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auto maintenance February 11, 2018

Where There’s Smoke…There’s Fire…Even Under Your Hood

Hopefully, you will be able to file this information on what to do in case of a car fire under the “good to know, but not needed” category in your memory. The smell of smoke prompts fear and panic in the hearts of many Northern Virginia drivers, and rightfully so. When a car fire starts in your engine, things can go from bad to really bad in mere moments. If you do happen to find yourself in the midst of a car engine fire, here is what to do.

  • Stop the vehicle immediately. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and if there’s smoke coming from under your hood, then you have at least the beginning stages of an engine fire. Pull a safe distance off the road and turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists to use caution.
  • Place the vehicle in park, set the parking brake and turn the engine off. The extra heat generated from the running engine can increase the damage of the fire, and in some cases fuel the engine fire and make it bigger. Setting the parking brake does nothing for the engine fire, but will prevent the vehicle from rolling into traffic.
  • Step away from the vehicle – quickly. As quickly as possible, move at least 100 feet from the vehicle. The engine fire will cause parts to melt, create fumes and an explosion is always possible too if the gas tank ignites.
  • Notify emergency services. Take a survey of your surroundings – noting mile markers, cross streets, intersections, interchanges or any other identifying marking – and inform the 9-1-1 operator of the circumstances of your engine fire and your location. Providing the most accurate information ensures timely response and assistance if needed.
  • Stay out of the vehicle. Even though your favorite sweatshirt or electronic equipment may be inside the vehicle, when there’s an engine fire involved, you must not take the risk of injury. You cannot be certain what will happen with the engine fire, and you do not want to risk injury to retrieve items from the vehicle.

Proper auto maintenance is one way to help prevent engine fires and keep you safe on the roads. Stop in to Wiygul Automotive Clinic today for a complete safety inspection and know you, your family and friends will remain as safe as possible while traveling.

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