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Old 10-07-2016, 04:36 AM   #1
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How would you put out an engine fire ?

I hope this never happens to me or any of you but I was thinking the other day about this. So I have a fire extinguisher that I am going to mount on a BK mount in front of the passenger seat . I always have liked the idea of having one on board and fortunately have never had to use one .
So if you were tooling down the road and smelled smoke or saw flames obviously you would pull over. But then what ? You have an extinguisher but where would you point it to shoot ? I doubt seriously you would take the time to put the top in service mode and undo the engine cover lid. Spraying under the car wouldn't do much so is it best to spray into the passenger side engine vent ? Or call 911 on your cellphone as you watch your car burn to the ground ? I was actually thinking of drilling a hole in the rear trunk that you could spray into the engine department . Or maybe this is not worth thinking about ? What do you guys think ?

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Old 10-07-2016, 04:50 AM   #2
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This is an excellent question! My AOS blew (I think original after 115K miles) 2 weeks ago and I was very lucky to know what was happening (thanks to constantly reading this forum!). All the smoke that started billowing out of the car as I quickly pulled off the highway and into a walgreens parking lot made it look like a car fire, a bad car fire.

This scared a few people and one tow truck driver who was on the road with me pulled over, ran up to the driver side door, and checked to see if I was still okay. He then proceeded to run to his truck and hand me a fire extinguisher! I reassured him (and by now an embarrassingly large crowd) that the car wasn't on fire. But, when he handed me the extinguisher, I had your exact question; what the hell do you do if a fire happens???

Hopefully someone else on this forum has thought of this too, especially all you DE and autoX racers!
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:53 AM   #3
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Great question. I have wondered this myself as I'm considering doing the same to make sure I meet DE requirements for our local PCA. From my aviation days, we had extinguishers in the cockpit to knock down a fire long enough to perform an emergency egress. I doubt these little fire bottles would have much effect against a full blown engine fire.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:03 AM   #4
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Ok I'm in the the same thinking of adding an extinguisher.
But as you point out how would you spray the engine.
Right now without modifications, you might be able to spray through the right side vent but not sure how effective that would be.
Maybe add some plug/tube through the passenger firewall but then you have to be in the car
Through the trunk firewall, but then you have to be able to open the trunk

Maybe just stand back, get out the phone, record it and put up on you tube.
Don't forget to record your tears streaming down as your Boxster burns up
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kk2002s View Post
Ok I'm in the the same thinking of adding an extinguisher.
But as you point out how would you spray the engine.
Right now without modifications, you might be able to spray through the right side vent but not sure how effective that would be.
Maybe add some plug/tube through the passenger firewall but then you have to be in the car
Through the trunk firewall, but then you have to be able to open the trunk

Maybe just stand back, get out the phone, record it and put up on you tube.
Don't forget to record your tears streaming down as your Boxster burns up
It actually works reasonably well if the fire has not reached a terminal stage. And I would only use a Halon type extinguisher.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:29 AM   #6
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I'd be very careful opening the engine compartment up top or in the passenger cabin behind the seats. Also with any holes that you may need to pop out a plug to access the engine. Reason being that this could add air to the fire and could cause a flash of fire.

I made this assumption by recalling fire safety points like not opening the door to a room that is on fire. The engine is already exposed to air from the side and bottom but the last thing I'd want is someone to get a flash burn (source: 2 years of work in a burn center; I wouldn't want this to happen to anyone).
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:55 AM   #7
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Glad I'm not the only one that has thought about this. And yes I agree a Halon or Halotron or similar is the way to go. Just thinking out loud hear, so you realize you have a fire. You quickly pull over to the side of the road, set the parking brake and reach over to undo your passenger seat mounted extinguisher. As you exit the vehicle you release the rear trunk. You run around to the trunk, rip the carpet off the front trunk/firewall to expose the 1/2 " diameter hole you previously had drilled. Pull the pin on extinguisher, insert nozzle into the hole and fire away until empty. Crazy idea or plausible ? If I were to drill a hole not sure I would put any type of plug in the hole, that could either melt/burn your fingers or take valuable seconds to fumble with. If nothing else we have a good discussion going
Or do you go whole hog and install a racing system with nozzles hard mounted in the engine bay ? Maybe mount the extinguisher in the rear trunk then your lines to the nozzles only have to be 2 ' long or so . 
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:02 AM   #8
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I would try to get spray onto the fuel rails and above by going in from the wheel wells if possible
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:18 AM   #9
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If you are really concerned about an engine bay fire, you can install a remotely triggered Halon system with nozzles permanently mounted inside the engine bay. This is a common race car item.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:35 AM   #10
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I would have thought that unless you have a good amount of powder or fluid to extinguish a fire ie probably more than a small extinguisher then the last thing you want to do is open up the top and remove the cover and allow in a lot more oxygen. If you have the time to remove the Bose shelf and carpet cover and don't scald yourself on the engine cover clips then you matey as well remove any belongings instead.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:41 AM   #11
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I had a VW bug that caught on fire from an electrical short and ever since then I always carry a fire extinguisher in all my vehicles. I'm thinking that the right vent might be the best place to spray first and then the wheel wells if you're having an engine fire. I would guess that half the fire damaged vehicles I see are from electrical shorts created in the dash area though. This one had an engine fire but guessing by where it started, it too was electrical. It looks like it started under the TB and the wiring is melted farther back than the fire damage.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:42 AM   #12
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:34 AM   #13
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Assuming it's an engine compartment fire, I'd take my HalGuard extinguisher and spray it into the passenger side vent. Not sure where the fan is located, but the blades look open enough for the spray to get into the engine compartment when the fan isn't running. At least that's my plan. For a fire elsewhere, I'd shoot it at the source.

I love my car, but if the fire looks too dangerous, I'm not risking my skin and my life to get underneath, or start pulling carpet from the trunk or frunk.


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Old 10-07-2016, 09:21 AM   #14
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We carry two small fire extinguishers in our helicopter. I brief my crew that they have two uses:
  • If someone is on fire, use it on them.
  • If I am trapped in the cockpit, use it to knock me out.

If the machine is on fire, move away to a safe distance and let it burn. If your car is on fire, chances are it will be totaled anyway. Why risk serious injury? Burns really suck. A built in system sounds like a great idea though if you are concerned about the car.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:41 AM   #15
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By the time you put out a fire in these cars the car will be a total write off . I think the best idea is get out , stand well back and watch . Before this happens though make sure you have an agreed value replacement insurance policy .
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:07 PM   #16
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:45 AM   #17
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Sorry about the F Bomb.

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