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Old 06-12-2007, 08:23 PM   #1
Gc8sac
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Default Help!!! Engine caught on fire

So last night I was driving to the UPS in SSF and while I was parking I heard and akward buzzing sound I've never hear before, So I take the keys out the ignition and pop the hood to see whats going on. I recorded a little clip from my phone to research it later and as I put my phone away I heard a weird pop noise and a small flame occurs under my intake manifold "guessing near my head gasket"

At this point I start to panic and call 911"which put me on hold" and try to flag down any traffic for help but no luck so I run back to my car to see if the flame is getting worst but luckily the wind put it out.

The last Maintenance that was done to my car was a recall that the dealership covered which put some kind of conditioner into my coolant/radiator. Before I took my car to the dealership my temp guage would go all the way to hot on normal city driving but when I drive on the freeway the temp guage would stay in the middle, so after the dealership put the conditioner in it fixed my issue so now I'm clueless why this happened randomly.

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...oid=2036129279
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Last edited by Gc8sac; 06-12-2007 at 10:41 PM. Reason: broken link
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
surowrxa
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Did you happen to see your temp gauge before this happened? Sounds to me like oil or possibly oil/coolant combo made it's way onto hot exhaust pieces. Have you driven it since? How many miles?
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:39 PM   #3
Gc8sac
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my temp guage was fine it was in the middle of H and C, My car has about 115k so yea I know its preety high, In terms of the starting the car I was way to scared to start it up but I just went to grab a few things out of my car and it seems like theres no power at all now...
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:52 PM   #4
bmw50021
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might wanna fix that link
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:53 PM   #5
surowrxa
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Check the valve cover gasket. May just be oil getting out from there, especially if it hasn't been replaced at 115K. As for no power, please elaborate.

The fact that you have been given a head gasket "band aid" (coolant conditioner) needs consideraton too, but most of the cases I've heard/seen involve lots of smoke, not fires.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:44 PM   #6
Gc8sac
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link is fixed. As for the power I'll check it out again when I get home, I got home at 3am lastnight and went to work this morning at 9 so I 've had minimal time to further investigate...
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:00 PM   #7
DrD
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so just shy of half way through the video, it looks like something under the throttle budy is glowing cherry-red - is that paint, or was the material really that hot? (I think everything is aluminum under there, so it's probably just a reflection or something as aluminum melts long before it will glow)
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:06 PM   #8
Gc8sac
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nothing was painted red so it might be poor video quality or like you said something heating up, but literally 1 min after I put my phone away is when the fire started up, it wasnt a hugh flame but big enough to where I couldnt blow/fan it out. Luckily it was windy and the wind blew it off
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:07 PM   #9
surowrxa
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Got a chance to look at your video-

What's glowing red under the throttle body? The noise is like a high pressure air leak. But if it's your cooling system, there would be a temp. rise or something...

edit: I see I've been beaten to the red glow. Check your coolant level. It is possibly very low. Maybe they did something with your thermostat too?

Last edited by surowrxa; 06-12-2007 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:34 PM   #10
vica153
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Holy glowing red metal batman! Whatever is right there unter the throttle body is damn hot.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:37 AM   #11
Weedy
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If I am not mistaken, wouldn't that glowing piece of metal actually be the coolant passage over the block? This might make some sense since it was very recently serviced for a coolant issue. Take a close look, and take it back to the place that did your service work. Show them the video!!!
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:53 AM   #12
surowrxa
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I just got back from my Subaru dealer for free brake pads & rotors (), and I asked them if they've ever seen a block glow (or whistle) from overheating. The service manager said you have probably fried your motor. He said do not drive it, have it towed to the dealer that did the recall, you will get better service/knowledge to your situation. He added that they see many head gasket failures in the Spring when the temps start to rise (big difference from PA to CA, I know, SF temps are fairly stable). He said you may have had a slow leak during the Winter.

At what mileage/timespan was the conditioner recall performed? Hope this turns out better than it looks man...
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #13
Gc8sac
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Noticed the temp issue in Jan, car was in body shop from feb to mar, did a random car fax in april and found that recall, performed recall fix in may.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:34 PM   #14
surowrxa
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So your coolant was changed less than a month ago...

Have you looked to see if there's any in there?

I just remembered that the knock sensor is in the area that was glowing, maybe the plastic bits caught fire from the heat...
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:26 PM   #15
Gc8sac
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I did check the coolant and there was a fair amount in there
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:22 PM   #16
fendereff
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go look and see what is in that area where the glowing was coming from...take a picture with something besides your phone...
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:14 PM   #17
surowrxa
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Update?
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:43 AM   #18
Gc8sac
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Just got back from towing my car to http://www.licmotorsports.com/ and will find out more details once they get under the engine...

But I will keep you posted...
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