Three Types of Hose Clamps for Cooling Systems: Spring Vs. Worm Vs. T-Bolt (With Video)

Updated on January 17, 2019
hardlymoving profile image

Hardlymoving writes about do-it-yourself automobile maintenance on various makes and models.

Three Types of Hose Clamps

I'm writing about three different types of clamps used on cooling systems in cars because I see that sometimes mechanics doing repairs on your car don't use the best, longest-lasting kind.

Spring clamp (constant-tension clamp)
Spring clamp (constant-tension clamp)

Spring Clamps (Constant-Tension Clamps)

On most automobiles as they come from the factory, the hoses in the cooling system are connected, fastened, and sealed from coolant leakage by spring clamps (also called constant-tension clamps). They are commonly referred to as spring clamps because they apply constant tension on the rubber hose. Automobile manufacturers use spring clamps on cooling system hoses because haven't found a better or cheaper way to apply tension to the hose regardless of the hose's condition. This matters because as the hoses age, they may harden, soften, swell, or lose their structural rigidity, and spring clamps will continue to apply force on the hose regardless of the condition of the hose.

I do have an issue with plastic compression ring clamps that are force-fitted onto the hose. These plastic clamps can't be serviced, and when I work on cars like this, I have to cut or saw off these plastic clamps and replace them with a serviceable clamp.

Worm clamp for hoses
Worm clamp for hoses | Source

Worm Clamps: An Inferior Alternative

When I am working on a leaking cooling system, often I am annoyed to find that some mechanic has replaced the original factory spring clamp (let's say an upper or lower radiator hose clamp) with a worm clamp. The mechanic probably went for the worm clamp because he didn't have the right tools to get the clamp off and didn't want to go through the hassle of putting the original clamp back on. Worm clamps are substandard compared to spring clamps because they fray the hose with the adjustment slots, they can strip, they can cut into the hose, they may not be able to apply adequate tension to prevent leaks, and they don't compensate the shrinkage of the rubber. So worm clamps are likely to lead to leaks in the future.

Racing clamp (or T-bolt clamp) for cooling system hoses
Racing clamp (or T-bolt clamp) for cooling system hoses | Source

Racing Clamps: A Compromise

A good compromise between spring and worm clamps are racing clamps (or t-bolt clamps). Racing clamps have none of the shortcomings of worm clamps. They're easy to get off, mostly made of stainless steel, provide 360 degrees of wide tension, and are very durable. I have occasionally used these as backup for weak spring clamps. But keep in mind that racing clamps do lose their tension sometimes. Also they are expensive, and not available at parts stores.

Video: Different Types of Hose Clamps, and Tools Used to Remove Them

The following 3-minute video will explain the tools used for removing factory original spring clamps and compare them with two other aftermarket hose clamps (worm clamps and t-bolt clamps).

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I agree the worm clamps are inferior to the spring clamps. However, there are worm clamps and worm clamps. The one showed in the picture has adjustment slots. But the worm clamps I buy here in Holland do not have adjustment slots. Therefore they don't really damage the hose. For whatever reason I have never seen worm clamps without slots for sale while I was in the US. Not sure why that is?

    Yes, you are correct. I have seen non-slotted worm clamps on both European and Japanese cars that are factory installed clamps ... not aftermarket. They do seem to be better. For larger clamp applications (that is radiator hoses), I go out of my way to get t-bolt (racing) clamps. More clamp surface area and uniform pressure ... in my opinion. They're available from various vendors on Ebay but non to be found locally where I live.

© 2018 hardlymoving

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • hardlymoving profile imageAUTHOR

      hardlymoving 

      3 months ago from Memphis, TN

      I'm with you brother. Seen too many independent shops struggling getting the spring clamps off because they don't have a spring clamp tool(s)... so come time to clamp on the hose, they revert back to aftermarket worm clamps.

    • profile image

      Automotive engineer 

      3 months ago

      Spring tension coolant clamps as defined are the highest quality solution at this date and time.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)