This BMW Is on Fire… No, Really

BMW Car Fire

A sudden fire in your car might be one of the scariest things that can happen while you’re driving. If it happens, there are a few things you can do. You can jump out and run away from the car, or you can try and outrun the fire. This is what happens if you try and outrun it.

The video comes from Russia. A country whose leading export now seems to be crazy dashcam videos. The motorcyclist filming sees a BMW 5 Series shoot flame from underneath. He warns the driver, who can’t help but notice the huge flames. It’s what happens next that can make or break your day. Instead of jumping out, the driver goes full-on birthday cake mode. He floors it, trying to blow out or escape the flames, with the rider and an Audi in hot pursuit and the BMW leaving some Ghostrider-style flames in his wake.

Fortunately, he realizes pretty quickly that going faster isn’t going to work and pulls over. But then he makes mistake number two. Popping the hood. Driving faster just feeds the fire more air. Stopping the car means less airflow. Especially with the crowded engine bay of a modern car. Pop the hood, and lots more air can feed that fire.

The ultimate mistake is opening the hood, but luckily there’s a bystander with a fire extinguisher by that point. One 10-lb extinguisher later and it looks like the fire is out.

So what’s the lesson here? Make sure your helmet cam is always on! No, that’s not it. The lesson is if your car is on fire, and you’re not beside a lake, get out! Get out, leave the hood down, and hope for an extinguisher or a nearby firetruck. Fortunately, it looks like the driver was ok.

Should you buy your own on-board extinguisher? Maybe. They are reasonably cheap, and could save a car or a life. But if you do get one, make sure it’s accessible and that you know how to use it.

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Evan Williams

Evan Williams

Evan is based in Halifax, and has been a car nut for as long as anyone can remember. He autocrosses, does lapping days and TSD rallies, breaks cars and then fixes them again.
  • Gerold

    I keep a 5 lb extinguisher in the trunk.
    40 years of driving I used them twice on other vehicles.
    Why don’t more people have them?
    BTW – not once did they offer to pay for the refill.

  • IVC

    Or you could turn off the engine and not be a rudding moron

  • Arno Dyck

    Mistake of opening the hood? Evan has obviously never fought a car fire. Opening the hood is very important. If your car catches fire open the hood as soon as you can do so safely. It’s impossible to put out a burning vehicle with the hood shut. If you wait too long it’s too hot to open and the fire fighters will chop it open with an axe.

  • Terrence Rueger

    I’ve fixed cars after a fire. My advice. Let it burn and take the insurance cheque. Your car will be a piece if crap after a fire.