Fire in moving car again; accessory fittings gone wrong

Jammu, 22 April: In the past two months, nearly half a dozen cases of cars catching fire have been reported in the city. Experts say the cars tend to catch fire either due to prolonged service requirement, defective accessories or loose connections.

One of the reasons for the vehicles catching fire is replacement of normal halogen headlights with High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. It develops cracks allowing argon or nitrogen to leak out of the tube and cause fire.

Even the tiniest of fuse can be the cause of a big explosion. And it is quiet often seen that the owners are not habitual of paying attention to something so minute. Due to which they either try and fix it themselves or get it done by a cheap road side mechanic, jugaad!

Many people go on modifying their cars, getting Alloy fittings, Music Systems and installing other Electronic systems. The circuits are changed in the process and unless some expert or the showroom person does it, you can always find loopholes. The wires that are replaced while modifying are weak on the inside and are sometimes not taped properly. Hence they can cause a spark any time, in seconds time.

Installation of poor quality CNG kits in cars can also cause leakage from the fuel line in the engine. If the cylinder is of poor quality or a valve becomes loose, this can also start a fire.

Installing AC’s in the Non-AC cars, has also come up to be one of the reasons this could be happening. When an additional accessory is added to the vehicle and its wattage is not supported by the same, the ECM (Electronic Control Module, controls all the accessories and wirings in the car) tends to over-load, causing a short circuit in the accessory’s wire. Moreover, all the wiring is under the carpets so the entire vehicle ends up catching fire.

Loose connections in the fan pumps, radiator, accessories, plug and ignition wires are one of the most common reasons for car fires since they do not have a proper grip system. The hose pipes, diesel pipes and rubber tubes crack due to delayed servicing of the vehicle.

During summers, the engines tend to get heated up. It worsens the condition and causes sparks to ignite much faster than in winters. But it often happens that lack of proper maintenance or getting fittings of components from roadside workshops compromise the safety of vehicles.

For their own safety, car owners should have handy fire extinguishers in their vehicles to douse the flames. People tend to panic in a fire emergency but one thing that can really be useful and which many don’t know is that the Headrest of the car seats, which is deliberately kept detachable and sharp so that it can be used to break open the glass of car in case of such fire emergencies. Also, the glass windows are made such that they can be easily broken from the inside.

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