A radiator hose clamp is an essential and key component to preventing an engine from overheating and reducing the engine friction. These radiator hose clamps ensure that the engine coolant can enter and leave the radiator without any coolant leaks.
Types of radiator hose clamps
There are different types of hose clamps that can be used in the radiator and cooling system. There three different kinds of radiator hose clamps used in cooling systems can be chosen based on what you need and your specific car.
Spring clamps – constant tension clamps
On most cars as they come directly from the factory, the radiator hoses in the cooling system are connected, fastened, and sealed from any coolant leak by radiator hose clamps, also called spring clamps or constant tension clamps. These radiator hose clamps are usually referred to as spring clamps because they apply constant and consistent tension on the rubber hose in the radiator system.
Car manufacturers use spring clamps on cooling system hoses, since there might not be a more inexpensive way or a more efficient way to apply the proper amount of tension to the radiator hose, regardless of the condition of the hose or if it has become damaged over time. This is important in the car, since as the age of the hose and become more damaged, they may harden and congeal, soften, swell, or even lose their complete shape and rigidity.
Once the radiator hose loses its shape, the radiator hose clamps are needed and key to keeping the function working smoothly. The spring clamps will continue to apply the proper amount of force on the hose, regardless of the condition that the radiator hose is in. This shows how radiator hose clamps are key to keeping the radiator functioning correctly.
The only issue with the radiator hose clamps when they are spring clamps is that they are forced onto the hose in order to get the proper fit. These plastic clamps cannot be serviced or fixed if there are any issues, limiting the durability and the longevity. This means that these plastic clamps need to be sawed off or cut off when they have to be replaced.
If you or a mechanic is doing some maintenance or work on a leaking cooling system, sometimes to save time or an inexperienced mechanic may replace the original radiator hose clamps with a worm clamp. The mechanic might have chosen this alternative because they did not have the proper tools to get the radiator hose clamps off and did not want to go through the lengthy process of putting the original radiator hose clamps back on.
In this case, the mechanic will have chosen the worm clamp as an alternative that is quick and easy. Worm clamps are substandard when compared to spring clamps or other radiator hose clamps, since they fray the hose with the adjustment slots. This damage to the hoses means that they can strip, they can cut or damage the hose, they might not be able to adequately tension the hose to prevent further leaks or damage, and they do not compensate for the rubber shrinking during use.
This means that over time, the worm clamps are more likely to lead to leaks, and cause more damage to the radiator hoses. Radiator hose clamps are better choices than worm clamps, but in a pinch, this can prevent further damage.
If you are torn between choosing the original choice, the consistent clamps, and the quick fix, the worm clamp, then you might be trying to find a compromise that has the benefits of each into one type of radiator hose clamp. A good compromise are racing clamps, also known as t-bolt clamps. Racing clamps have none of the pitfalls and negatives of the worm clamps.
Unlike worm clamps, the racing clamps are easy to get on and off, they are made of high quality stainless steel, they provide a full range of tension and adjustability, and they are very durable for a long lasting product that keeps the hoses in good condition.
The negatives of racing clamps unfortunately is that he can lose their tension over time and become less effective as time goes on. In addition, they are expensive, and can be much more costly than worm clamps. Lastly, they are not available at parts stores, and can be more difficult to find if you are not a mechanic.
How to replace radiator hose clamps
Learning how to replace the parts on your vehicle can be a key way to save some money on labor costs and save a few dollars in the long run. It is not a very difficult process when compared to more complex procedures in your car, and with some practice you can do this no problem. If you use high-quality radiator hose clamps, then this can make the process even easier and quicker, without damaging the radiator or damaging the radiator hoses.
Radiator hose clamps usually have to be replaced every few years. Even if they do not need to be replaced or if they are damaged over time, they should be checked to determine the efficiency and the functionality, ensuring they are working correctly. This will ensure that your vehicle is working correctly and that you are not causing any damage in your engine or transmission by overheating.
Luckily, there is a five step simple process that can make it easier to replace radiator hose clamps in your car. This process should only take about half an hour to replace the clamp, making it an easy and straightforward process for any car owner.
Cool the engine – first, you need to make sure that your engine has been shut off for a while, the engine is not still warm, and the engine has cooled off before you perform any internal work. Working on the radiator of the car that has not sat for a long enough time after being driven can cause some issues – safety issues. It can cause severe burns and making replacing radiator hose clamps a dangerous experience. You need to remove the plug on the bottom of the coolant tank and let the coolant drain and dispose of it.
Hoses – the next step in replacing radiator hose clamps is that you need to measure the existing radiator hoses to allow you to pick the correct and accurate sizes of the radiator hose, both the length and diameter, before starting this next step.
Clamps – as we know, radiator hose clamps can fail over time, and especially cause damage to the radiator hoses. These radiator hose clamps should be analyzed and possibly replaced when you are doing this process. Bad clamps can cause engine failure due to overheating. Finding the right size of radiator hose clamps will prevent his issue, with the hose needing to be slid off to avoid any further damage to the heating element.
