Any car enthusiast can tell you that they would rather spend their time on the road than making constant repairs. Some projects are fun, but when it comes to the little things like rubber hoses, we would all like to put them in and have them work. The basic trick to this is maintenance. Here are a few tips to keep your rubber hoses looking and working like new:
Clean Your Engine
Cleaning the outside of your engine does a lot to extend the life of all your engine parts. A buildup of dirt, oil, and crud can not only hide problems with leaking hoses, it can actually cause them. By using a degreaser that is recommended by your manufacturer, giving your cool engine a good spray-down, you can identify problem areas, fix them, and then take steps to avoid a repeat of that buildup.
Using an engine protectant every few months will keep your hoses looking clean, your rubber moist and flexible (drying out causes cracking), and extend the amount of time between repairs. There are a number of engine protectants that are designed for the entire engine, not just as rubber dressing, and this is an easy one-step solution to a great-looking, long-lasting engine. If you’re not sure which one will be best for your car, look for manufacturer recommendations.
Keep the Insides Clean and Cool
Rubber hoses can be damaged on their insides or their outsides. Because of this, it is just as important to keep the inside of your hoses clean. Change your fluids on a regular schedule, and check dirty fluids for signs that more than regular grime is polluting them. Use engine cleaners with your fuel. Heat is also a very corrosive element to rubber, so keeping the coolant system full and running well is an important step too.
No matter what you do, your rubber won’t last forever. However, paying attention to regular engine maintenance both inside and out will make your hoses last a lot longer. Be certain to continue to check hose clamps as a long-lasting hose may outlast any fasteners that are keeping it attached. A maintenance plan of a few hours a month will often be enough to keep you and your car exactly where you want to be — on the road.
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