Engine fire warning-all models - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 09-06-2002, 12:21 AM   #1
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Default Engine fire warning-all models

I had an engine fire last month that I thought others could learn from. Heading out of town over the river, about the peak of the bridge, I looked in my mirror and saw white smoke pouring out behind me. Nowhere to pull over, so I had to get off the bridge first (a full minute or so). Had a bad feeling about it, all gauges were good, so when I got stopped, I killed it and popped the trunk and hood at the same time. Smoke began pouring out from behind the driver'* headlight...vicinity of the airbox. Pulled the hood up and flames shot up off the front exhaust manifold....about a couple of feet. Ran back to the trunk (which I had just cleaned out....no extinguisher!) and grabbed a quart of windshield washer fluid. I put the fire out while I was on the cell with the Fire dept.

I had burst one of the tranny lines down below the airbox....within a foot of the ports on the Trans. Blew the rubber right out of the factory crimp and sprayed tranny fluid up onto the exhaust manifold. The dealer told me this was a common problem in the early to mid 90'*, and the new hoses are better. I replaced both, put 7 quarts of fluid back in, pressure washed, and have had no further problems. A word of WARNING: some windshield washer fluid is FLAMMABLE. I was lucky, and mine wasn't. Kinda glad the ext. couldn't be found, also, 'cuz they can make a horrible mess sometimes.

Prevention: I plan to weld a bracket and shield onto the driver'* front motor mount to deflect fluid if this ever happens again. It can go anywhere it wants, just not onto the manifold again. Some type of aftermarket shielding around each line might be suitable as well, so the fluid would have to find a way down with the help of a little gravity.

Inspect those hoses, carry a fire extinguisher, and be able to move fast. I'd bet 90% of the cars that have had this happen are no longer with us today
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Old 09-13-2002, 02:29 PM   #2
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I'm going to check mine right now... and steal the fire ext. out of the garage.

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Old 09-13-2002, 03:30 PM   #3
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I always carry a fire extinguisher in my trunk. Would I bother to get it out if the engine was on fire? Nope. Let it burn baby burn, new car for Terminator. With 135,000 miles on it I'm not going to get much more than book value anyways. I would grab my cell phone, wallet, sunglasses (of course), V1 off the windshield and watch it burn.

Maybe I would pull out my pocket knife and cut the wires for my sub box and save that as well, but screw the rest of it. In your case though, I would've done the same thing trying to put something minor like that out. Nice job containing it before it took off man. Did it torch your air filter? Nows a good time for a CAI.

Same thing goes for my waverunner.. Uhmm, yea, right, my engine is on fire between my legs, so I'm gonna stop, take the seat off, reach down into the battery / fire ext. compartment, get out the ext. and starting fighting it with nowhere to stand on the thing where the fire isnt within 4 feet of my face?? I think not, I'm jumping in the frekin water and swimming away from that thing as fast as I can before the plastic gas tank melts. Let Progressive buy me a new one
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Old 09-13-2002, 04:42 PM   #4
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Didn't even damage a plug wire. The flames were being pushed down by the skid plates 'til I stopped, and didn't have full oxygen until after I stopped and popped the hood. The temp rating on those plug wires, which were directly in the fire path, is GREAT.

You gotta remember while I was putting it out, that insurance crossed my mind, but also that I had just bought this cherry ride, a '93 SSEi FULLY loaded, and pristine, with only 70k miles on it.....and I stole it for $5650 from a wholesaler up in Portland OR. I'd NEVER find another deal like that. No way in hell.
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Old 09-13-2002, 08:21 PM   #5
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Actually I found one that had such a fire and yup it leaves a mess. Lets see the blue book on a 1995 se is around $6000.00 US so I figure since I paid 3000.00 for it and the insurance would give me a chance to buy a new V8. So let it burn only so far lol. I have sentimental value attached to this car so I would have to keep it regardless. If I ever crashed it or it was ever totaled I was thinking I could have the trunk /rear area turned into a couch. hmmm that gives me an idea.

Ty
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Old 09-13-2002, 08:58 PM   #6
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let it burn let it burn but first take out my stereo n sub then watch it burn.
That reminds me i need a CHROME fire ext. hey i gotta pimp it even if it is a saftey device After a minor tear drops my eyes for not saving my neons ill head right to the used cadillac lot and buy a cts thats what im doing as soon as my car dies CTS = TOTAL PIMP CAR( that and the GTO will be few and far between not to mention over priced becasue of three plastic letters.)

BUT THANKS FOR THE WARNING NONE THE LESS. hey at least this gives us time to take out the important stuff.
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Old 09-28-2002, 11:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine fire warning-all models

Hi everyone! My very first post -- signed up five minutes ago. Anyhow:

Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
I had burst one of the tranny lines down below the airbox....within a foot of the ports on the Trans. Blew the rubber right out of the factory crimp and sprayed tranny fluid up onto the exhaust manifold. The dealer told me this was a common problem in the early to mid 90'*, and the new hoses are better
It was more than a "common problem"; it was the subject of a factory recall. Shortly after I bought my '93 SSEi in May of 1996, I got a letter from GM to bring it back in for this exact problem. Their repair consisted basically of replacing one of the two trans cooler lines; the replacement had the rubber portion clamped to the metal end with a couple of standard hose clamps... one of which they'd stripped... although I didn't discover that for six years, so I guess that did no harm.

It'* probably too late for you to get the recall honored (the underhood recall campaign sticker is pretty bleached now and I doubt I can read the exact number they wrote on it), but I guess it wouldn't hurt to call 'em and ask. I got a nice loaner for the day while they fixed mine.

Hey, wait a minute, I got the car'* file in the cabinet right next to the desk here...

Okay, it was campaign #95C68 -- Trans Oil Cooler Lines. That'* the one to ask about.
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Old 09-29-2002, 12:54 AM   #8
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Too freakin' late. I replaced EVERYTHING under there already. Both lines, all the way around! I doubt they'd give me a refund for saving them the work.

Sounds like it was a pretty common problem. I wonder how many Bonnies met their maker in this manner. It'd be an interesting statistic.

BTW, welcome! That'* a pretty white Bonnie you've got there. Add another custom license to the forum, too!
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Old 09-29-2002, 10:40 PM   #9
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I hope statefarm can cover that too!
www.autozone.com has all the recalls on file
might wanna check there!
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Old 09-30-2002, 12:28 AM   #10
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Might not cover it anymore as this ia an OLD problem & the recall has now expired if not already performed on that vehicle.
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