Ford F150: How to Replace Your Lower Radiator Hose

The lower hose will start cracking on your Ford F-150. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. When it happens, you could go to a mechanic or you can save a few hundred dollars and do it yourself.

By Makeda - September 23, 2014

The article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014).

What is a radiator hose? The engine in a car has a lower and upper radiator hose. It is the lower hose that carries a combination of water and antifreeze coolant into the radiator engine which circulates and grabs onto heat. The upper hose circulates coolant that is hot out of the engine into the radiator where it cools down. The hose is made out of rubber and after a period of time, it starts to break down. To keep your radiator hoses in good shape, regularly check for swelling, damage, or oil leaks.

Materials Needed

  • Razor blade knife
  • Screw driver
  • Pliers
  • Vaseline
  • Hammer
  • Drain pan

Step 1 - Locate the radiator

Figure 1. Locate the radiator..

Open the hood of the car and find the radiator (see figure 1). Remove the lock and twist the hose until it comes off. Move the lower radiator hose in a Counter Clockwise direction. The lower radiator hose is the hose attached to the bottom of your radiator.

Step 2 - Drain the radiator

Figure 2. Unscrew the radiator valve.

Place a drain pan directly underneath the radiator. Then take off the lower radiator hose clamps. To drain the radiator, un-tighten the valve by turning it to the left.

Step 3 - Install the new hose

Figure 3. Install the new hose.

Install the new hose the same way you removed it in Step 1.

Step 4 - Refill the radiator

Figure 4. Refill the radiator.

Mix 50% water and 50% antifreeze to refill the radiator as well as the overflow reservoir. Some coolants come with half antifreeze and half water. Be sure to read the label so you don't add more water to it.

Step 5 - Start the engine

Figure 5. Start your truck.

Leave your coolant cap off and start your engine. As soon as the engine idles, you will hear air bubbles, which means the air is clearing out of the radiator. When you stop hearing air bubbles, check the fluid level and refill if you need to.

Step 6 - Check for leaks

Figure 6. Check for leaks.

Test the pressure of the cooling system and for any leaks. Look around the hoses for green fluid, look under the car, and on the edges of the radiator.

Pro Tip

If you find it difficult to remove the lower radiator hose, cut it with a razor blade knife. Apply vaseline inside of the hose to slide it over the ring. Another way to remove it is by buying the tool to remove the part or use pliers, squeeze the tabs to remove the part.

Featured Video: How to Replace Lower Radiator Hose

Related Discussion