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In some cases, it’s easier to remove the alternator to release serpentine belt tension than to get a wrench or ratchet on the belt tensioner. Ignoring the lamentable decision-making process that spawns such folly, there is a workaround. I first saw very low-profile bars like these at a Tuffy where I worked, and everyone in the shop borrowed it almost every time they had to release a serpentine belt on a transverse-mounted engine. The owner probably wasn’t too happy with us, but the photo above shows why the pseudo-thefts were necessary.

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Constant-tension hose clamps are fast becoming ubiquitous on mass-produced cars, courtesy of their stone-cold reliability and automatic adjustment. Worm gear and T-bolt hose clamps should be re-torqued after installation with the hoses hot, since the clamping force squeezes rubber out from underneath the band (a tendency called cold creep), but constant-tension clamps keep themselves properly adjusted. They are, however, one of a mechanic’s knuckles’ worst enemies, and very difficult to detach without the right tools. Additionally, factory installations aren’t always the easiest to remove, which is where flexible hose clamp pliers come in.

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