Ask most mechanics what causes most skinned or burned knuckles, and they'll most likely say it was due to those hard-to-reach hose clamps. Hose clamps are vital to keeping coolant, fuel and oil lines securely fastened to male fittings or bypass lines. They are placed in almost all cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the United States but are unfortunately not always located in the easiest to reach locations. Fortunately, most ASE certified mechanics keep one tool inside their toolboxes that significantly improves their reach to loosen or tighten hose clamps: a pair of remote access hose clamp pliers.
What are remote access hose clamp pliers?
Most mechanics know how valuable that an extension for sockets and ratchet sets are to remove nuts and bolts that are hard to reach. The remote access hose clamp pliers work on the same premise - they work on a wide-arrange of hose clamps, is easy to maintain and is among the flexible extension tools on the market today. Most remote hose clamp pliers are designed to remove sprung-type hose clamps, including the standard sprung wire hose clamp and also the sprung flat-band style that often is attached to oil, fuel, and coolant lines installed directly by the factory.
There are other types of hose clamps that are difficult to access, including screw-type hose clamps that are secured by bolts or screws. Remote access hose clamp pliers are not intended to loosen these types of hose clamps. However, they can be used to remove radiator hoses, as most of them are secured with spring-type hose clamps.
What are the features of a remote access hose clamp?
Today's top selling hose clamp pliers include a unique jaw-like design that can remotely access automotive clamps as big as 2 inches in diameter. They have a ratchet-style grip that allows the mechanic to securely fasten the plier end to the hard-to-reach hose clamp and tighten the clamp as needed by squeezing the handle. The end of the pliers includes a flexible cable that allows the mechanic to snake the end fitting around hoses, exhaust pipes, and other obstructions.
A remote hose clamp plier is designed to securely fasten to the outer edges of the hose clamp. Once secured, the mechanic simply closes the pliers (to collapse the clamp – allowing it to open easily) and slip the open hose clamp past the male fitting where the hose is secured. Once the hose clamp is out of the way, the mechanic opens the handles of this tool to close the hose clamp which loosens the fitting and permits the mechanic to remove the hose with ease.
The fitting on the end of the pliers can also secure to the hose itself, allowing a mechanic to be able to carefully remove the hose if it in a hard-to-reach area. This reduces the potential of suffering burns and cuts to a mechanic’s hands, arms, and fingers. It also reduces the potential of pinched or pierced hoses that can be caused when trying to reach a clamp with a long-edge screw driver or other tool not intended for this purpose.
Regardless of the type of automotive work a mechanic completes, one of the first tips learned is to use the right tool for the right job. Remote access hose clamp pliers are relatively new, but a huge help to expedite the removal and replacement of hose clamps and multiple types of hoses used on most of today's vehicles. They are particularly handy for mechanics that travel remotely and need to work in areas they are not accustomed to working in, such as a customer's home or office.
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Best Tool to Reach Hose Clamps and was authored by Timothy Charlet.