The days of a simple radiator and hose forming a car cooling system are long over. Vehicles now have complex cooling systems, with many manufacturers moving to install what is known as a modular coolant hose system, which delivers a better flow of coolant throughout the vehicle.
Regardless of what you drive, every vehicle has a cooling system. In newer vehicles, these no longer just keep the engine/motors cool; they cool and warm various components.
In order to convey coolant to these components, radiator hoses, as they were once called, have become much more complicated and even contain assorted elements built into the hose to perform a wide variety of tasks. These hose assemblies are called modular coolant hoses, because they employ a variety of modules in their construction. A modular hose is defined as a coolant hose assembly, with one or more modules built into the hose, through which coolant flows. These modules can be a branching tee in the hose, quick-connect, valve, drain, air-bleeder or sensors depending on the vehicle.
You will primarily see modular hoses on European vehicles, but other Manufacturers are quickly following suit as they are easier to install on the production line and delivers a better flow of coolant.
One hose assembly will connect to multiple module components. These modules within the hoses are critical to the proper operation of the cooling system. For example, some hoses include flow-restrictors within the hose. These restrictors reduce the flow and pressure within the hose to certain components such as the heater core; and are required to maintain core integrity.
Just as with traditional coolant hoses, exposure to continual changes in operating temperature causes rubber to deteriorate and can lead to failure.
With more connection points than older style hose systems, there are more potential wear points with modular hoses. For example, plastic connectors become brittle due to the high heat and will crack or break from engine vibration and hose re-positioning during routine engine maintenance.
In addition, a lot of modular hoses have sensors, flow restrictors and directional valves inside of them that can get damaged, plus quick connectors can be damaged when hoses are removed for general cooling system maintenance.
When one component in the modular system fails the entire hose assembly should be replaced with a high quality solution, like those manufactured by Gates Australia, to save time and money in the long run.
Your local Repco Authorised Service centre can advise you on the right parts for your vehicle and advise if need a cooling system service.