10 BIG reasons why cars catch fire

Any vehicle can catch fire regardless of the brand and size. There are many recorded instances of the car catching fire while on the move. There can be numerous reasons behind the fire. We bring you the ten biggest reasons why cars catch fire.

Accident that ruptures fuel lines

Maruti Baleno Fire 1

Many accidental vehicles can immediately go in flames. It depends on which part has taken the impact during the crash. Car engines operate at a very high temperature, any leak in fuel line can cause the fire to go up in flames.

Even though immaculate precautions are taken while designing the vehicle, a severe accident can blow open the fuel line. A car is prone to catch fire immediately after an accident. That’s the reason why everyone should move away from the vehicle as soon as possible.

Forgetting flammable materials under the bonnet

Many people forget cleaning materials like cloth or other liquids that are flammable under the bonnet after cleaning the engine bay. Such materials can quickly catch fire when the engine becomes hot. Car engines operate at a very high temperature, and any contact with a cloth or cleaning liquid can cause an immediate fire that can engulf the vehicle in seconds.

Tampering with OEM wiring

Crazy neon lights on a car

Many people opt for after-market accessories like additional lamps or infotainment. If the wiring is not done in a correct way, it can cause short-circuit. A short circuit can heat up the whole electrical circuit of the vehicle and can cause a fire even if the engine is working fine. One should always go to trusted dealer and mechanic for installing aftermarket parts.

Unauthorised CNG/LPG kits

CNG and LPG are popular alternatives to the regular petrol and diesel fuel because of their cost effectiveness. Such kits use high-precision components to deliver compressed gas from the cylinders to the engine. Any fault in the delivery lines or the kits can cause a massive fire. If the kits are of substandard quality, it can cause fire too. Always make sure that you install from an authorised workshop who have trained personnel to do so.

Design flaw

Nano fire

A badly designed car can go up in flames in a blink. There have been instances in the past involving Tata Nano that used to catch fire very often. The designers went back to the board and rectified the design flaw. Poorly designed vehicles can catch fire very quickly. Keep an eye on the cars to get the reviews from the owners before buying it.

Poorly designed aftermarket exhaust

Aftermarket exhausts are designed to increase the power and in some cases, the exhaust note. Such exhausts are designed to do by moving the exhaust gases in a free-flow manner. The exhaust gases can reach temperatures up to 900c, which is extremely high. If the car exhaust is not designed to withstand with such high-temperature, the car may catch fire.

After-market flame throwers

The exhaust gases from car supercars can throw off the unburnt fuel that can cause the gases to burn. To show off, many car owners use aftermarket flamethrowers that have an additional spark plug mounted on the vehicle’s exhaust pipe that makes sure that the exhaust gases catch fire. This is purely show off but can go wrong in many ways. Cars not designed to handle flames can catch fire with such accessories.

Overheated brakes

Extensive use of brakes can cause them to overheat. The overheated brakes can cause a fire to break out. This can happen to people who often go on tracks or come down off a hill with only using brakes to regulate the speed. Such fires on brakes can spread to the tyres and eventually the car can be gutted in a few minutes time.

Lack of maintenance


Cars are complex engineering. Not taking care of the vehicle at regular times can cause the vehicle to catch fire. The car can suffer through fuel line leak or other leaks that can come in contact with the engine parts. Not getting the car serviced regularly can also cause old wires to lose their insulation and cause a short circuit. Maintaining car regularly is of utmost importance.

Stupid modifications

A lot of people go for engine modifications to increase the power. Many people also go for bigger turbos and aftermarket engine parts. If such parts are of low quality, they can catch fire. Also, if the parts are not installed in a proper way, they can leak oil which can cause the major fire to turn the whole car into ash.