1. Electrochemical Degradation (ECD)
This is the number one cause of hose failures. ECD is the breakdown of material in the hose wall or tube due to electrical reactions between the fluid (coolant) and the metal parts of the engine. The cause of ECD is primarily a function of electrolysis based on the materials in the system (such as the hose, block, head, and radiator) and the chemistry of the coolant. Velocity of the coolant in the hose along with temperature may have a tendency to contribute to ECD, while modern forms of coolant seem to have similar affect regarding ECD. The ECD manifests itself by degrading the hose’s inner tube, allowing the coolant to start attacking the reinforcement, which in turn will lead to a hose rupture
Testing for ECD: Use your thumb and finger to squeeze the hose near the connectors. ECD initially attacks within 2 inches of the ends of the hose. if the ends feel more soft and mushy than the middle or if you feel gaps or channels inside the hose. It is most likely under attack from ECD and requires replacement.
If you notice moisture drips or coolant bleed marks on or around the hose clamps, connectors or on the hose itself you have a leaking hose. It's time to replace!
3. Heat Damage
Look for slight swelling of the hose. A hardened, glossy cover accompanied by cracks is a certain sign of heat damage to a hose.
4. Ozone Damage
Look for tiny parallel cracks in the cover. It will usually be visible at hose bends
5. Abrasion Damage
Look for rubbing marks or visible damage to the exterior of the hose.
6. Oil Conamination
If the hose feels soft or spongy to the touch and or bulges and swelling is apparent, the hose has become compromised and is on it's way to failing.
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