Causes of a parked car fire

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There have been several reports of parked cars that suddenly engulf in flame. This type of car fire seem to be mysterious to many as these cars were not even in use at the time of the fire incident.

 

Common causes of parked car fire

1. Wiring fault

Electrical cables that are exposed can have contact with each other, create a short circuit (bridge) and cause fire. This is more likely when cables of opposite charge (+ve and -ve) bridge together. They heat up immediately and begin to burn.

 

2. Hot exhaust

An exhaust that is very hot and close to the ground can ignite dry leafs or papers. The probability of exhaust causing fire is higher when the catalytic converter is blocked. A blocked catalytic converter can glow red hot and have very high temperature that can easily ignite papers and leafs.

 

3. Engine oil leakage

Engine oil on a very hot engine is a recipe for fire disaster especially if the oil is diluted with fuel. When a car is parked after being driven, it does not get the continuous cooling from the cooling system and after a while, the engine becomes very hot. This is why some vehicles have after-run cooling function such that after the engine has been turned off, the cooling fan still runs and the coolant still circulate for few minutes.

 

4. Sabotage

This is when someone deliberately sets fire on the car with the intention to punish or harm the car owner. Cases like this have been heard in the past and are still possibly happening.

 

How to avoid parked car fire

1. Ensure that electrical cables are not exposed. Joints should be well insulated.

2. Fix exhaust blockage immediately it happens.

3. Garages or parking lots should be paper, leafs or dirts free.

4. The parking space should be well secured to avoid sabotage. It's also a good thing to have a closed circuit television (CCTV) to monitor your car in case of a sabotage.