July 22nd, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
A car fire can happen without notice and quickly put you and others in danger. For drivers who know how to safely respond if a car catches fire, they can minimize risk and protect themselves and others against serious harm.
What Causes Car Fires?
Car fires are infrequent, but they can affect drivers at any time. Common reasons why a car catches fire include:
- Fuel System Leak: A faulty fuel line connector can cause gasoline to leak and vaporize into the air under a car’s hood. When this happens, a fuel-oxygen mixture develops, and this mix can ignite if the temperature around the exhaust manifold exceeds a normal level.
- Electrical System Issues: A defective car battery can produce hydrogen gas while charging, which increases the risk of an explosion. Furthermore, electrical components that are improperly installed or poorly maintained can short-circuit or malfunction, which may lead to an explosion.
- Engine Overheats: A water pump or cooling fan that no longer works correctly can cause a car’s engine to rise above normal levels. In this instance, various flammable liquids in the exhaust manifold can overheat.
- Defective Catalytic Converter: If a catalytic converter is clogged or overworked, it can overheat and cause combustible materials near it to explode.
Regular maintenance offers a great way to help lower the risk of car fires. If you take your car to automotive professionals for periodic repairs and maintenance, you can identify and resolve vehicle issues before they escalate.
Signs of a Car Fire
Smoke or flames emanating from your car are signs that your vehicle may be on fire. Furthermore, there are various car warning signs that indicate your car may be at risk of catching fire, such as:
- Oil or other fluids are leaking underneath your car
- Loose or cracked wires
- Oil filler cap is missing
- Hoses are broken or loose
- Exhaust system causes loud sounds
If you are dealing with any of the aforementioned car issues, don’t wait to get help. Instead, schedule a service appointment with an expert auto body shop, and you can receive comprehensive assistance to address these problems.
How to Put Out a Car Fire
If your car catches fire, be cautious. Rather than try to put out the fire on your own, you should get away from your vehicle as quickly as possible.
How to Handle a Car Fire
If your vehicle catches on fire, you should turn off the ignition and exit the car. Next, move as far away from your vehicle as you can — at least 100 ft. — and call 911.
Additionally, keep your car’s hood and doors closed whenever possible. If you open your car’s hood and doors are open, you may inadvertently spread the fire.
After a car fire is extinguished, notify your insurance company. It often helps to capture photos of the damage to your car and share them with your insurer as well.
Your insurance company can help you get your car repaired. If your car is not salvageable, your insurer may consider your vehicle to be a total loss. At this point, your insurer can help you get your car replaced.
Need Extensive Car Repairs After a Vehicle Fire? Fix Auto Can Provide Assistance
If you are involved in a car fire and need vehicle repairs, the team at Fix Auto at your nearest location can help. We offer a wide range of automotive repair services to help you fix your car and get it running once again after a car fire. To learn more about our auto repair services or to schedule an appointment, please call us today at 1-800-INFO-FIX.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Gresham, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing all customers in Gresham and Greater Portland Metropolitan area.