1.Patch A Radiator Hose
Wait for the engine to cool off. Open the hood and locate the source of the steam—i.e., the rupture (A). Clean and dry the area around the fissure; the tape won’t stick as well on a damp, dirty surface.
Wrap 2 to 3 in. of duct tape around the hose over the hole; press firmly (B).
Overwrap the patch (the hose will be under intense pressure) from 2 to 3 in. above the original piece to about 2 or 3 in. below, then work your way back (C). Check your radiator level before cranking the engine. “If it’s seriously low and you don’t have a can of coolant, use water or, in an emergency, diet soda,” says Tony Molla of the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence and former pro wrench jockey. “Avoid using fruit juice or anything with sugar or acids in it. It’ll corrode the radiator and hoses.”