As car owners, we all know that our vehicles will require some maintenance over the years to keep them in good running condition. Common maintenance requirements we all have been through or at least heard of include replacing the brakes, getting the oil change, changing the filters, timing belt, etc. Among these components that wear out over time are radiator hoses and engine hoses as well as their hose clamps, respectively. If it’s time for you to replace your radiator hose or radiator hose clamp, you will either want to take it to a professional or do it yourself (if you have some basic mechanical experience). Whether you decide to go the DIY route or have it professionally installed, there are some important factors you should consider. Namely, what type of hose and hose clamp you decide to replace the faulty parts with. This article outlines how to select a quality radiator hose and which hose clamps will give you the most bang for your buck.
Finding The Right Radiator Hose
Choosing a radiator hose that works the most efficiently and will last the longest isn’t hard. Remember, vehicle components like this aren’t meant to last forever, so you don’t have to spend a fortune purchasing a quality radiator hose. Here are a few things to consider before buying your next radiator hose:
- Check your owners manual to make sure you get the correct radiator hose.
- See which of your radiator hoses needs to be replaced. There are two hoses; upper and lower. If you’re unsure you can purchase a combo radiator hose that is designed to fit both areas. Hint: if there’s a substantial amount of wear and tear, you’ll most likely want to replace both hoses.
Types of Radiator Hoses
Most radiator hoses are made of silicone rubber. While it won’t last forever, silicone has proven to be one of the most optimal materials for radiator hoses. According to YourMechanic.com there are three different types of hoses to choose from, accordion hoses, molded hoses and common hoses with the two main options being:
- Molded Hoses – These hoses are pre-shaped and can either be made from silicone or stainless steel. These are designed to make easy connection allowing for coolant to flow more easily. Molded hoses do not fit every model of vehicle, so check before you buy.
- Flex Hoses – Flex hoses are designed to match OEM specifications and are made of silicone rubber with a corrugated cover that “flexes” easily to fit.
Choosing The Right Radiator Hose Clamp
There are a few different radiator hose clamps that you can use on your radiator hose. The most common are Screw (Worm Gear) Clamps, Spring Clamps, Wire Clamps, and Ear Clamps. Out of these four, the most common are Screw and Spring Clamps.
However, when changing the clamp on your hose you may want to avoid using a screw clamp. Why? We’ll explain.
Most vehicles come stock with spring clamps, these clamps are designed to clamp down on the hose with the perfect amount of tension so that the coolant can flow easily and without leaking. When a person runs into the issue of a worn out engine hose clamp, they need to get it replaced and fast. However, opting for a screw clamp can have negative side effects. This is because there is a pressure point under the screw of the clamp. This small point of pressure can cause the hose to crack. A cracked hose can lead to overheating, this is not good. For this reason, we suggest using a spring clamp or for optimal hose clamp pressure there is fifth hose clamp option: TKO Clamps. TKO Clamps are premium custom machined clamps. The revolutionary design is patented and consists of a multi-hinged 3 part aluminum band, which incorporates a negative angle locking latch system. Easier to use and longer lasting than current hose clamps on the market, TKO Clamps will remove the need to purchase another radiator hose clamp ever again (unless you need one for a different hose).
If you’re in the market for a hose clamp that will do the job right the first time, visit our website TKO Clamping Systems or give us a call today. We look forward to serving you in the near future.