Watching white smoke pour out from under your car's hood while you are driving on a hot summer day is never a good experience. The first thing you should do is pull over and turn off the car before you do any damage to the engine. The next thing to do is to open the hood and check to the radiator and hoses to see if you have sprung a leak. If a hose has a leak in it, you can do a temporary fix if you don't have time to wait for a tow truck to help you out. Here is how you can temporarily fix a broken radiator hose.

You Will Need:

  • Duct Tape
  • Hose Clamps
  • Ball of Wire
  • Screwdriver
  • Rag
  • Degreaser

Let the Engine Cool Down

The engine and the radiator fluid will be extremely hot. You need to let the engine cool down before you do any type of work on the radiator hose to avoid getting badly burned. You also don't want to add any radiator fluid or water into a hot motor as this can crack the engine block. If you have to walk to a nearby store to get any supplies you need to fix the hose, the time it takes to walk to the store and back should give everything enough time to cool down so you can work on the hose.

Clean the Hose

You should thoroughly clean the hose where you are going to be applying duct tape. Oil, grease, and dirt will prevent the duct tape from adhering to the hose and you won't be able to stop the leak. You can use a regular household degreaser cleaner. Spray the cleaner liberally onto the hose and wipe it away using rags or paper towels.

Applying the Duct Tape

Wrap the duct tape four or five times around the leak. Start roughly four inches on one side of the leak and wrap the duct tape until you are about four inches past the other side of the leak. Use a couple of hose clamps to tighten around the duct tape to give it extra support. If you don't have hose clamps, you can use thin wire to wrap around the duct tape to provide support. Add in radiator fluid or water to replace any fluids that were lost while the car was overheating. The temporary repair should last until you can get to a mechanic or call a truck towing company.