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So sorry for your loss. Glad you are okay and able to drive another day and got to experience Lime Rock. I am also interested if the Oil Line recall had been performed. I bought mine 3 weeks ago and just found out 3 days ago that the recall had never been done on mine. I was shocked! I plan to have it done in 2 weeks at the dealer in Orlando. I hope that you do well with the insurance company and can move onto another fine Lotus. I hope this has not fear purchasing another Elise or Exige.
 

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I have Halotron fire extinguishers in all my vehicles but have some doubts that I’d be able to use them in an engine fire situation ... just getting the hood/bonnet/cover open without getting burned might be a challenge. Anyway, interested in the actions you took in this situation and your general comments.

Glen
I am really glad you mentioned that. I have missed my Halon for years[ever since using it to douse a chimney fire, amazing] and had been unaware of the Ozone safe replacement.

I will probably buy one.

I think I will also brush up on proper extinguisher use, as I have a thought on the proper way to use it, being most failures involve spraying at flames rather than source, but I bet YouTube will help me out.

My first instinct is that opening the hatch would be dangerous and unnecessary, if you didn't get it through the grilles and possibly the wheel arch, the car is gone in 20 seconds.
 

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Terrible to see this, my condolences on the car, but sounds like you made it safe and sound. Hopefully you get back in the saddle of a Lotus someday.

Corvus
 

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I've worked an AutoX where a WRX caught fire. We went through 4 extinguishers without success. This was due to the driver not cutting power before jumping out. Once power was cut, it took about half an extinguisher to put out the flames.
Jonathan - Glad you got out safely!

I was the idiot that ran towards the WRX! The driver bailed from the car, but left the engine running. A fuel injector fuel line had come loose and fuel was getting sprayed onto the exhaust. It took us a minute or so to realize the engine was running. Someone leaned in and shut down the ignition and we quickly got the flames extinguished.

To reiterate your advice/warnings -
* Kill the ignition - source is usually, electrical, fuel or oil, all of which can be shuttered by shutting down the engine. If you don't have power steering you can shut down the engine while in motion! Your brakes may need extra pressure (no engine vacuum), but you'll eliminate the likely fuel source for the flames.
* RUN away
* If you have an extinguisher, aim at the source of the flames. Shooting retardant at the flames does nothing.
* Don't open the hood/bonnet. You'll let air to the source and create a chimney effect.
* RUN!

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
 

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Man,

That looks real... I'm glad you had your wits about you. It's good notice for the rest of us just in case.

Can you guestimate how much time elapsed from when you saw the fire, how long after that till you were out and then subsequently how much time elapsed after that before the entire vehicle was engulfed?

It must have seemed like forever, but I have never had anything like this happen and was wondering how quickly the situation can develop.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Jonathan - Glad you got out safely!

I was the idiot that ran towards the WRX! The driver bailed from the car, but left the engine running. A fuel injector fuel line had come loose and fuel was getting sprayed onto the exhaust. It took us a minute or so to realize the engine was running. Someone leaned in and shut down the ignition and we quickly got the flames extinguished.

To reiterate your advice/warnings -
* Kill the ignition - source is usually, electrical, fuel or oil, all of which can be shuttered by shutting down the engine. If you don't have power steering you can shut down the engine while in motion! Your brakes may need extra pressure (no engine vacuum), but you'll eliminate the likely fuel source for the flames.
* RUN away
* If you have an extinguisher, aim at the source of the flames. Shooting retardant at the flames does nothing.
* Don't open the hood/bonnet. You'll let air to the source and create a chimney effect.
* RUN!

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
Kiyoshi - As I've told you, but writing it here for the world to see, it was our conversation that day, about what went right/wrong regarding the WRX fire, which probably saved my life here. Thank you doesn't begin to cover it, but it'll have to do for now. :bow: Missing GGLC AutoXes and the club in general, but doing my best on the east coast.

Everyone else, who asks about safety, or what to do, or should I do X-Y-Z... read Kiyoshi's post! Then, reread it. Lastly, read it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Man,

That looks real... I'm glad you had your wits about you. It's good notice for the rest of us just in case.

Can you guestimate how much time elapsed from when you saw the fire, how long after that till you were out and then subsequently how much time elapsed after that before the entire vehicle was engulfed?

It must have seemed like forever, but I have never had anything like this happen and was wondering how quickly the situation can develop.
I can't tell you the exact timing. What I can tell you is this.

I noticed small flames though my back window (it appeared to me they were dancing on the bottom edge of the back glass). I'd guess it took me 1-2 seconds to get my thoughts in line and take action. It was rather shocking to see fire behind me. Not something I was expecting.

I engaged the brakes, I checked my mirrors, no other cars around, applied brakes harder and pulled over (see notes above re: e-brake & harness). Noticing the upcoming grass/etc on the side of the road, I made sure to stop on the bridge, and not fully over the shoulder (not create a brush fire)

Jumped out, and ran. I spent zero time in the car organizing stuff. Once I was stopped, I was out and running. As I passed the front bumper I heard the fire rapidly engulf the rear of the car.

I ran quite far away, and then turned to see the car engulfed.

If I were to guestimate, from the time I noticed the flames, to the time it had engulfed the car, and keeping in mind, it's entirely a guess, around 10 seconds? Under half a minute for sure.

~2 seconds to react
2-4 seconds to stop the car (she had very nice brakes & tires)
3-5 seconds to get out and start running

Actually, looking at that, I'd say definitely the 8-10 second range.
 

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I thought my Elise was more than "just a car" until I crashed it and realized what was more
important. Glad you are ok...

If you saw flames emanating around the rear window then oil misting on the
intake side of the engine, presumably say from the sandwich plate/oil cooler lines,
would not get hot enough to start a fire. ...?
 

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Sorry you lost your Lotus, good you kept your wits and set the parking brake, best you came out unscathed! It could have very well been an oil line however just wondering did you have the fuel line update that reroutes the fuel line over the airbox? The factory originally routed that line under the airbox with just a few clamps it can get chafed on the bottom of the airbox result is a pinhole...That’s bad! There are several post on this issue. deroure.com has the parts listed with a diagram on their online catalog parts are listed separately (should be a kit) not sure if they are still available. Hope you can step back into another Lotus soon!
 

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Terrible loss but, as has been said...it is a car and you can replace it. What an experience. If they do nail down the exact reason for the fire please let us know.

I've seen a few roadside and they always make me wonder if my fire extinguisher would make any dent in the conflagration. They were pretty damn intense. If it is fuel or an oil bath type I doubt anything but an in place system would be effective and even then race cars that have them burn down.

The only ones I know of that were 'caught' were electrical fires that started some other medium on fire...slow and serious smell alerted the driver.

Glad you are ok....oh, and thanks for the good protocol reminders....could save someone here.
 
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