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You can generally see radiator hoses that are worn out, low and dirty fluids, leaky things, and more.
And walk around the car to see the tires (low pressure should be obvious, look a little closer at the tread), leaks and drips in general.
LISTEN to the car. Unusual sounds are a clue that further investigation is needed.
A pint of prevention is worth 10 gallons of mickey mouse roadside temporary cures. You might get to the next town and get ripped off righteously by some bum with a bad attitude pretending to be a mechanic.
How many people have bought a new car and never read the owner's manual? Does anybody even make an attempt to learn something about their expensive, complicated, and potentially troublesome possession that they rely on with their lives every day?
Sorry, but my wife did not grow up working on cars and found some of these hints quite useful. As for me, the article served as a reminder to be prepared for emergency repairs. Because you are familiar with car repairs doesn't make you superior to someone who thinks about other things. But if you need to criticize others in order to feel better about yourself, go ahead and knock yourself out.
In an emergency you can run with the radiator cap loose to stop pressure buildup and blowing all the water out. taping the bad hose is a short term fix.. If you are ging on a long trip carry a gallon or two of water, couple of old milk jugs work great. Water can have lots of uses.