Car Supplies

Buy Hose Clamps

About Hose Clamps

Hose clamps, as the name indicates, hold the hoses that transfer fluid in a car. Although they have other applications other than in automobiles, that’s their major purpose. A bit of knowledge about these car supplies might save you a lot of time, money, and effort someday.

Making a combustion engine is almost impossible without hoses and hose clamps. They run everywhere in a car, from the transmission system to the fuel injection, the brakes, the radiator, and whatnot. You need to keep all the high-pressure fluids from leaking, as the hoses connect to inlets and nipples. That’s where hose clamps come in handy. They come in a whole lot of shapes and sizes. If you want to buy them, it’s imperative to know which type and what size you need. The type of hose clamp you need depends on the type of hose you are connecting.

Different types of hose clamps you will find in a car

Buying a hose clamp is a bit of a hassle if you are new to it. You must know the specific type you need and look for the correct sizes as well. Well, that’s because every application requires a certain type of hose clamp. Use the wrong one, and it will end up in cable damage or fluid leakage. Hose clamps also have their pressure ratings, which means you cannot use plastic varieties for high-pressure applications. There are also those designed for delicate hoses and others that can fit in tight spaces. Here are the most common types of hose clamps that you will come across in cars.

Spring clamps

These are the default clamps for most applications. Featuring a slotted design, they provide tension, which is evenly spread across their length. And since the pressure is not applied only on small points, this prevents fraying the hose. Keep in mind that hoses become stiffer as they get older. Now, when it comes to downsides, spring clamps are harder to take off and install than other types. Thus, you will need specialised tools for them. They come in both plastic and stainless steel varieties. But the plastic ones are not serviceable, which means once you remove them, you will probably need new ones to replace them.

Worm clamps

These clamps are for the less sophisticated systems or in places where you can easily access and spot the damage. They are generally made of stainless steel and have a screw to tighten them. You only need a minus screwdriver to secure them in place. That’s why they are the favourite hose clamps for domestic uses. But the problem with worm clamps is that they tend to pinch delicate hoses, which cause damage in the long run. They also cause pressure points on the joints. But even then, they are great, thanks to their serviceability.

Racing clamps

A racing clamp is a midway between a spring clamp and a worm clamp. Because it’s tightened with a bolt, it is also called a T-bolt clamp. It’s generally as easy to use as a worm clamp. Although not as efficiently as a spring clamp, the racing clamp also spreads the tension evenly across the joint. What’s more, it is also serviceable and has a long life. Thus, it is sometimes used as a backup for plastic spring clamps in case they fail. But when you are working with aluminium piping, worm clamps are better than T-bolt clamps. That’s because the pressure applied by the latter can sometimes be excessive and will bend or distort the piping in the long run.

Rubber hose clamps

If the hose is delicate and prone to damage by a stainless-steel hose clamp, you can use a rubber hose clamp. These have a rubber insert inside with a bolt to tighten them. They are only used in specialised applications, as they are not easy to work with. Compared to other types, they are much harder to insert and tighten. They can either be a full ring clamp or two half-ring clamps. You have to use screws and bolts to tighten them over the hose. And as you can imagine, doing this in a tight space is challenging.

Oetiker clamp

These clamps are not very popular because of their complexity. However, some people still prefer them for their neat look and the lack of bolts. Since they do not need a bolt to tighten them, they are compact like spring clamps and fit snugly inside congested spaces. Also, they don’t have sharp corners that might damage things pressing against them. Though they come with an array of advantages, they require specialised tools to be installed and taken off. Also, removing them can be tricky, and they most probably will break in the process. So, they are mostly one-time-use clamps.

Tips on how to buy Automotive Hose Clamps

Whenever you replace the old and worn out hoses in your car, you should always replace the hose clamps as well. It is not much of a problem as these are generally inexpensive. And when you replace the old ones, it’s not necessary that you have to use exactly the same ones as before. Some clamps are switchable, which means you can use another clamp in place of the other. If you are buying them for the first time, here are some essential factors to keep in mind.

