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Emergency Roadside Radiator Hose Repair

Temporary Radiator Hose Fix

By

It's no fun standing on the side of the road watching smoke pour out of your car's radiator area. Before you call an expensive tow company or change into your walking shoes, there might be a way to get back on the road long enough to get home or to the shop for a real radiator repair.

After waiting for your car to cool off, open the hood and see if you can locate the source of the steam. If it's coming from a rubber radiator hose, you can probably put a quick fix on it to get you out of your predicament. Once you've located the hole, dry it completely. Now tear off a 2-3 inch piece of duct tape (if you don't have some on your duct tape cup holder you can buy it almost anywhere) and place it over the hole in the radiator hose. Starting at the center (just over the hole) press the tape firmly in place. Now tear off a nice long piece and, starting about 2 inches above the smaller piece of tape, wrap it around and around the hose tightly and press it in place. Check your radiator fluid to be sure you still have some to get home on. If it's seriously low, you can add plain old water for now.

The Wrap-Up

  • Let your car cool off!
  • Find and dry the hole.
  • Put a 2-3 inch piece of tape directly over the hole.
  • Wrap the radiator hose thoroughly with more tape.
  • Check and add fluid to the radiator if needed.
  • Drive straight home or to the shop (whichever is closest)!

Remember:

  • Never do cooling system maintenance or repairs on a hot car. Burns can be very serious!
  • This is a temporary repair! Don't try to "make it a few days" relying on your duct tape, you'll be sorry.

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