Tesla Motors' Model S has made the news this year due to cars catching on fire after hitting road debris. Is your car at risk of catching on fire as well?

Is Your Car at Risk of Catching on Fire?

Here at AutoCreditExpress.com, we know that vehicle fires are much more common than you might think. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is a car fire reported approximately every 3 minutes in the United States. An average of 4 people per week died in these fires from 2006-2010.

Fortunately, the Model S fires are an exception to the rule. Only about 4% of car fires are due to collisions. So what are the most common causes of vehicle fires?

Most Common Causes of Automobile Fires

There are many different causes of automobile fires. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Mechanical issues
  • Electrical issues
  • Damaged wiring
  • Design flaws
  • Spilled fluids
  • Leaking fluids
  • Loose or broken hoses

By staying on top of routine car maintenance, you will be able to catch most of these problems early. During oil changes, most dealerships and oil change facilities will do a quick inspection of the vehicle. You should also take the time to take a quick look under the hood from time to time.

If you happen to notice problems with the vehicle, such as overheating, fuses that blow more than once or unusual changes in fluid levels, it's important to get the car looked at as soon as possible. This can help prevent small problems from becoming big problems. You should also make sure to get any recalls taken care of right away.

What to do if Your Car Catches Fire while You're Driving

If your car catches fire while you're driving, it's important to get out of the vehicle as quickly as possible. Follow these tips to keep yourself and passengers safe:

  1. Pull over as quickly as possible
  2. Turn off the engine
  3. Get yourself and your passengers out of the car
  4. Do not try to retrieve personal belongings
  5. Move everyone at least 100 feet away from vehicle
  6. Call 911

In most cases, you will be able to safely get out of your car during a fire. However, vehicle fires can quickly turn deadly when they are caused by crashes, or problems with the fuel tank or fuel line. Not only do the flames pose a hazard, but fumes from plastics and polymers can be toxic.

One of the most important things to keep in mind if your car is on fire is to remain calm and keep a level head. Panicking will only make matters worse, and could cause you to take unnecessary risks. No matter what, do not try to put the fire out yourself. Car fires can be tricky, even for trained fire fighters.

As We See It

Having your car catch on fire is definitely one of the scariest things that can happen on the road. By taking the time to maintain your vehicle properly, you can prevent most of these fires. If a fire does happen, make sure to get yourself and your passengers to safety quickly.

If your vehicle has electrical or mechanical problems that will be expensive to repair, it may be time to look into auto financing on a new car.  Our network of lenders can get you into a safer car, truck or SUV, even if you have bad credit. Don't wait until your automobile goes up in flames; fill out our easy online application to get started today.