Experts share tips to avoid car fires – Laredo Morning Times

June 14, 2022 by No Comments

Though some vehicle burnings can unfortunately be done intentionally, as seen in Rio Bravo this past week, most are caused by faulty maintenance of a vehicle and by things that people can avoid. 

Although it may look like a chaotic scene, many vehicles that set on fire were not properly supervised if they were operating at optimal conditions. And some local mechanics state that proper car maintenance can make sure that this does not happen.

“The heat directly is not the problem, as someone’s car can be burned down during the cold as well if improperly cared for,” said Raul Torres, a local mechanic specializing in radiator jobs. “It is the people that they must check their car if they have enough coolant … to make sure that their car has a normal temperature and does not evaporate quickly causing the car to not have the water it needs to continue moving as it should.”

According to Torres, he has seen many cars burn during the cold months just at the same rate as during the hotter weather days. However, he does state that an electrical issue, low coolant in the radiator or immense heat causing overheating in the car can all spark the vehicle to catch on fire. 

One thing the mechanics assert is that engine failures are not the reason for vehicle fires. 

“Vehicle fires are not caused by engine failures,” said Joe Peinado Jr., who works with automobiles as a mechanic. “While there might be some recalls that pose a threat to a vehicle’s integrity and its occupant, those scenarios and recalls are very rare.”

Peinado states that the heat alone also does not cause car parts to burn or be susceptible to catching fire, as those who develop them test them enough in various conditions to make sure they can withstand intense temperatures. 

“Fires are not started by the heat we are experiencing. All manufacturers test these vehicles in extreme condition to avoid any problems,” Peinado said. “Most vehicle fires are started by poorly installed parts from the owner and/or mechanic or failed parts from age, wear and tear (such as) sagging heat shields, chafing fuel lines and other things.”

According to Peinado, commercial trucks work the same way as normal vehicles. However, in most cases, rigs burn down by improper installation of parts, reusing parts that are one-time use, or driver error. 

He states that this is due to the fact that the commercial truck braking system is more complicated than a regular vehicle and also chafing lines and blowouts. 

According to the City of Rio Bravo Fire Department Chief Juan C. Gonzalez, vehicles can burn by themselves when left idle for long periods of time if small pieces of grass, twigs or any other object is caught between the transmission and the engine of a vehicle, causing a spark that causes then the car to catch on fire. 

The overheating of cars is another problem that the fire chief also warns people …….



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