Are OEM Radiator Hoses Better Than Aftermarket?

Radiator hoses usually wear out before most other parts of the cooling system. And, since they are a critical part of your cooling system, you'll want to be sure to replace them with a product you can count on. How can you decide if an OEM or aftermarket part is best for the job? Read on to find out.

The Differences Between OEM and Aftermarket Hoses

You can learn more about radiator hoses and why they are important here. When it comes time to replace them, you should consider the possible differences between OEM and aftermarket hoses. They can vary in several areas, mainly:

  • Materials
  • Fit
  • Design
  • Longevity

Materials

The type of materials used in manufacturing a radiator hose can affect the quality. The composition of the rubber used in radiator hoses can vary between manufacturers. Low-cost materials may result in an inexpensive price compared to OEM, but with reduced reliability and longevity.

OEM toyota radiator hose

Aftermarket hoses may be manufactured by some of the same companies that supply automakers. However, the aftermarket version may not necessarily be produced to the same material standards as the OEM version. Buying OEM hoses ensures that they are made of highest-quality materials for your make and model of vehicle.

Fit

Proper fit is critical to radiator hose reliability. Any variation from the shape of the original hose may put stress on the hose material or cause it to rub or chafe against other engine parts. There are a few different types of aftermarket hoses including:

  • Universal Fit Hoses - a universal hose that is straight, or has a 45° or 90° bend.
  • Flex Fit Hoses - a universal hose that’s meant to bend and flex.
  • Molded Fit Hoses - a hose designed to fit the specific engine and model of a car. 

It’s recommended to avoid any universal or flex hoses when replacing factory hoses. A compromise in fit may save money initially, but can cause problems down the road. While aftermarket molded hoses are more compatible than universal hoses, buying an OEM radiator hose ensures a precise fit for your specific vehicle.

Design

The design and engineering of radiator hoses are very important. OEMs demand strict standards based on their own internal development and durability testing. Radiator hoses will be subjected to a variety of challenging conditions over their service life, including:

  • Extreme temperatures 
  • High pressure
  • Frequent vibration
  • Harsh chemicals

While aftermarket brands may also supply OEM radiator hoses, retail aftermarket hoses may not necessarily be engineered to the same standards as their OEM counterparts. Buying OEM radiator hoses ensures they are designed to perform to exacting standards under extreme conditions. 

Longevity

replace radiator hose

Materials, fit, and design are all factors in the longevity of radiator hoses. If aftermarket hoses come up short in one or all of these criteria, it can have a significant impact on how long they will last. Buying OEM hoses ensures that the best materials, exact fit, and strict engineering standards will maximize service life and reliability. 

You Can Count On Olathe Toyota Parts Center 

Toyota Parts Center has over 15 years of online parts distribution experience. If you do have questions or concerns about replacing your Toyota radiator hose, we’re can help. Rest assured that:

  • We have a large selection of radiator hoses and other parts for your Toyota vehicle. 
  • All our OEM parts are backed by the standard Toyota 12 month, unlimited miles warranty.
  • If you have questions, we’re here to help. Please feel free to contact us