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Hagerty Employee

Always check your hoses before The Big Road Trip

I repeat it over and over to the point where it's almost a mantra-the " Big Seven " things most likely to strand a vintage car on a road trip are fuel delivery, cooling, ignition, charging, belts, clutch hydraulics, and ball joints (with thing #0 being, of course, a flat tire).

Better yet if hoses are very old just replace them. 

Too often a bad hose can look and feel good so best to make sure they are not old. 

Most people freak out if they have old tires but yet they drive on 20 year old hoses. 


I agree. Time can wear down parts just like mileage can. Rubber hoses, no matter what they carry, are consumable parts.

I know that the prices on parts aren't what they used to be, and unless you are careful, the quality of general parts house stuff is not always top notch.  But really, when viewed in the overall scheme of the cost of running an automobile, it just makes sense to me to replace a lot of stuff annually or at worst, every couple of years.  This isn't always dependent on mileage, as some stuff "wears out" due to age more than due to actual use.  Rubber, especially, can rot as fast or faster on a car that's not even driven!  So when you are trusting tens of thousands of dollars and possibly your and other's lives to a mass of metal speeding down the road, why not spend a the equivalent of a few cups at Starbucks and replace hoses on a scheduled plan?

New Driver

Living in Arizona anything rubber , batteries , wipers , tires have extremely short lives. Was-a bit of a shock moving from the east coast
Intermediate Driver

Never want to miss an article by Rob!

You can't be as old as me Rob or you'd have simply connected the old line to the new one and used the old one to pull the new one through. As I've aged my latest concern is trusting a lifetime of tricks to my feeble memory.
Intermediate Driver

Absolutely! I had a similar problem last spring with a fuel hose on my bobcat. No way I could easily fish the thing from back, over engine to gas tank, so I just coupled the old to the new with a piece of plastic, hose clamped them both and gently got the new hose into place.

Just be sure not to pull too hard if it seems to get caught. That's a serious "well, now I'm hooped" situation. 🙂
Advanced Driver

Have a great trip Rob.

I had a situation with a fuel suction hose years ago on my 1969 Z28 Camaro, that I still laugh about. I just had “recommissioned” the car after a several years hiatus and it was a gorgeous day in the Pacific Northwest, so I had a short little errand to run not far away. The car was running well and I was driving with the exuberance reserved for youth (or in my case young at heart I.e. irresponsible) in a beautiful machine on a beautiful day, everything was going spot on until one hard nudge on the accelerator brought not the expected thrust, but less and less until I hit “flame out” right in front of Landmark FORD the notorious enemy camp of the 1960’s.
In a flash the whole service staff came out for a massive troubleshooting session and a successful startup achieved.
I still had about 3 miles to go and the car seemed to be running well until again it stalled 1/2 mile from the barn.
Utterly defeated I threw in the towel and called for a tow.
The next day I looked under the car and saw a tiny drop of gas under the tank, where I found a little preformed suction hose with a pinhole leak. Evidently the fuel pump sucked enough air to become vapor bound and the float bowl eventually ran dry.
I guess it was a slow day at the Ford dealer or the staff just couldn’t stomach another Ford Focus issue like a broken mirror but I still appreciate the gang coming to my rescue!
Intermediate Driver

Rob - did you ever come to a conclusion as to what had happened to cause the damage to the fuel line?

I did not.
Intermediate Driver

I remember blowing a very small 90 degree by pass (coolant) hose on my 1984 Mustang 5.0 in 87 on the LA Freeway. A CHP Mustang pulls up to see what the problem was, told him I blew a hose and will have to limp the car back home (about 10 miles) if I can after cooling it down for a bit and if I can duct tape the hose. I turned around and he was gone, thanks officer you could have held the flashlight. lol.
I ordered up new hoses when I got home and always replace that little by pass hose. I periodically replace them and after 200,000 miles still have the Mustang (my first new car). It is easy to overlook hoses and clamps but they need love too.
Pit Crew

I think the BMW-recommended interval for hoses was 2 years. I am not sure if that was a check every 2 years or replace every 2 years, but I did the latter consistently for about a decade... only to have that moment of, "what the hell am I doing? These hoses coming off still feel brand new!" There is a level of too-maintained!