Choosing the Right Hose Clamp for Your Vehicle

Worm gear hose clamp

When taking your vehicle for maintenance, one basic but important thing that has to be inspected are the hose clips commonly know as hose clamps. Vehicles wear out with time. Even with proper care, your car will still show signs of mileage on its components. If you have a fragile, swollen, corroded or a clamp that becomes loose too often, consider replacement before it causes any damage.

An engine is a complex structure that controls virtually every part of a car. Most of these components are connected with hoses supplying them with different fluids. Meaning that any leakage or damage to the hose supply line can cause the vehicle to loose some of its functionality. As such, you need to ensure that the clamps connecting the hoses to vital vehicle’s components are in good condition. There are different types of hose clamps including the embossed clamp design. But they all perform the same function of attaching and sealing a hose onto a fitting such as a barb or nipple.

Screw Clamps
Also known as a worm clamp, screw clamp features a stainless steel band which consists of a screw thread pattern. At the other end of the band is the captive screw. The band tightens when the screw is turned, and the band can also be loosened when its screwed the other direction.

Worm clamps are easy to install and offer multiple applications such as fixing leaking pipes or alignment problems. They come in different sizes, but experts recommend to use screw clamps for hoses bigger than 1/2 inch.

Spring Clamps
Spring clamps feature a movable strip of spring steel with clamping jaws for adjustment. They are typically strong and look good on embossed clamp design due to their large band surface. Spring clamps are even more easy to install and remove than screw clamps. They are commonly used for securing radiator and heater hoses. Other small models are applied in vehicle’s pressure lines mostly to prevent drop-offs during pressure changes. Spring type clamps vary in gauges, and the thicker the gauge, the more clamping tension it has.

Wire Clamps
Wire hose clips don’t come in an embossed clamp design because of their thin surface area. Typically, they are made of steel and feature a U shaped, then twisted to form a ring shape with one end of the wire overlaying the other. Like screw clamps, they tighten and loosens when the screw is turned.

Oetiker clamps
This is an ear type of clamp made up of a stainless steel band that features closing elements “ears”. Oetiker clamps are commonly used for gas, oil, and transmission cooling lines. They can withstand constant expansion and contraction of hoses caused by forced induction and thermodynamic differences. This eliminates the need to retighten it now and then. Unlike most standard screw clamps, Oetiker clamps have been tamper-proof designed to protect the hoses from accidental tears.

Although these may seem like the main types of clamping tools, other tools such as compression fittings, push-it fittings or swage fittings can be used to secure hoses or tubing.

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