5 Common Causes of Car Fires

by Paul Konrardy

A car fire is a scary occurrence and the last thing you want to happen when you’re driving down the highway.

We asked the experts for their top five causes of car fires. How many did you know?

1. Cracked or loose wiring or electrical problems, including a fuse that blows more than once. (National Fire Protection Association)

WHN TIP – Service Smarts: Have your car serviced on a regular basis to avoid having small problem turn into big ones.

2. Transporting gasoline in an open container, or transporting gas cans or propane cylinders in the passenger compartment. (National Fire Protection Association)

WHN Expert TIP – Flammability: “Most car fluids are flammable. Heat and electrical sparks plus leaking fluid are all it takes to start a car fire.” National Fire Protection Association

3. Parking your vehicle on or near tall grass, where hot exhaust pipes or your car’s catalytic converter can catch the grass on fire, which in turn can ignite any car fluids that are dripping. (Law Offices of Hogan Injury)

WHN TIP – Hard Surface Parking: “Keep off the grass” is a good rule when parking your car, especially during dry summer days.

4. Being involved in a collision, which can damage the gas tank, engine, or flammable liquid compartments, releasing flammable fumes—along with a spark that will ignite them. (Nickelsporn & Lundin, P.C.)

WHN Expert TIP – Car Acccident? According to Car Fire Experts, after a collision the conditions are ideal for a fire to start. So, even if you don’t see flames, immediately get out of the car and go to a safe distance, and then call for help.

5. Leaving cigarettes or other similar items burning in the car, or accidentally dropping a lit match or other flaming item in the car’s interior. (State Farm)

WHN Expert TIP – Don’t Lift The Hood! See flames near the front of the car? Is smoke coming from the engine compartment? Sun Valley Automotive Repair says opening the hood is the worst thing you can do because you’re not only feeding the fire with more oxygen but also exposing yourself to extremely toxic fumes and sparks.

Photo Credit: vainodesositis

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