Underneath my car CAUGHT on FIRE

Emhendo

Emhendo

Apprentice
May 20, 2019
54
6
Chicago Soufsidee
I was driving the car as the battery was dying, and usually the car smells of smoke when it's dying and I'm force driving it anyway.

I drove it till it completely died (I was right around the corner from my house)

I had a friend behind me cause he gave me a jump


He calls and says "GET OUT" I'm like get out???

He says the car is on fire

Me and my girl jump out the car and sure enough, underneath the car is flaming.

Luckily for me, nothing exploded.

The fire went out on it's own.


What the **** was that????
 
Clone TIE Pilot

Clone TIE Pilot

Royal Smart Person
Aug 14, 2011
2,261
113
Galaxy far far away
Sounds like the exhaust overheated. Weak ignition from a dying battery can send a lot of unburned fuel mixture into the exhaust pipe where it can ignite.
 
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Emhendo

Emhendo

Apprentice
May 20, 2019
54
6
Chicago Soufsidee
Sounds like the exhaust overheated. Weak ignition from a dying battery can send a lot of unburned fuel mixture into the exhaust pipe where it can ignite.
That makes so much sense. I have a burned pipe behind the catalytic converter. I thought my converter caught on fire but the pipe before the converter is burned up.
 
MrSony

MrSony

Geezer
Nov 15, 2014
5,647
113
Des Moines, Iowa
What should I do about it.
If the cat is original, replace it with a magnaflow (or similar) high flow unit. Figure out why the car dies.
 
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565bbchevy

565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
7,510
113
Michigan
Are you still driving around without an alternator belt?
 
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79 GP 4 speed

79 GP 4 speed

Master Mechanic
Nov 12, 2017
253
63
Are you sure the alternator is good as my understanding is that the battery is just for starting and the alternator keeps it running. I have had cars with bad batteries and would put a battery from a different car in to start it and remove it after it started. I would tape the battery ends up and drive 15 miles to go get a new one installed. I did it that way so my wife still had a car at home.
 
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Clone TIE Pilot

Clone TIE Pilot

Royal Smart Person
Aug 14, 2011
2,261
113
Galaxy far far away
The battery supplies the amps, while the alternator supplies the topping off charge to the battery. Batteries float on the line. Alternators are not designed to supply all the car's electricity by themselves. They are also not designed to recharge a deeply drained battery. Modern alternators will even shut themselves down if the battery is too low. If either the alternator or battery are supplying low output it will affect your ignition's performance. Your ignition needs a good supply of power from both the battery and alternator while the engine is running.
 

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