So you’re on the side of the road and there’s smoke billowing from your radiator…you’ve got a coolant leak. In this post, we’ll show you how to make an emergency radiator hose repair with Rescue Tape.
So you’ve got limited options:
- Google “Tow Truck Company”, call, wait an hour, cringe when you pay $130 to go 7 blocks.
- Call AAA, wait an hour, cringe your cell phone charger is missing and you have 4% battery left.
- Remember you have Silicone Rescue Tape in your glove box, pull it out, make a quick repair, and go on your way.
Option 3 is our favorite, and we think it’ll be your favorite too. Check out the quick how-to below.
So on to the emergency radiator hose repair…
Remember, this is a hypothetical emergency situation
First off, wait for your car to cool off. No one wants to deal with scalding hot liquids that are under high pressure. Open the hood, the radiator is up front (nearest to the front of the car) with an upper and a lower radiator hose. If the steam is coming from a rubber hose (like the one pictured above) you can likely wrap it with Silicone Rescue Tape and be on your way in minutes!
Once you’ve found the hole or tear (this can happen due to weathering, oil degradation, punctures, etc.) you can start the hose repair with Rescue Tape. Make sure you read the instructions on the package first, and since you’re working in tight quarters here, cut a nice long piece of tape off the roll and peel off the clear plastic backing. You’ll want to start 3-5 inches on either side of the hole. Stretch Rescue Tape at least twice its length and begin wrapping, overlapping onto itself so that 1/2 the width is covered by the next wrap. Once you’ve wrapped 3-5 layers thick, make sure you have enough coolant/water, make sure your radiator cap is on tight and you should be good to go!
This guide is meant as a suggestion for an emergency situation, and there’s a lot of factors involved in making a repair like this, so use your best judgment.
Never try a repair like this on a hot engine. Burns can be really serious, coolant can be extremely hot and under very high pressure – if you’re not comfortable with a repair like this, please don’t risk it!
Last, but not least, Rescue Tape withstands 500F and has 950PSI Tensile Strength – its waterproof and creates airtight seals – all that said, we cannot recommend this as a permanent repair, this is meant to get you home, not get you across the Sahara desert.