The Time I Set My Car on Fire

Recently I was able to find a new oil changing place I feel I can trust. After my previous bad experiences, trust is big with me. When this new place was done, they let me know that all the fluid levels were where they should be, they’d replaced the oil, vacuumed out my foot wells, and I was off in 10 minutes. How awesome is that?

It was then that I realized how much better my current car has behaved than my last one. My last car, the first one my Dad helped me buy, ate oil long before it had as many miles on it as my current car has. At first it needed a quart every 2,000 miles, but its appetite increased, and it was up to a quart every 500 miles by the time I sold it to my brother to buy my new car. As a result of the oil levels plummeting, I always had a couple spare quarts in my trunk so I was ready when my light came on.

One night, I was home late after dance practice, and the light came on. I couldn’t trust myself to remember to do it in the morning, so I opened the hood and started pouring in some oil. I hated having a dirty funnel in my car so I did it free hand. Well, I missed a little. The oil that hit the hot engine started to smoke … and then to flame! I froze, and then I remembered that I needed to limit the oxygen, so I closed the hood.

I was parked near a restaurant, so I ran over to see if they had a fire extinguisher – grease fires and my oil fire should be the same.

Fire Extinguisher - Type B

Two of the kitchen staff ran back over to my car with me, extinguisher in hand. When I popped the hood, it turns out that the oil had all burned off by then. The guys seemed disappointed and left.

The next morning I was all ready to call work saying I had to get my car towed to the shop to repair the fire damage, but the car started first try. There were no repercussions for the events of the previous night. I did learn my lesson, though and always waited for the engine to cool off before adding oil after that.

Has anyone else ever set their car on fire? Or Can you believe that planner me never bought a fire extinguisher for my car after this?

2 thoughts on “The Time I Set My Car on Fire”

  1. I didn’t realize that a bit of oil hitting a hot engine could go up in flames like that. At least you knew to close the hood and run for a fire extinguisher! You got really lucky that the fire didn’t cause any lasting damage, but I think that you should still get a fire extinguisher for your car in case something like that happens again. Thanks for sharing!


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