Fuel Hose Clamp Tool

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Fuel filters
When talking about working on the Fuel System of our Beetles, one of the greatest concerns we have is Fuel Spillage.

Gasoline is a wonderful “invention” but one which we should respect because of its evaporative and, thus, flammable qualities. We must use great care when working with gasoline. My number one rule is to work with gasoline outdoors so that gas vapors cannot accumulate

I frequently am asked by fellow Volkswagen enthusiasts what to do about gasoline spillage. This is a valid concern. When changing the fuel hoses, there always is the possibility for some gasoline to be spilled.


While talking with my good 1967 Beetle friend, Frank Salvitti, of Long Island, New York, this past weekend, the subject of fuel spillage came up.

Says Frank—“Oh…that’s no problem! I use Line Clamp Pliers.” Now, Frank is a seasoned mechanic and knows things that a lot of us DIY-ers don’t. I asked Frank to explain his process and he told me that he would send some photos to illustrate his tool of choice.

Over the years, I have seen screws inserted into the ends of hoses, pieces of whittled wood, and other variations, in order to avoid the loss of gasoline while the person is working to change fuel hoses. But it takes time to insert something into the hose. In the meantime, the gasoline is draining. I laugh now, but I recall the many times I was beneath a VW, working on a fuel hose, and had the fuel to drain right onto my face or clothing. Not much way to avoid it if you are working with the fuel hose over head!

Frank emphasized the simplicity of the Line Clamp Tool and how to use it. The beauty is that if anything at all spills, it will be a couple of drops which remain at the end of the hose after it has been clamped. A paper towel can be placed there when the hose is disconnected and will take care of such a small amount.

The Clamp is applied appropriately—THEN—the fuel hose is disconnected.

If you are working with the fuel hoses in the engine compartment, a Clamp can be applied to the hose beneath the car where it enters the engine compartment. Thus, the fuel supply is cut-off to the engine compartment. Multiple Clamps can be used, if necessary—the possibilities are multiple.


The cost of a home owner’s Clamp Set starts around $10 and can run to $50, if you want to have a more professional kit.

Although there are “screw-down” Fluid Line Clamps, I prefer the Plier type for ease of use. It takes only seconds to apply the Pliers. There is a variable range to apply to hose of smaller-to-larger diameters with each Plier. And, there are light-weight “plastic” Clamp Sets (brightly colored Pliers which easily can be found in one’s tool box).

Buy the Plier Set which advertises that it is “non-conductive”—to avoid sparking.

Check with places like Harbor Freight for the less expensive Kits. Amazon also is a good source.

My thanks to Frank for taking time to explain the Line Clamp Pliers and for taking and sending photographs.

While we are at it—let me emphasize the fact that gasoline is not to be used as a cleaning agent. While it WILL do the job of cleaning, it is too dangerous a liquid to be used in such a manner. For a general cleaner, I use Mineral Spirits, which can be purchased in quart or gallon containers across the counter at paint, hardware and big box home supply stores. It is much less volatile and will do a good job of cleaning greasy parts, for instance. Again—I insist that all such cleaning be done outdoors for safety and so that the person cleaning the parts will not be subjected to breathing the vapors.

There are other even more specific parts-cleaners for brake parts, for carburetors, and so forth. Use these, following the label instructions, and you will be safe.

I also insist on the use of Nitrile Gloves. This is to prevent the absorption of cleaning fluids into the skin. Nitrile Gloves are cheap. They are fairly durable so that they can be used more than once unless they spring a hole. They keep hands super clean and safe when working with cleaners and greasy parts. (Note—do not wear Nitrile or rubber gloves when working with machinery which is turning—such as a grinding wheel, wire wheel, power drill, etc. Nitrile Gloves can be caught in the whirling machinery and will rip off the hand, resulting in damage to one’s hand.)

Work on your 1967 Beetle confidently and safely!

Posted by Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs since 1976. In fact, we raised our family in these cars. Now, we are retired and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been our favorite year. We own a '67 Beetle and a '68 Karmann Ghia.

  1. Another great one from Jay! Sorry this took be a bit to push out. Busy over here. :)

    1. In a pinch, how about a small pair of vice grips?

      1. Frank…”In a pinch” (pun intended) vice grips probably would do the job too. thanks! jay

  2. Richard A. (Dick) Diaz November 24, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I recognize the Pittsburg brand as a Harbor Freight tool! I was introduced to using the line clamp tool from another VW friend and found it works perfectly as both Frank and Jay testify too! Good article by Jay and reminder of how something so dangerous can rendered safe! I also don’t do routine hose, or fuel filter changes with a hot engine!

    1. Hello, Dick…Good thoughts. I note that sometimes water heaters are located in the garage–just another reason to keep flamable products out of one’s garage (which often is connected to the main dwelling). jay

  3. I’ve done this many ways. A pencil works too.

    1. Ha! Yes, Eric…I still have a valve stem which a VW trained mechanic left dangling from the fuel hose beneath my Beetle long ago. Even THEY sometimes use/used make-shift tools. Burt, I have to tell you that the Line Clamp tools are the best! I hope that Amanda doesn’t catch you using her pens and pencils as fuel hose stoppers! jay

  4. I have a set of similar clamps I got on Amazon for $10. Seems to work well, just like above, only a few drops of fuel to worry about.

    1. Hello, Michael…Thanks for chiming in! I appreciate your input. It’s always good to know that others have used these tools successfully! Have a great weekend and keep enjoying that Beetle! jay

  5. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!! I have a drill bit that I keep in my tools just for that. I slide the smooth shaft end in the hose and it works great. I’m sure there are a lot of options out there. Another tip is to get that fuel filter out of the engine compartment and relocate it either near the transmission or up front under the fuel tank. Better safe than sorry.

    1. I’m with Richard, I like the fuel filter behind the fire wall. Messy but safer. But really , how often are you changing it?

  6. Hello, Richard..I hope that the Nebraskan weather is not treating you folks too badly! Yes..lots of options for inserting into the fuel hoses. The good thing about the Line Clamps is that they preclude having to rush to insert something into the hose–while fuel is running out. With the Clamp in place–there is almost nothing to drain. AND–the Clamp won’t let go or fall out. Being light-weight, they pose no problem for pulling the hoses. It’s good to hear from you, Richard. Been wondering how you and Donna were doing! jay

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