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Author Topic: Engine fire...  (Read 3263 times)
Waldo
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Diesel power :o)


« on: July 10, 2008, 03:21:40 pm »

And then it happened to me...  Sad

The other morning I tried to start up my yellow 1.6 after it had been sitting for roughly 2 months.

I didn't "fire" up straight away, so left it for 30 min while I picked up the temporary license plates... I did smell some petrol but didn't pay much attention as I thought I had drowned it.

When I came back it started without much effort and didn't show any problems.
I left it in idle to warm up and went to open to garage door.
After a little while in doors I heard a "puff" and the car died... Walked outside to have a look and saw a pretty good fire under the engine bay  Shocked
Fortunately I had a fire extinguisher nearby (not walking any longer  Wink) and the fire was quickly put out (even though I had my doubt walking close to a petrol car on fire, especially with the petrol tank that close to the fire  Undecided)

Seems like the only damage is that pretty much all wires near the engine bay needs replacing... so guess I got lucky  Roll Eyes

I haven't had time to look closer yet, but would like to remind people why they should allways have a fire extinguisher in the car...
Also the petrol line fittings in the fuel pump seems to be a very weak point, check them before it's to late!!!

I will post pictures when I start the renovation work...

Take care,
Valdemar
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krede
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2008, 03:28:04 pm »

Good god!!!  Shocked
I hope the damage isn't too severe..!
I have the receipt, from back when the engine in my car caught fire... and the list of parts that had to be replaced is fairly substantial!!!..

I also thought that only the 2.2 was prone to engine fires?...


Ps: I know its comparable to snuff.. but some pictures might be appropriate.. 
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 05:41:49 pm »

Ouch...  Shocked But, well done!  Cool

Petrol doesn't burn easily, so the fuel tank shouldn't worry you unless it starts melting, but that should take quite a bit of heat. The dangerous thing is opening the engine lid when the fire is on. I hope you didn't get burnt?

Yes, extinguishers are mandatory in any car, and even more so in old ones. Note, however, that the foam can be pretty hard on the metal, so I suggest you give it all a good wash with plenty of water as soon as you can.

- Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
krede
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 05:59:11 pm »

Quote
Petrol doesn't burn easily

I beg to differ!!!

But other wise Anders is right.. foam.. and worse still "powder" fire extinguishers wreck havoc with wiring and electronics.. as well as it corrodes metal rapidly.. so get everything cleaned...... sooner rather then later... 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 06:13:32 pm by krede » Logged
Waldo
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Posts: 187

Diesel power :o)


« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2008, 07:58:46 pm »

Ouch...  Shocked But, well done!  Cool

Petrol doesn't burn easily, so the fuel tank shouldn't worry you unless it starts melting, but that should take quite a bit of heat. The dangerous thing is opening the engine lid when the fire is on. I hope you didn't get burnt?

Yes, extinguishers are mandatory in any car, and even more so in old ones. Note, however, that the foam can be pretty hard on the metal, so I suggest you give it all a good wash with plenty of water as soon as you can.

- Anders

Well, I didn't need to open the engine lid as the fire was actually on the ground underneath the car.
"Fortunately" the engine died when the car caught fire... I guess the spark plug wires was fired quickly!

Didn't use a foam or powder extinguisher, had one of those that doesn't harm electronics but are bad to humans and nature, thus not allowed anymore (halon) Embarrassed

Don't tell anyone  Lips Sealed

Also the pictures won't say much, as the car was washed emidiately afterwards. I had a norwegian member of this forum on his way to have a look at the car (arrived less than an hour after the fire)!
Very bad timing indead, but he actually agreed to buy the car when I have fixed it  Smiley

All in all I was extremely lucky... It couldn't have happened at a better time. I could have been stranded somewhere in Germany! Been far away from the car so I wouldn't hear it burn (and it seems they burn very well indeed, petrol and fiberglass  Shocked) or Hans Martin could have ended up somewhere between Korsoer and Trondheim with a very hot car  Roll Eyes
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2008, 07:38:07 pm »

Quote
Petrol doesn't burn easily

I beg to differ!!!

Feel free Cheesy

But as long as the petrol is still in the tank and the tank is intact, there's very little risk of it catching fire. There has been some serious accidents in Indycar series many years ago, where fuel was splashed all over the wreck and caught fire (with fatal effects, I'm afraid!), but the problem has been addressed by specially designed fuel cells. They are foam filled and has soft but very robust surfaces, and are equipped with fuel connections that automatically shut close if the tank is pulled out of the car as it can be in a serious accident. There has been examples of indycar racers crashing and a fuel tank flying a hundred meters or so away from the car - still intact, and not catching fire!

I know the fuel tank in the Murena isn't nearly as robust as a proper racing fuel cell, but the principle still applies - as long as the tank is intact, the fuel inside will not burn. As we all know, it takes a strong spark to ignite it - even the hot environment of an engine cylinder and 10:1 compression can't ignite a fuel/air mixture...

Don't tell anyone  Lips Sealed

I WONT! Wink

Quote
All in all I was extremely lucky... It couldn't have happened at a better time. I could have been stranded somewhere in Germany! Been far away from the car so I wouldn't hear it burn (and it seems they burn very well indeed, petrol and fiberglass  Shocked) or Hans Martin could have ended up somewhere between Korsoer and Trondheim with a very hot car  Roll Eyes

Excellent attitude!

- Anders Cool
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
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