Do you know the much-loved car that you use for commutation can catch fire? We hope you never ever have to deal with a fire involving your own vehicle but all drivers should understand the main causes of vehicle fires and how to avoid them. Although this is an unusual occurrence, it’s crucial to know what may trigger a car fire. A car fire can be catastrophic and is usually caused due to a variety of reasons including mechanical failures, accidents, driver errors, and so on. Moreover, once a car catches fire, surrounding and other factors can further exacerbate the situation, leading to explosions, serious burns, and fatalities.
It’s quite convenient to use cars for moving from one destination to another. But to stay safe while driving, it’s imperative to know the common causes of car fires. Read further to discover the top 6 causes of car fires to make sure you avoid them.
The most common and obvious causes of car fires are accidents and car crashes. Usually, when the fuel tank is hit, a single spark is likely to set off a fire. In case of a serious collision, even the crumple zones that protect vulnerable areas may fail. If hit hard, the engine, fuel tank, and battery may cause fluids to leak and heat that creates perfect conditions for a fire.
2. Poor Maintenance
If you ignore your car’s maintenance, you’re increasing the risk of a car fire. Without regular maintenance, the worn out wires and broken parts go unnoticed which can indirectly lead to a vicious fire. Tattered wiring can produce a spark which in turn can ignite flammable fluids such as oil or gasoline. Moreover, a damaged gasket in the engine trickles flammable fluids. There are numerous such causes related to poor maintenance which can be avoided by taking your car to a certified mechanic on a regular basis.
3. Electrical System Failure
The electrical system of your car, if not working in good condition can also wreak havoc. If there’s a flaw in the electrical wiring that runs throughout the car or any issue with the battery, your car may catch fire. Frayed wires or the hydrogen gas build up in the engine bay due to battery’s charging cycle may create sparks. The electrical and mechanical failures such as heated seats, faulty batteries, and car’s heating systems, all can contribute to a catastrophic fire.
4. Fuel and Fluids Leaks
According to fire experts, a fuel leak is another cause of car fire. There are various factors that contribute to a fuel system leak which can lead to hazardous conditions. Also, vehicles contain flammable liquids under the hood and just by a single spark, these fluids can catch fire. If the temperature of gasoline goes above 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius), a single spark can ignite a fire. Moreover, the moment gasoline touches 495 degrees Fahrenheit (257.2 degrees Celsius) it catches fire on its own.
5. Vehicle Design Flaw
Sometimes, there can be a flaw in the design of the car that can contribute to car fires. Such design flaws generally don’t cause a car fire but can create or aggravate fire conditions.
In many cases, fire investigators found out the cause of fire linked to an overheated engine. An overheated engine doesn’t cause a fire on its own. But when the engine overheats, it increases the temperature of internal fluids to a dangerous level which then begins to spill out of their designated areas. This overheated coolant or oils can cause your car to burst into flame.
Though you can’t prepare yourself for car crashes, proper maintenance can go a long way in preventing a car fire. If unfortunately, you find yourself in a condition where your vehicle is on fire, get as far away from the car as possible.