  • Consider the hose’s material – The clamp of your choice must be compatible with the material of the hose. For softer silicone hoses, you need rubber hose clamps. Meanwhile, a worm clamp will do just fine for a thicker hose. You don’t have to go for the expensive stuff either. There are cheap hose clamps for cars that are not very much different from the costlier varieties.
  • How much should you tighten a hose clamp – The tightness is just right when the hose clamps make a dent on the hose so that they are on the same level as the surface of the hose. Any tighter than this is too tight and will damage the hose after a few a cycle of heating up and cooling down.
  • Get the right size for every part – Different hoses in the car come in different sizes. It’s important to use the right clamp size to maintain the right amount of fluid pressure in the system. If you use the wrong one, it can cause leaks and cost you even more.
  • How often do you replace them? – When using the clamps in hard-to-reach areas where it’s not easy to fit them, you need something like a worm clamp or a racing clamp. If the clamps are to go in tight spaces where they can come in contact with other hoses, use clamps without sharp points.
  • Make sure you have the right tools – You won’t be able to connect and remove hose clamps if you do not have the right tools. This can range from a simple screwdriver to those that come specifically with the hose clamp. Like, to fix an Oetiker hose clamp, you need to use special pincers.

Now that you already know the tips and tricks on buying the right hose clamps, your car will be at its peak performance. However, it’s imperative to take care of other things as well. Hoses carry fluids and gases in the car, which can be hazardous to your skin and health. So, it would be great to shop for a mask and a pair of gloves too. The most poisonous liquid in your car is probably the radiator fluid, also known as antifreeze.

Question & Answer

How to fix a hose clamp?

Firstly, loosen the clamp. If it’s a worm clamp or a racing clamp, loosen the bolt by turning it counter-clockwise. If it is a spring clamp or an Oetiker clamp, skip this step. Then, slide the clamp onto the hose. Don’t forget to put it over the hose before connecting the valve. Now, connect the hose to the fitting, whether it is an outlet or an inlet and probably both at either end of the hose. Move the clamp to where the hose meets the joint and position it in the middle of the joint. And finally, tighten the clamp. If it’s a clamp that comes with a bolt, you need to tighten the bolt by turning it clockwise. Else, you probably need some specialised tool depending on the type of clamp.

How to remove a hose clamp?

Before you try to remove the clamp, make sure that the hose is depressurised. Depending on the type of clamp, you can either loosen it or cut it off. If it’s plastic, it’s easier to cut and be replaced with a fresh one. To remove a crimp hose clamp, you need to cut the crimped ear off the clamp. On the other hand, you need specialised car tools for spring clamps and Oetiker clamps. But if you don’t have them, you can also use snips to cut them off. Just be cautious not to cut the hose in the process. Here on our retail search engine, you will be able to find a wide array of car supplies at awesome prices from top brands like Jubilee, Oetiker, Dixon, Mikalor, Tridon, and many more.

How to replace radiator hose clamps?

Radiator hose clamps need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. As these clamps get old, the internal pressure of the radiator drops and affects the cooling of the engine. This will eventually cause them to overheat. You can replace these clamps yourselves if you have a little bit of know-how. Before you try to replace the clamp, leave the engine to cool down for a few hours. Then drain the coolant by removing the petcock. Take care when disposing of the coolant, as it is poisonous and environmentally hazardous. Now that the hoses are depressurised, you can remove the clamps safely. You will need to scrape the valves clean before connecting back the hoses.

What is the correct size of radiator hose clamps?

The size of the radiator hose clamps varies from one car to another. The best way to get the right size is to refer to the vehicle user manual. Also, you can easily find radiator hose clamps for sale online with a little effort. But if you don’t want to bother searching in the user manual, measure the diameter of the hose. Keep in mind that the hose’s diameter is also the size of the hose clamp you need. But when you measure the diameter using a calliper, don’t tighten it too much or too little.