How to Repair an Air Intake Hose

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How to Repair an Air Intake Hose

The air intake hose plays an important role in an engine. It delivers fresh air to the combustion chamber, which is crucial for a stable combustion process. Its condition affects the fuel economy and the overall car performance. This hose is usually durable and it can serve its purpose for thousands of kilometres. However, it is susceptible to wear and it can cause a lot of trouble when it starts to crack. Users have two options when a fault in the air intake hose appears. They can try to either repair it, or replace it . A replacement is a more permanent fix, but it is also more costly. Those that are looking for a temporary solution to the problem can use the advice below to patch up their air intake hose and postpone its replacement.

Spot the Troubled Area

The air intake hose is usually black and it has an uneven surface. This makes it difficult for observers to spot the cracks, unless they become big. There are specialised devices that can determine the damaged section of a hose, but those cost a lot of money. The repair of an intake hose is a patch up job, so the goal is to spend as little as possible. There are two cheap alternative ways to spot a crack on an intake hose. One of them involves a propane torch while the other uses carburettor cleaner.

Propane Torch

The propane torch is a common tool that can be very helpful in these situations. With its aid, users can determine the exact location of the crack in a few simple steps. Start the engine and let it run idle in neutral. Next, get the propane torch and open the valve without lighting the torch. Slowly pass the torch over the hose and observe the engine's behaviour. If the engine starts to run smoother than before, it means that the hose is sucking propane through a crack. This method is not for users that do not know how to handle a propane torch. Propane is both toxic and explosive, so people with little or no knowledge of this type of tool should not meddle with it.

Carburettor Cleaner

The technique involving a carburettor cleaner is safer but less accurate. It uses the same concept as the propane torch technique, just with a liquid instead of a gas. Spray carburettor cleaner on a segment of the hose. If the engine increases its idle speed, it means that the crack is within that segment. To avoid using too much carburettor cleaner, spray the less visible segments first.

Making Repairs

After users manage to locate the crack, they need to examine the extent of damage to the hose. If the hose has a large crack or even a hole, the smartest move is to replace it with a new one. Repairs are not always an option, especially when it comes to fragile engine parts. If the damage is smaller, vehicle owners can choose to either glue it or tape it. The chart below shows a list of products that can patch up the damaged region with different rates of success.

Product

Suitability

duct tape

medium

heat shield tape

good

universal glue

not a good idea

plastic epoxy

good

Duct tape comes instinctively as a first choice when making quick repairs. Regular duct tape is not heat resistant, so people should avoid it in a heated environment such as the engine. However, the intake hose runs in the cooler parts of the engine. This means that even if applying to the hose, the tape should not melt.

The heat shield tape is much like the duct tape. Its heat resisting feature gives it a huge advantage, which is usually enough for buyers to overlook its marginally higher price. The heat shield tape can withstand the whole spectrum of temperatures inside an engine. It provides a safer repair, but it does not offer any superior strength or flexibility.

Users can fix the hose by wrapping the troubled area with a few layers of tape. Make sure that there is more than one layer directly over the crack. Apply layer after layer in circles without cutting, until the bond looks strong enough.

Universal glue is another item many people have around the house. It is a bad idea to attempt repairs with a product of this type, as it is not strong enough to hold. The hose can rip again within days, and fragments from the glue may end up in the engine.

Plastic epoxy on the other hand is a much better choice. Manufacturers produce this type of glue with characteristics that allow it to form a strong and flexible bond between plastic and rubber. Look for a dual component glue, mix it well and apply it over the crack. Make sure the glue enters the inside edge of the crack, and wait for it to dry.

How to Buy Repair Supplies for an Air Intake Hose on eBay

The supplies you need to fix an air intake hose are quite common as they have many household applications. eBay has a vast amount of products that can help you and they all come at a small price. There is not much sense for buyers to consult the Deals page on a purchase this small, so go directly to any eBay page. Use the search bar with a query that contains the name of the product. This way the results are always relevant to what you need. If there are too many results, apply a few filters or select a subcategory. Lastly, you can always consider buying a new hose . The hose might be more expensive than the repair, but it lasts for a longer time.

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