Ford F-150: How to Replace Your Upper Radiator Hose

Your Ford F-150 truck's upper radiator hose may need replacement for various reasons. Here is how to replace it yourself.

By Makeda - November 21, 2014

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

There are a number of different ways to find out if your upper radiator hose needs to be replaced. One of the most common signs of a bad hose is radiator fluid on the ground under your car. A few other symptoms to look out for are white smoke from under your hood when your motor is hot, overheating, the smell of radiator fluid, or a visible crack or loose connection on the hose. The good news is it is simple to replace, and completing the job only requires a few tools.

Materials Needed

  • Carpet knife
  • Coolant
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Drain pan
  • Replacement upper radiator hose
  • Antifreeze

Pro Tips

  • Make sure your car is cooled down for two hours before you start.
  • When the car is cool, take the radiator cap off to release pressure from the radiator.
  • Remember to keep your head away from the radiator and use a rag to protect your hand(s) from hot coolant.
  • If you notice heavy leaking or a split, use duct tape.
  • If you do not have coolant, use water in the radiator until you get access to more coolant. In this case, make sure to replace both the coolant and hose as soon as possible.

Step 1 - Drain the radiator

Drain the radiator coolant into a bucket by untightening the drain valve on the bottom part of the radiator.

Figure 1. The radiator valve is circled in red.

Step 2 - Replace the upper hose

The upper radiator hose lays on top of everything, going from the radiator to the engine. Loosen the clamps on the hose and slide them away from the radiator and the engine. Replace the old hose with the new one.

Figure 2. The upper radiator hose.

Step 3 - Tighten the radiator plug

Tighten the petcock nail on the bottom of the radiator. Fill it with coolant.

Figure 3. Refill the radiator.

Step 4 - Top it off

After pouring the coolant, start the car with the coolant cap still off. If you hear a cracking sound, the coolant needs to be replaced. Check under the car for leaks while taking a look at the reservoir tank's fluid level. When the car is warm, check the coolant level again and top it off if necessary.

Figure 4. Start the truck and check for leaks.

Featured Video: Ford F-150 Coolant Hose Replacement and Flush

Related Site