Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Radiator hose clamps .

I thought I would change the engine coolant on my Citroen C3 today. The anti-freeze has not been changed since I bought the car new in March 2007. A simple job of remove the radiator bottom hose clamp, drain the coolant, flush and refill with a 50% anti-freeze mixture.

I look at the radiator hose clamp and it is not a common Jubilee Screw/band (Worm Gear) clamp but a type of spring clamp I have not used before. I bought a jubilee clip to replace this spring clamp when I bought the anti-freeze.

I start trying to remove the spring clamp with various screwdrivers and it does not seem to budge. I look at it, curse and try levering it clear with my screwdriver. All I could manage to do was to push the spring clamp around the hose! Will I have to chat with one of the boys at the farm? There must be a simple way to remove these spring clamps.

I look next door and our neighbour's service van is parked on his drive. Anthony is a service engineer for a range of lifting gear. I ring his door bell to pick his brains and ask if he has used them in his day job.

Anthony walks into my garage and I explain the problem. He does not use these spring clamps in his day job but rises to the challenge. Right, he suggests, get a pair of pliers and squeeze both "ears" towards each other, that may loosen the spring clamp. Well, it was a fiddly job and I got a few scratches to my hand but the metal band did expand just enough to slide it back with my other hand. I never thought of using a pair of pliers to open this spring clamp by moving the "ears" closer together. I thought it would have to simply spring open.

Taking the hose off was a doddle and I replaced the old spring clamp with a traditional and user friendly Jubilee type worm gear clamp. I do not know why Citroen uses spring clamps in the manufacture of their excellent cars. What I have learned is that if it is not your day job, do not worry about your pride but ask someone who may do that kind of thing at work. With fiddly jobs like that, two minds and fresh eyes are a bonus that can swiftly get the job done. Thank you Anthony, I offered him some beer but he said no and that you can't beat a Jubilee clip, every time.
Very similar to whats used on motorcycles for both coolant hoses and attaching the fuel line to the petrol tap. They are smaller then those I suspect were on your car and can often be openned by hand.

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