It will be good to routinely replace your car's radiator hose even if you do not experience any damage on it. This is a prudent preventive maintenance measure. Schedule the replacement every two years.
For most cars, replacing the radiator hose is easy and won't take you so much time. All you need to know is where to look and how to do the replacement yourself.
There are two radiator hoses for cars - one is the top radiator hose while the other one is the lower or bottom hose. The top radiator hose is easy to spot when you open the hood. It is the black hose that runs from the top of your radiator to the top of the engine block. The hose can sometimes come in other colors but it is usually black. You may not be able to see the lower hose from where you are standing so it is best to slide under the front of your car and check for the lower hose. It is the one that connects the bottom of the radiator and water pump.
When buying a replacement hose, buy a replacement clamp as well. The upper and lower hose will have a clamp on each end that secures the hose to the radiator and to the engine. While the old clamps may still be working, it will be a lot easier to use the new clamps during replacement. Treat the hose and the clamp as a "buy one, take one" package.
Never operate the car when the engine is hot. Even if the engine is off, make sure that the engine is cold. Radiator fluid can be extremely hot and a great amount of pressure can build up inside the radiator and hoses. To avoid any accidents, it is advisable to work on your car when the engine has not been running for the past few hours.
Put a container under the radiator. It could be a drip pan or a pail. It will be used to collect the old coolant from the system. The container should be placed right under the lower radiator hose.
Start removing the hoses. You can take your pick as to which hose to remove first. For some, they pull off the bottom hose first so that the coolant can be drained and you won't have to worry about it later. Sometimes, the hose won't seem to budge as it is securely connected. You can use a knife to cut off the hose from the end up past the fitting. You should be able to peel the remaining hose loose.
It is time to insert the new hoses. Put the new hoses in their original positions, making sure that these are securely fit. When they are in their proper places, put the clamps on and tighten these with a Philips head screw driver. Make sure that the clamps are tight.
Refill the drained coolant. After securing the hoses, refill the cooling system with fresh coolant/antifreeze. Pour slowly until it is almost full and then tighten the radiator cap.
Once you are done, check to see if there are leaks as you might accidentally puncture the hoses during installation. If you find none, then congratulate yourself for successfully replacing a radiator hose.