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Has anyone used their fire extinguisher to suppress an engine fire?

  • yes, successfully...but the damage was beyond repair according to the insurance company

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • no, haven't had to....yet!

    Votes: 51 91.1%
  • yes, unsuccessfully...the entire car burnt to a crisp

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • yes, successfully....the car had minor damage and was repaired

    Votes: 4 7.1%

  • Total voters
    56
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If my car is on fire, I think I would be better off getting out ASAP rather than wasting seconds getting to the extinguisher. A fire suppression system, on the other hand, seems like a much better idea as it could provide me with more time to get out of harms way and would have more volume than the hand held extinguishers.
Ding Ding Ding! And notice no where in that post does Amber mention saving the vehicle from burning to the ground.

Mounted automatic fire suppression system is for use in your car to allow you more time to exit or be extracted with as minimal burn injury as possible.
I've changed that to reflect my personal opinion a little more :D.
 

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How about...

No, my car was on fire but the 360 degree spin at 120mph put out the fire before I had a chance to use the extinguisher... :D
 

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Hand held extinguishers work wonderfully for suppressing fires :rolleyes:

See (starts at about 0:55):


That hand held they used is slightly larger than the ones that fit in front of the Elise/Exige passenger seat. He should have saved it for use to help extract a person from a burning car.
 

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I've changed that to reflect my personal opinion a little more :D.[/QUOTE]

Yes, far more accurate and eloquent than my quote. I do however hope that if I ever do need to stab that red button on my dash that It will turn a potentially large fire event into a smaller one. Not all of us have insurance on our track cars. First and foremost is to get out safely.
 

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I had a handheld Halon 5lb bottle in my RX-7 that I only bought to run in the Advanced run groups with the Shelby Club. Thought it was a lame requirement but I bought it anyway thinking I'd never use it. Then at Laguna Seca I ended up with an engine fire. As I pulled into pit lane and the paddocks smoke started coming out from the hood. I grabbed the extinguisher and was able to put it out pretty quickly. If I didn't have it, I would have been running around yelling to see if anyone else had one for who knows how long while the car burned. Because I had one, there was minimal damage.
 

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The trouble with drychem or CO2 extinguishers on gas/oil fires is that while they starve the fire, they do little/nothing to cool the surrounding metal/plastic/ground below the autoignition temperature of the gas. As a result, you either need a LOT of extinguisher, or to get on the fire really fast before it warms up the surrounding area. Road Dad's right about them being a supressant... they keep fire away from folks so they have time to get away from where the fire is about to be.

One thing I haven't seen in cars is a water system. Converting water into steam takes a lot of energy and it's the main reason fire hoses work so well; just a small blast of water at the ceiling of a room can cool it down significantly... the same should work in a car. While directional water would push and spread an oil/gas fire, dispersed sprays wouldn't, and the worst case for the occupant would be some mild steam burns from a wet suit (thinking of a racing application). At that level, steam burns aren't much worse than a bad sunburn, and it's a lot better than being burnt up in your car!
 

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Sorry, trolling for extinguisher suggestions, and stumbled here.

I have personally put out 4 fires with handheld extinguishers.
1) my '80 Triumph Spitfire caught fire from a leaky valve cover gasket on my drive home from buying it.
2) a neighbor's landscaper's pickup caught fire on our street as I was driving by
3) Same Spitfire years later while driving with friends. Hear on the radio, Karl, your car's on fire. Pull over, lift bonnet pull trigger from handheld mounted on roll bar, extinguisher was dead. Pop boot, pull out 2nd extinguisher and put out a fuel fire (choke screws backed out of zenith stromberg). Needless to say, everyone was speechless that I had two, but when your car's burned in front of you, you learn. After that, I always use ones with gauges.
4) parked on street during forced evacuations when San Diego was on fire. Surfer's pickup had a can of ammonia glass cleaner that exploded from being in the sun and ignited trash in the bed.

In each of these cases a cheap extinguisher saved a car with minimal damage, usually only hoses.

When I was 16 I set my '76 Rabbit on fire adding oil in the dark on a hot engine. Ran inside and got a cup of water. That worked, but I almost burned my car and my friend's '69 Pontiac Firebird 250 convertible.

All cars can catch fire, and folks who know cars well can often safely stop a fire early before the car is engulfed.
 
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