In every hour there are numerous drivers driving their cars from one place to another, be it for leisure or work. Car is the common mode of transportation, it is one of the most convenient options given that modern technology has made all cars safer. The chances of your car catches fire is pretty odd especially if your car is well maintained and sent for regular check-ups. It is always helpful to know what are the common causes for car fires and set various precautionary measures in order to protect you and your passengers' safety. In various situation, a parked car could catch fire if the fuel ignition reacted with oxygen. The impact of car fires can be hazardous and the leakage of engine fluid could lead to explosion. Prevention is always better than cure, here are the FOUR causes of car fire.
1. Overheating Engines
The first sign of a car overheating can be either the needle of the temperature gauge reaches the red zone or the ‘engine check’ indicator being turned on. Both signs can be triggered in various situations, the engine will overheat due to hot weather, radiator or timing belt malfunction, low oil level and more. Once the engine is overheated, the internal fluids will begin to spill out from their designated hub and ignite the engine exhaust system resulting a fire break out.
2. Fuel Leakage
Fuel leakage is the most common cause of car fire because gasoline is highly flammable. Fuel leakage happens over time when fuel tank rotten away. Ignoring a fuel leakage is simply putting yourself in a dangerous situation whereby any fire spark could ignite your car. Sometimes fuel leakage happens when the fuel tank is faulty, any electric static, radiation or high temperature could cause sparks and set the car on fire. The fire will easily spread into the cabin with the aid of floor carpet, plastic parts and electric wiring. To make sure your car can go a long way, maintain a regular checkups to prevent faulty fuel system.
3. Electrical System Failure
There are countless of wires connecting the electrical system in the car. A standard car battery’s charging cycles can cause hydrogen gas to build up on the engine bay and the electrical current of the battery can produce sparks along with faulty or loose wiring. The fire could also cause by installing aftermarket component whereby any misroute, clipping or chafing of wiring could draw high chance of car fire.
4. Car Accident
If you were caught in an accident, make sure you move your car slowly into the safety zone before turning off the engine. Reigniting the engine might lead to short circuit which causes fire to break out. Most car crumple zones are designed to absorb impact however major impact will still result to oil leakage. In order to avoid further damages, you should inspect your car immediately especially those important components such as the engine, fuel tank and battery.
How to prevent a car fire?
One can prevent a car fire by maintaining vehicle parts and wiring, send your car for regular checkups in order to fix the faulty car parts. Practise safe driving habits can go a long way, one should keep their car clutter free, practise defensive driving and park the car at a safe area in order to avoid tragic happens. Drivers need to be more observant with warning signs, please refer to below image for more. Also, drivers need to pay attention for unusual loud sounds in the exhaust and engine in order to prevent further damage to your vehicle.
So what if the fire breaks out?
One should put up a signal and slowly move the car towards the safe lane. Stop the car immediately and switch off the engine. Call the respective rescue services for help. Next, grab a dry powder or foam fire extinguisher if available and if the fire is roaring, keep a safe distance away from the car in case the fuel tank explodes.