When to replace cooling system hoses - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 51 Old 01-12-2018, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question When to replace cooling system hoses

My wee is a 2013 that I purchased about 3 months ago with less than 2K miles on the clock. I now have close to 7K. About 1K miles ago I had some minor coolant leaks from around the two hoses that connect to the radiator (one connects to the top of the radiator on the left side of the bike, the other to the bottom of the radiator on the right). I was able to reach into the jubililee clips (hose clamps) and tighten them which appears to have addressed the issue. However, the coolant level in the reservoir is about 2mm below the Low line so minimally a top up is required.

In reading around the site, it appears that bad things could happen if I simply add a coolant of my choosing to the unknown coolant in the system. Since, to my knowledge, the bike has never had the coolant replaced, I believe the best course of action is to replace the lot. I have purchased some Engine Ice (on recommendation from a work colleague, looking around this site and the fact that it is not toxic to pets) and plan to take the following approach (as per the recommendations on the Engine Ice website):

1. Drain existing coolant

2. Flush with 50/50 distilled water/vinegar mixture

3. Flush with distilled water

4. Refill cooling system

After each filling I would start the bike and let it idle until the fan comes on to ensure that the fluid is circulated.

My questions are this:

1. How long do the cooling system hoses typically last? Since I am going to all this effort and they are over 4 years old, there is an opportunity to replace, however, they are expensive and if they typically last, say 10 years, then I will wait. Are there any other cooling system components that degrade over time that I should consider replacing while I have the bike apart?

2. Is a single distilled water flush following the vinegar sufficient to get rid of the vinegar? How much fluid remains in the cooling system when it is drained?

Thanks in advance for any info or advice that you can share.
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post #2 of 51 Old 01-12-2018, 02:19 PM
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If they are damaged due to some sort of impact, they can be replaced anytime.

I usually wait until they are too soft, bulging or deteriorating. I used Suzuki LL blue coolant.

I did my Jeep this summer just for piece of mind. 12 years old.

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post #3 of 51 Old 01-12-2018, 02:38 PM
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I would tighten the clamps and refill with Suzuki OEM coolant. I do not like engine ice.

If you feel a flush is needed, I would drain what will come out and if it is clean, just replace it with Suzuki OEM. Mix it 50/50 with distilled water if it does not come pre-diluted.

The DL cooling system works fine and needs no snake oil coolant to cool any better.
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post #4 of 51 Old 01-12-2018, 03:13 PM
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My 05 650 has had the antifreeze changed every 2 years(20-25K). All the hoses are original and in good shape. It is always in the garage when home and I think that helps a lot. At 90K it needed new water pump seals and at 100K the O-rings on the lower cyl. connections were changed. It now has 120K. I have had to tighten the clamps a few times when a leak occurs.
The inside storage is a big factor IMHO. It is always drained when Hot and never flushed. Drained coolant is always clean looking.
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post #5 of 51 Old 01-12-2018, 05:34 PM
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The need to occasionally tighten a hose clamp is not unusual. As long as that stops the leak it's fine. As for the engine ice, or other "snake oil", that may indeed make it run a bit cooler, but that's not automatically a good thing. I believe the 2012 and newer models have an oxygen sensor, and lower temps may cause the ECM to think it's still in warm up mode, making it run rich.

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post #6 of 51 Old 01-12-2018, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Scott View Post
However, the coolant level in the reservoir is about 2mm below the Low line so minimally a top up is required.
If the coolant has never been changed then you know its OEM coolant so you could top it off with that. On the other hand, if the hoses were leaking then someone has probably touched the radiator/hoses in its recent past.

If you don't know what is in it and its such a small amount a one time top off with distilled water would be compatible with any type of coolant and not hurt anything. It would dilute the additives a tiny amount (for lubing the water pump) and it would raise the freezing point a bit but I'd think its a pretty insignificant change unless you are riding in Alaska or Siberia. In any case, it would buy you time to do the full flush.

Quote:
In reading around the site, it appears that bad things could happen if I simply add a coolant of my choosing to the unknown coolant in the system. Since, to my knowledge, the bike has never had the coolant replaced, I believe the best course of action is to replace the lot.
As far as I know, it is true that mixing some kinds of coolant can be bad but I don't know the details. I change my coolant every 2-3 years. It is very common to change it when buying a used bike just for peace of mind.

