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July 25, 2011

Truck Maintenance Tip: Hose Hints

Silicone used to be the watch word for low-maintenance hoses. It's been a good substitute for rubber because it's more temperature stable and doesn't age and crack like rubber, particularly in an ozone-rich atmosphere. As such, silicone has reduced the number of cooling system problems and that's good, because the cooling system is the number one reason for roadside call-outs accounting for 40%-50% of the problems.

But silicone has its problems: It doesn't grab on to the radiator or manifold outlets in the same way rubber does, it's intolerant of hose clamps and it will cut if a wire loop clamp is used. For minimum maintenance, silicone hoses must be used with constant-torque flat clamps.

Less widely known is the permeability of silicone hoses. Over time they will let coolant slowly bleed through the hose material so that as much as eight gallons of coolant will disappear in a year. And it doesn't leave any trace like a loose hose clamp, for example, so you have to pay close attention to the coolant level and add correctly mixed make-up coolant as needed.

You may also find it difficult to get a good clamp if the outlet pipe is not completely round. A good fix for this is heat-shrink clamps, especially when combined with the companion hose technology.


  1. These are some of the great tips that manages your truck properly and will extents the life of your truck to more years.

    Driver Training

  2. These are great truck maintenance tips! I definitely feel like it's better to take good care of a car than have to take it in all the time and pay for repairs. I didn't realize that the cooling system is the most common reason for roadside call-outs! That's definitely good to know. I'll have to make sure my cooling system is in good condition. Thanks for all of this info!
    Megan |

  3. This is something that crossed my mind while visiting today, that truck maintenance isn't as easy as it seems to outsiders, especially people who aren't familiar with trucks like me. Thanks for your expert tips and tricks.

  4. I forgot to mention that you'd think truck towing would be more eminent with these kind of problems so prominent. Haha, that rhyme wasn't intended.