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Need to Remove a Radiator Hose? These 3 Tips Can Help

Large stainless steel hose clamps

Radiator hoses are very important. Some experts and mechanics think of them as the “unsung heroes” that make sure trucks and cars are able to run without problems or without overheating. The problem is that , like everything else, they do not last forever. When the time comes to replace your radiator hoses and the corresponding heavy duty hose clamp, you may have some trouble removing them.

The trouble is often caused by grime and rust that may accumulate on the heavy duty hose clamp and hose itself. This happens when the hose and clamps are allowed to sit without being inspected for a long time. In a perfect world, you would take a peek at the reliable clamp and hose whenever you go in and chance your oil. Most people forget and never really think about their radiator hose until they have to.

  1. Find a tool to clamp your hose. You need to be really careful when you are applying pressure to the hose. It can be entirely too easy to do real damage to the inside of the hose. Take a screwdriver, or something similar, and work the heavy duty hose clamp. Gently push it back and forth. You may be able to twist your tool with a counterclockwise movement until the hose clamp opens up enough to remove it and the hose it is keeping in place. They key here is to be patient with it. You may start with just a little wiggle room and, with some work, you can take the entire apparatus apart.
  2. Find a tool to remove the hose. Sometimes, there is enough rust, gunk and grime to keep the radiator hose attached even after you have removed your heavy duty hose clamp. All is not lost. You can get a pick tool to take the hose off of the radiator. Take the pick and try to get it in around the edges of the hose so that you can start to work the hose off. You may be able to loosen it enough to pull it off. If you think you can save the hose, you should go slowly here as well. Any quick movements can permanently damage the hose.
  3. Cut the hose free. If you have made the decision that the hose on the radiator is not one you can salvage or if you have new ones that you are ready to use, the fastest way to get that stuck on hose off of your radiator is to just slice it open. You can use shears, heavy duty scissors or a pair of box cutters. Pick a spot that is about two inches away from the nipple and cut the hose. You should then be able to take it off quickly and easily. Sometimes this is the only option if you have removed your heavy duty hose clamp and the hose refuses to budge.

Remember, when it comes to the proper care and feeding of your car or truck, and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are a few things you can do to prevent this sticky problem from developing at all.

  • You can check your radiator hoses on a more regular basis and clean them off when you see any rust, gunk or grime starting to make that space their home.
  • There are also stainless steel hose clamps that can resist the rust, they cannot prevent the gunk and and grime but may be easier to clean.

Part of keeping your car or truck happy and running well is keeping the radiator and its hoses happy. Changing the radiator hoses and checking on the heavy duty hose clamps is just a part of that routine maintenance that can keep your car or truck running for a long time.


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Tips for Heavy Duty Hose Clamp Repairs

Types of hose clamps

Heavy duty hose clamps, also referred to as hose clips, were created to form the best seal between a hose and whatever you are connecting it to, often called the barb or the nipple. Think about the bunsen burner hose you connected at the lab table in science class many years ago. Remember how it fit on the cone-shaped gas line? That would be considered a barb. In science class we just put the hose on, did our little experiment, and we were done, but if you needed to fix something permanently, you would use a hose clamp over the hose to create a tight fit.

Now that we know what a heavy duty hose clamp is, what else can we learn about them? Clamps come in a wide variety of sizes but are typically used for hoses that are at least a half inch in diameter. If you don’t use the right size, you can get a leak which would not be good in your car’s engine or your home’s plumbing – two places where hose clamps are often used. You definitely want to make sure you get the right size clamp for the hose you are using. To do this, put the hose on whatever it is you are attaching it to. Then measure the outside diameter (OD) either in inches or millimeters. Now when you go to buy a reliable clamp, select one with that measurement within its range.


Another way to ensure you make a good seal with your plumbing or automotive hose clamps is to make sure the barb is smooth and doesn’t have any pieces sticking out. This can affect how the hose fits and cause leaks.


Hose clamps are also used for a lot of art applications like making industrial-styled lights, mirrors, sculptures, hanging pot racks. Once you start to use hose clamps and learn the different styles, you will soon see all of the creative ways you can use them around your house. Some people use them as zip ties to keep materials together like cords. Buy a few hose clamps for keeping on hand around the house. You will need them sooner or later!