I'm stumped with this one. What do you fellers think could have cause a
spark? No damage. I'm not taking a chance in my shade tree skills with
this one, but have to use the car tomorrow around town until the shop
opens on Monday. Meanwhile, I put a fire extinguisher and a full 2
gallon weed sprayer in the front seat just in case.
Car was cold. Drove about 3 miles at 35mph or less. Parked. Then
smelled asbestos burning. Popped the hood. A 6-inch diameter section
of the hood liner over the battery had burned. I mashed the few embers
that were still soldering around the edges.
Can't tell for sure, but the starting point could be a 1/16 inch
depression that is darker than the rest near the center. If that's was
it, my first thought was a red hot piece of metal, sand, etc, that had
come from a pulley. Reason I say that is one of the idler pulleys has
been squealing lately. Nothing else was hot or burned. Battery was
cold, terminals tight, no corrosion, no sign of shorting. Checked every
wire and connection I could see and all look OK.
Only other thought is that it picked up a cigarette or something burning
in the road. Although doesn't seem likely, since it would have had to
have to fly up and around different ways to get there.
Any ideas what might have caused something like this?
I just saw this about evaporating the water out of the radiator and
leaving pure glycol which he says is flammable.
http://www.croberts.com/coolant.htm I did have a hose pop off and spray
coolant a couple of weeks ago, but the mixture at that time was 50/50.
And it sprayed toward wheel well. Since then I have been checking every
day or so and everything under the hood was dry before and after the
burning. Just in case, I'm going to hose down the entire engine today.
Found some good info about sources of car fires...
Before going nuts pulling things apart, I will clean the battery
connections and do a better check of wiring and charging circuit,
replace the idler pulley and and look at cleaning or replacing the hood
Long time shop checked it out and could not find any electrical or other
possible ways the hood liner could have burned. Suggested could have
been something picked up from the road, but no way to tell.
He also checked out engine which has been overheating lately and rough
running. Said it was a leaking head gasket. Said the tan colored
residue where coolant spilled out are from the engine leaking exhaust
into the coolant. Gastket leak was also pressurizing the radiator and
causing coolant to flow out the cap and was overflowing the reservoir.
Will send me an estimate for replacing head gasket and another for
swapping out with a used engine.
No matter was the costs are, I have another mechanic I'll have check it
out just to be sure. I bought it 10 years ago for $3000 and have only
spent routine service on it, so if the cost is under $2K, I'll get 'er
done. Other than that, it's a great work van - nothing like it new for