The Top 7 Causes of Car Fires

Vehicle fires are one of the scariest experiences and reportedly accounts for about 20 percent of all fire incidents. Every vehicle owner wants to avert such cases of fires and explosions, but people are often unaware of how and why such incidents happen.

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A car may catch fire for a variety of reasons, like a manufacturing flaw or an electrical malfunction. Most of the times, there are multiple factors which lead to such havoc, such as human causes, mechanical causes, and chemical causes. A combination of these causes may together create an extremely dangerous situation. So to avoid any such dangerous situation in the future, every vehicle owner must be aware of these factors. Here we have listed some of the most prominent causes of motor vehicle fires and explosions.

1. Fuel System Leaks

The biggest and most common cause of vehicle fires is fuel leaks in the system. Vehicle fuel leak is perilous and may happen due to many reasons. Car fluids are flammable and have corrosive and toxic properties. However, most dangerous is gasoline, which can catch fire from a simple spark or even on reaching the temperature of 45 degrees. Thus, in order to prevent chances of a fuel system fire, it is important to properly maintain your car and immediately fix leaks whenever you smell gas.

2. Electrical System Failures

Next major cause of car fires is the electrical system failures. Car batteries often cause numerous troubles. The electrical system malfunctioning can produce sparks, and set fire to the leaked vapors or fluid drops. Moreover, the electrical system crash may ignite a fire in any area of your car as the electrical wiring runs throughout the car, which is through channels, into doors, under the carpet, as well as, seats. This means timely maintenance is crucial to avoid such electrical system problems.

3. Overheating Engines

Another cause of vehicle fire is related to engine overheating. The engine of the motor vehicle, normally, never overheats to a level to burst into fire. However, the overheated engine will immensely increase the temperature of the fluids and coolant which might start leaking out of the areas of circulation. This actually leads to creating havoc.

4. Overheating Catalytic Converters

Overheating catalytic converters are often an ignored risk factor but an overworked or clogged catalytic converter can easily catch fire. This is because an overworked catalytic converter burns off more exhaust pollutants than they’re designed to process.

5. Design Flaws

The design flaw is also sometimes found out to be associated with the vehicle fire. This is because some models are more vulnerable to catch fires than others. Most common manufacturer flaws which lead to a blaze are electrical issues, faulty batteries, and fuel tank leaks.

6. Accidents

Car crash and vehicle collisions often result in fires. Not all car accidents catch fire because this entirely depends on what area is being damaged. For instance, the fire will catch a vehicle, if the car’s gas tank is hit.

7. Poor Maintenance

Car owner often forgets or neglect to properly maintain their car which makes their car more dangerous and increases the risk of a car fire. Ignoring those broken parts, leaky seals, or faulty wiring is like inviting accidents.

Thus, a fuel leakage, overheating, short circuits, or an accident, there may be numerous causes that may ignite a fire in your vehicle which can be determined only through a detailed fire investigation. Therefore, you need to take every possible precaution to prevent a car fire.


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