Print Story The things you see
By kwsNI (Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 08:07:42 AM EST) (all tags)
Driving along the highway. 

Passed a fire truck this morning soaking down the smoldering remains of what used to be a car.  Didn't look like there were any injuries.  I've always wondered just how much maintenance you have to skip for your car to spontaneously combust. 

That wasn't as weird as Friday night though.

Slowly creeping southbound in some heavy traffic Friday, I was glad I wasn't heading north - they were pretty much stopped dead.  I looked over at oncoming traffic and noticed a beat up older model Buick on the side of the road.  Then I watched a 300lb naked guy get out of it and run into traffic (which was fortunately still stopped dead). 

Don't see that every day. 

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The things you see | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)
Fire easy by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 08:38:25 AM EST
Very much depends on the car. My dad had his catch fire, luckily right between two petrol stations who were out there with extinguishers faster than you could blink, and several of his friends with similar (Mk III Ford Cortinas) cars had the same experience. There was a problem in the engine bay layout where a fuel hose ran just above the exhaust manifold, had a tendency to start leaking suddenly, and so dripped petrol on the hot exhaust. Just above all this was the very large plastic air intake filter which not only hid everything nicely when you had the bonnet up but also melted and dripped hot burning plastic over the engine when encouraged by flaming petrol.

Same by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:30:27 AM EST
Something very similar in my friend's MKI Fiesta - just suddenly one day smoke started coming out of the air vents, so we all piled out (group of teenagers on holiday) and ended up having to call the fire brigade.  Same problem RE fuel hose, IIRC.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
I think I lie by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:32:33 AM EST
It seems far more likely that it was a MKII; it was a very old car, but not that old.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
My 1978 Mercury Zephyr caught fire once by georgeha (4.00 / 3) #4 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:32:44 AM EST
The ignition module was very flakey, sending lots of unburned gas (petrol) into the muffler, which made the muffler so hot it caught the tarry undercoating on fire.

Fortunately I had a few cans of diet soda on hand, which made an okay fire extinguisher once I shook them up.

[ Parent ]
Amaze. by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:36:06 AM EST
Shaken-soda extinguisher == ghetto to the max!

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Dodge Stratus had an issue by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:54:27 AM EST
where the power steering hoses disconnected, spraying fluid all over.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
I had a small fire by toxicfur (4.00 / 2) #7 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:55:33 AM EST
in the engine compartment of my '86 Blazer. A cable of some kind rubbed against the ground wire to the battery wore through. I was in the middle of nowhere on I40 in eastern North Carolina, the day before I was supposed to move to Boston, on my way to pick ana up from the airport. I was driving along, there was a loud pop, and flames came out from under my hood.

I called my mom using the cell phone I'd borrowed from her.

"What do you expect me to do about a fire? Call 911!" she said. By that point, the fire was out, though, and not a lot of damage was done. Between a mechanic in the middle of nowhere and my brother, the Blazer was repaired and made the 850 mile drive over the next couple of days.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Just the memory by ana (4.00 / 2) #8 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:59:43 AM EST
of that behemoth scares me. 

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
2004 CR-V by barooo (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 11:08:38 AM EST
Had a wicked stupid design where the oil filter was right above the exhaust manifold, so it was very hard to get to, making it easy for someone to double-gasket or otherwise improperly replace it, leading to leaking oil right onto said manifold, which can easily start a fire, or at least cause billowing smoke.

man, i need a beefy taco now.
[ Parent ]
Last Friday, I passed by two flaming cars by lm (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:15:47 AM EST
One on Interstate 70 and one on Interstate 68. The one on 68 was just starting to burn, it was pulled off on the should with a puddle of fire underneath it and something dripping into the puddle. I couldn't tell if the liquid was already aflame as it was falling or if it was igniting once it hit the puddle of fire.

The other car, I just saw the aftermath.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
On I-15 in California by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:21:26 AM EST
Seen several RVs that have burned to the ground. Apparently the long uphill grade in the Mojave Desert tends to make them overheat. Lots of "Use of AC not recommended" signs along the road.

In the Army we had an old Chevy pickup with a RATT Rig on it. One day it developed a fuel leak. The fuel dripped down on to the starter, which shorted through the gasoline. Half a million dollars worth of truck and RATT Rig burned to the ground.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Primitive Rig. by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:42:21 PM EST
In 2000 or I was working with Lockmart in building more current ones for the Marines. Basic design was a Humvee with a similar end and racks down both sides. Basic design was stolen from what Westinghouse (by then Northrup Grumman) had built for the Army, and I strongly suspect that my UPS disaster was related to a similar disaster at Westinghouse (although now that I think of it, it was more likely on the FAA side of things).


Any Marine trying to stand in one can thank me for keeping the center of the ceiling as clear of junk as possible (lights, smoke alarm, wires). Still no headroom, but less things to have to miss.

[ Parent ]
This popped into my news feed this morning by lm (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:55:05 AM EST
7.43 million Toyota recalls over flaming switch fears

The problem, which affects a span of Toyota vehicles from the cheapest through to some of the company’s most expensive models, is down to unevenly applied grease to the driver’s side electric window control which, the car company warns, could lead to excess heat, melting or smoking of components, and even an impromptu armrest fire.

So, like others were saying, it's not always a maintenance issue.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
The things you see | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)