Hoses and clamps – don’t risk a big bill by overlooking the simple things

There is a separate article “Cooling System” on the website covering how to check most components.  This is a short version dealing just with the hoses and clamps

The motto here is:
Check regularly and fix small problems before they become major ones

A $2 hose clamp or any failed hose is perfectly capable of stopping your vehicle dead with potentially expensive consequences so beware  Also, a failure will inevitably occur a) out of any mobile service areas b) away from any mechanic c) in the dark and/or d) in the rain.  A multi-$$ tow truck bill can spoil your day – big time!

Although the best service shops will check such things at regular service time, it will never hurt to lift the hood yourself to look for oil or coolant in any place it should not be, namely running out of hose junctions and so on.  It is also smart NOT to clean up too much. Just do what is essential to get you home, because the removal of “tell-tales” or “witness-marks” may only make it harder for a mechanic to identify the source of the problem.


As a minimum:

  • A couple of cross-blade screwdrivers may be needed to access the heads of clamps. (Why Philips/Posidrive heads are not used exclusively is beyond my simple mind).
  • A small adjustable wrench to suit 6 and 7 mm nuts on the clamp-heads may make for easier access in difficult places
  • Assorted ring/open-ended spanners.
  • A sharp cutting knife
  • Some cable ties of various lengths to hold your temporary patches in place


As noted in other articles on the website, what you carry will inevitably not be the item you need. However, some basic items might just get you out of trouble, namely:

  • A few hose clamps of various sizes
  • A roll of self amalgamating “rescue” tape might bind a leaking hose sufficiently to get you home.
  • Container of water
  • Engine oil