slide toward the middle of the hose. Push the hose securely onto the top opening in the radiator shroud at one end and the thermostat housing (at the top of the water pump) on the other. Tighten each clamp by tightening the screw.
Repeat Step 2 for the clamps and connect the hose to the bottom radiator shroud at one end and the bottom of the engine at the other. Adjust the clamps into place and tighten the screw.
Reuse the drained coolant in the radiator and finish it off with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water up to the cap line. Refill it more as it goes down. Do this until it stops percolating and making room for more coolant. Start the engine with the radiator cap still open.
Start up the Dodge Caravan. The thermostat will get warmer and the fluid will drop as the coolant begins to circulate. From here, you can finish filling up the radiator. Replace the radiator cap and fill up the overflow reservoir to the line marked "full."
Check to see that the temperature gauge does not run higher than before, the drain plug is closed and there are no leaks at the hose connections or anywhere else.
- check Add lubricant to the inside of the radiator shroud at the connection to make the job easier.
- check Check the owner's manual for different models not addressed in this article. Some differences occur in older Dodge Caravans.
- close Do not work under the hood on any car when it is hot from running. This is particularly true when working with water hoses.