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How to Patch a Radiator Hose

Find out how to patch up your radiator hose long enough to drive to the auto parts store or your local mechanic and replace it with a new one.


  • : Avoid direct skin contact with radiator coolant. Keep a pair of rubber gloves and safety or sunglasses in your car for dealing with radiator emergencies.
  • Step 1: Determine where the radiator hose is leaking.
  • Step 2: Let the engine, hose, and radiator fluid cool for 10 to 15 minutes, even if nothing seems hot.
  • Step 3: Dry the area of the hose where the leak is located.
  • Step 4: Tear a piece of duct tape long enough to wrap around the hose -- about 4 to 6 inches long. Stick the tape on the hose, making sure to cover the hole.
  • Step 5: Reinforce the taped section of the hose by wrapping another piece of tape on either side of the first piece. Make these pieces about twice as long, and wrap them around the hose in a spiral.
  • Step 6: Look into the coolant reservoir to make sure you have a sufficient amount of coolant left. Fill as necessary.
  • Step 7: Start the engine to make sure your patch works.
  • Step 8: Head home or to an auto parts store, where you can buy a replacement hose. You’ll be back on the road in no time!
  • FACT: Most engines operate at a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses or sunglasses
  • Duct tape
  • Engine coolant

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