Recently, a month-old Ford Endeavour SUV caught fire near Ibrahimapura Cross in Yadgir district, Karnataka. This Endy belonged to Dr. Sharana Reddy, who is a BJP Ticket aspirant from the Yadgir Constituency. Bystanders have stated that the Endeavour’s engine caught fire and soon, the flames gutted the entire car. They even tried to stop the fire but their attempts went in vain.
It is being said that the fire happened due to a short circuit in the car’s engine bay. Of course, Mr. Reddy is shocked to see his month-old SUV, which he bought for almost Rs 40 lakh, reduce to ashes for no apparent reason. A car catching fire isn’t uncommon in India.
While we are happy that no injuries were reported in the above case, there have been incidents when car’s occupants have succumbed to the flames. There are many ways to make sure your car doesn’t catch fire. Here are 7 tips to minimize the risk of your car going down in flames.
Stick to Service Schedule
One of the best ways to ensure that your car is in the best possible health is to get it serviced on time. Servicing your car as per the company-specified schedule will help you avoid mishaps. There have been many cases of fire due to over-heating of the engine owing to the lack of coolant. Also, fuel leaks are a big fire hazard. There, regular maintenance becomes highly important to keep your car in the best shape. Routine checks of the fluid, battery terminals, and fuel lines during the regular service are an easy way to minimize the risk of fire.
Do not store combustible material in the car
One should never store any sort of combustible material in the car. A dirty fuel-soaked rag in the engine bay can easily catch fire. Moreover, those who keep deodorants or pressurized cans of air fresheners should stop the practice right away. These cans can get really hot when your car is parked under the Sun. Hence, they can explode and lead to a fire. Carrying a can of petrol/diesel or an LPG cylinder is also very risky as these can explode in an event of a collision.
Cigarette smokers need to be extra careful
While smoking inside a car can irritate the fellow occupants, it can even lead to a fire! A lit cigarette can easily cause a fire if the sparks come in contact with the upholstery of the car. Also, the push-type car cigarette lighter can lead to a short circuit, which can, in turn, form a fire.
Avoid aftermarket CNG/LPG Kits
Aftermarket CNG/LPG kits are often of shoddy quality or at least have a sub-standard fitment. A factory-fitted or an expensive CNG/LPG kit comes with an automatic cut-off on detection of a leakage. However, there’s no such feature on the cheaper aftermarket units and hence, they lead to a higher risk of fire.
Avoid aftermarket accessories that require wire splicing
Many aftermarket accessories that involve tampering of the electricals can cause a fire. Fiddling with the OEM wiring by an inexperienced accessory installer can lead to a potential fire hazard. Also, many people choose a cheaper alternative to the OEM-spec accessories. Hence, it’s best to avoid installing electric accessories that are poor in quality. It’s also recommended to avoid tampering with the original electricals.
Do not leave inflammable material in the engine bay
Many mechanics and owners often forget inflammable material inside the engine bay. Due to the high temperatures generated by the engine, these materials can easily catch a fire. The fire can then spread to all parts of the car (just like how the fire in the above Endeavour’s engine bay gutted the entire SUV). So, make sure that your car’s engine bay is clear of any sort of inflammable materials.
Remain alert for burning smells
Burning smells have a distinctly pungent smell and hence can be hence easily detected. You just need to stay aware of any sort of strange smells. Catching a fire in its early stages can help you prevent a major fire.
Video courtesy Public TV on Youtube