I was driving my 2003 Dodge Neon with 2.0L 4 cylinder engine, odometer reading 214,000 miles. Cruising at 65 mph with no problems and then I noticed that the temperature gauge was starting to climb. Outside air temperature was around 30 deg F and heater was working properly. By the time I safely stopped the vehicle the gauge had pegged at HOT. I opened the hood and noticed the top radiator hose had separated from the nipple on the radiator tank. The nipple was not cracked. So the overheating was caused by loss of coolant.
I have been driving cars, trucks and tractors over the course of 40+ years and I have never had a top radiator hose slide off the nipple on the top radiator tank. The original issue spring clamp was still on the hose. I am thinking that sufficient pressure developed and the spring clamp could not retain the hose??? There is a bump or raised area on the nipple that is suppose to keep a hose clamped and from sliding off.
I reinstalled the hose and added coolant to the system. In addition to the spring hose clamp I added a worm drive hose clamp to make sure the hose does not separate from mounting on the nipple. Is it possible that the spring clamp could loose tension and allow the hose to blow off?
I am wondering if the head gasket is starting to fail and allowing excessive pressure build up in the cooling system and causing the hose to separate from the radiator? I will drive the car and if the top hose separates again with a worm drive clamp then I must be getting excessive pressure. Anyone have this happen with a top radiator hose on an engine?