Quote:
I have purchased some Engine Ice (on recommendation from a work colleague, looking around this site and the fact that it is not toxic to pets) and plan to take the following approach (as per the recommendations on the Engine Ice website):

1. Drain existing coolant

2. Flush with 50/50 distilled water/vinegar mixture

3. Flush with distilled water

4. Refill cooling system

After each filling I would start the bike and let it idle until the fan comes on to ensure that the fluid is circulated.
Yeah, Engine Ice is not necessary. I'd just do a site search here for Antifreeze or Coolant and read the discussions and make a choice. I use Zerex Asian but any major brand compatible with aluminum engines/radiators and silicate free will work fine.

Quote:
My questions are this:
1. How long do the cooling system hoses typically last?
I'd say about 10 years give or take would be the max I'd run them. On my 2007 I replaced mine in its 7th year at 80K miles and they looked fine. I had it apart for other work so took the opportunity to do the hoses, thermostat, o-rings, etc. but also I'd hate to get stranded on the road due to a busted radiator hose. I replace batteries at 5 years to avoid a breakdown too.

Quote:
Since I am going to all this effort and they are over 4 years old, there is an opportunity to replace, however, they are expensive and if they typically last, say 10 years, then I will wait. Are there any other cooling system components that degrade over time that I should consider replacing while I have the bike apart?
Not really, as long as you flush every 2-3 years you are a long ways from needing to replace the cooling system parts.

Quote:
2. Is a single distilled water flush following the vinegar sufficient to get rid of the vinegar? How much fluid remains in the cooling system when it is drained?
When I shut down my (new-to-me used) bike for major service I had no idea what was in the system. I flushed it with two gallons of distilled water then added the Zerex Asian. I have not heard about a vinegar flush but I assume that's to treat corrosion. Your bike is so new I would not even bother with a vinegar flush. I'd flush it with distilled water and fill it with your antifreeze of choice and go ride.

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post #7 of 51 Old 01-13-2018, 12:57 AM
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My rule, based on decades of professional experience is simple:
1) change the coolant and brake fluid every couple of years
2) change the coolant and brake fluid BEFORE they look like they need it! (If they don't look like new....they are too old and should have already been changed!)
3) on a used bike, never ever assume anything about the fluids, change them all now so you have established a maintenance history that you know for certain.
4) use the right coolant. Hey, its not expensive to use "the good stuff" and you know what's in there is OK. Never try to save a buck on things that can cost you if they are wrong.
5) when you drain the coolant run some clean water through everything until it comes out perfectly clean...then give it a little more just to be sure.
6) if you ever have to dilute coolant, only use distilled water. Most get pre-mixed coolant these days so you only add that, no water
7) for your application avoid using anything but the specified coolant. None of that snake water, "Engine ice" or whatever is needed.
8) some like to put in a new thermostat at five years. They are not expensive, easy to install, but its your call. My 2005 Wee ran 12 years on the original hoses and thermostat and all worked and tested fine when I traded it off. I did, however, change coolant every 2-3 years.

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post #8 of 51 Old 01-14-2018, 04:06 AM
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I have 4 bikes from '01 to '09 with original hoses and no issues. I have run Engine Ice with good results for years but pre-mixed coolant is cheaper and seems to work just fine in my cars. Autozone carries Zerex Asian in red and blue to match whatever color came in your car! I would guess your hoses are fine and coolant from Walmart of an auto parts store will work great as long as it complies with the owner's manual requirements. You flush regimen sounds good too although the vinegar maybe overkill if the coolant you drain looks bright and clear. Distilled water for the flushing.
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post #9 of 51 Old 01-14-2018, 10:33 PM
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Hate to say it but both my bikes are original hoses.
'07 650 almost 60K miles
'06 1000 almost 40K miles.
650 is starting to lose coolant on the ground so tearing into it tomorrow and while installing LED headlights may order new hoses for both bikes.
If its just a clamp will tighten, top off and look at new hoses before the summer heat here in Vegas.
Mike

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post #10 of 51 Old 01-14-2018, 11:10 PM
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My experience is that if you change the coolant every few years and inspect all the hoses for leaks and fretting marks, they will usually last the life of the motorcycle. When you need to disturb/remove any connections, make sure you put the clamps back in the same position on the hose. this gives it the best chance of staying leak free.
I have a DL 650 (06) model with 335,000 kms with all the original hoses still in service.
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