Replacing radiator hose clamps – once you have removed the radiator hose from the system, you need to ensure that there is no longer any leftover seat or debris. If you leave it there, you will not be able to provide a proper fit of the new radiator hose, since the houses will be clogged. After the hose fittings are cleaned, you can add gasket sealant to make sure that the radiator hose is sealed.
Once this is done, place the radiator hose clamps on and secure around the end of the house at the fitting. This can determine whether or not the car is functioning properly to form a correct seal and keep the transmission fluid inside and clamped tightly. Lastly, you can add the new coolant to the radiator system, keeping the car cool.
Check the system – the last step in this process of replacing radiator hose clamps is to start the car and give it some time to warm up to see how the system is running. Running the car and waiting for a period of time can reveal whether or not there are any leaks in the system. If there are leaks, you will need to tighten the radiator hose clamps and repeat the entire process.
Best radiator hose clamps
Lokman Hose Clamp – Lokman’s radiator hose clamp kit is easy to install, convenient, and easy for beginners to use. You will receive a handy case that contains 60 pieces of radiator hose clamps assortments, showing versatility and a wide size range for many occasions. This clamp kit is durable, reliable, reputable, and recyclable. The only cons of this kit is that the screws can be hard to tighten up fully sometimes.
Oetiker Ear Clamp Kit – this radiator hose clamp kit features a 360 degree clamping design that works well in secured sealing for all houses, rust and corrosion resistance, and comes in various sizes for different radiator hose diameters for ample compatibility. The only con of this clamp kit is that the ear clamp can get permanently deformed when it is secured on the radiator hose.
Cambridge Hose Clamps – these radiator hose clamps are multipurpose, versatile, stainless steel high quality material, long lasting, and provide secure connectors on radiator hoses. The cons of this type of radiator hose clamp is that the screw included in the package is not stainless steel, the radiator hose clamp is not zinc coated, and corrosion can occur eventually.
Pro Tie Hose Clamp – the pros of this pro tie hose clamp is that the hex-head bolt is easy to use, the stainless steel material is high quality, and the construction is sturdy and durable. This type of radiator hose clamp has a negative that the design can cause significant wear over time on rubber or silicone hoses.
Breeze Hose Clamp – this type of worm gear clamp features stainless steel material, solid and sturdy construction, and heavy-duty and tight-sealing. The cons of this type of radiator hose clamp involve the typical band clamp design which is not as innovative, and a chance that there could be additional wear on rubber or silicone hoses.
AFA Tooling Hose Clamp – This kind of radiator hose clamp features stainless steel material, a 360 degree interlocking design for a secure seal, and comes in various sizes for any preference or need. The only con of this type of hose clamp is that the ear clamp is not reusable since it will be distorted once it is fully tightened.
Precision Hose Clamp – These radiator hose clamps are made in miniature size, letting them easily fit small hoses into compact areas. These clamps are made of consistent stainless steel material, miniature sizes for versatility, and are small, buy heavy duty in terms of construction and material. The cons of this type of hose clamp is that the screw is not long enough, and the clamp does not catch enough threads when it is screwed into the radiator hose.
Breeze Hose Clamp – the pros of these radiator hose clamps is that they are adjustable, a good fit for unique applications, feature corrosion and rust proof material, and feature a tough seal for hoses. The only con regarding this type of radiator hose clamp is that the band in the clamp can distort the hose.
Hilitchi Spring Clamps – the benefits of this type of radiator hose clamp is that they are versatile and available in 6 sizes ranging from 7-17mm, stainless steel material for heavy duty use, and is convenient to use without any screws needed. The cons of this spring clamp is that the V part for spring action can actually break if it is pressed too hard.
Things to consider when buying radiator hose clamps
Depending on your personal preferences and what you need in your car, everyone will have their own specific criteria to take into consideration while buying specific radiator hose clamps for their car. However, there are three common features and criteria that you should keep in mind when you need to determine what type of hose clamp to purchase.
Type – with all of the aforementioned details that we noted about radiator hose clamps, there are 4 main types of hose clamps that you can choose from, with the three most common clamps being spring clamps, worm clamps, and racing clamps. Each type of clamp comes with its own pros and cons, so you need to pick which one fits your radiator hose best.
Material – consider the material of the radiator hose clamps that you are going to purchase, as this will decide how long your radiator hose clamps will last and the longevity of these products. radiator hose clamps are made with different materials with some being stainless steel, and some made of robust material and are well built and capable. Decide if you want long lasting and corrosion resistant material with your radiator hose clamps.
Hose diameter – before buying any radiator hose clamps, you need to make sure that you know your radiator hose diameter. radiator hose clamps are available in a huge variety of sizes, so Don't’ forget to take the size factor into consideration before deciding what radiator hose clamps to buy.