Don’t allow your car to become a fire starter

Posted on June 27th, 2017 by Rob Marshall

exhaust

While temperatures might have dropped, since the mini heatwave of earlier this month, it remains important not to forget that the underside of your car will be far hotter than usual in the summer, especially after a long drive.

In order to keep emissions low, catalytic converters (and Diesel Particulate Filters in the case of many heavy-oil powered cars) are designed to work at several hundred degrees Celsius, at least, in order to operate efficiently.

Why is this important?

Usually, this does not create a safety risk. Yet, if a car is left on long, dry grass, there is a risk of the hot exhaust system igniting the vegetation, especially if it has been starved of moisture.

Therefore, should you be parking in a field, while attending a country fete, a school sports day, or a festival, be wary that tall dry plants could be ignited under the extreme heat of modern exhaust systems and the risk is likely to be higher, the closer your vehicle is to the ground.

For this reason also, consider that an overgrown grassy verge might not be a safe spot to stop, in the event of a break-down. Strive to park your car on flat ground, preferably with no vegetation present, so its underside can cool, without creating a hazard.