Skip to comments.Woman Attempts to Warm Minivan With Charcoal And Guess What Happened
Posted on 01/08/2014 1:52:01 PM PST by ZirconEncrustedTweezers
This really shouldn't be a shock to anyone, but for the record, let's just say it's usually a pretty bad idea to set a charcoal fire under your car. A Wisconsin woman did just that, and set her 2007 Dodge Caravan on fire. Even better, she lives in an area named after a burning torch!
The Lac du Flambeau woman was trying to start her minivan in some really awful temperatures, around -23°F, and after removing her battery and warming it indoors (smart), she decided to warm the engine block with a charcoal fire (not smart).
The inevitable fire started with the underside of the bumper, and quickly spread to all the deliciously flammable bits of rubber under the hood and around the engine bay, causing what the local news says is "about $1000" worth of damage. That would total a 2007 Caravan, right?
I kid, I kid! Still, that looks like it's way more than $1000 of damage to me those plastic bumper covers alone aren't cheap, and it looks like grille, lights, air cleaner, hoses, and a lot more got engulfed in flames. And then there's paint. The news story also referred to the "engine chamber," which has a strangely medieval feel to it as well, so I'm going to take their estimate with a grain of salt.
So, once again, we all know it's cold, and we get desperate but an open fire under your car is rarely a good idea.
this works far better....
My brother-in-law did that to his dad’s car.
BTW, it’s also a mistake to try to heat your house or vehicle with thermite.
Using a giant parabolic reflector to focus solar energy on your house or vehicle could also be a bit risky.
Wisconsin has some very strange folks.
Most of whome wear those orange hats with ear flaps 11 months out of the year.
They should have a law against stuff like that
At least she wasn’t in it and she is still breathing to tell the tale. I can’t believe how many die in their sleep trying to warm a tent with charcoal.
After 2 days it still wasn't turning over. When we went down with a charger, we discovered she was using a florescent trouble light. She said she bought it because it was more economical than her old one.
The underside of that bumper is plastic.
Um, I thought that was a Baptist parking lot on Wednesday night.
Gasoline itself doesn’t freeze, but some of the additives might. At -100F, you could have a gasoline Slurpee in your tank.
But that probably isn’t likely anywhere outside Antarctica.
Ironic that she is from a town with a name meaning “Lake of the Torch”
That’s another downside to the incandescent bulb ban. A drop light occasionally comes in handy for fitting close-tolerance parts together as well.
Also ironic is the name of the post’s author. :)
“Most of whome wear those orange hats with ear flaps 11 months out of the year.”
Well, by golly, I think we’ve found a solution. We just need to make orange hunting caps big enough to fit over a car, and Wisconsonites’ problems are over!
Well, to be fair, it did warm up her minivan.
Dad had a small metal bowl he would burn charcoal in to heat the block.
don’t think someone won’t try to sell car coats... I heard some cars had bra’s already
She won the Darwin?
Not quite. :)
When I first moved from North Dakota to California for my first job out of college, I remember a mechanic being totally puzzled by a plug which fed out of my front grill.
Even those unreliable 1970s era American cars turned over the first time when unplugged from an engine block heater.
In those days, it was roughly $40 in parts and labor to have one installed.
LOL. This is the first thing I thought when I read the story.
This method works ,but not if done incorrectly.
Better off with a dipstick heater or magnetic oil pan heater.
Better yet, a permanently installed block heater, but that costs money if you can’t install it yourself.
Reminds me of the Hispanic family in MA who wanted to BBQ a whole pig during a monster snow storm [3-footer] ...
Put the charcoal in the bathtub and lit it ...
Old ceramic/steel tub, heated the floor boards underneath and caught on fire ...
Burned down the entire 100-unit complex cuz the fire dept. couldn’t get there cuz they couldn’t get thru the 3 feet of snow on the streets ...
I’d hold her beer and watch that anytime.
Traffic accident involvement rates by
Men had a higher risk than women of experiencing a fatal crash, while women had higher rates of involvement in injury crashes and all police-reported crashes.
That would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.
I figured they’d just go outside, dig the pit, light the fire, through the stones on it, throw the pig in, cover it up, and then come back out in five hours and dig it out of the snow.
That could be fun to do. You have a luau inside while it is a blizzard outside.
I tell you desperate times call for desperate measures.
Cold starts and diesel engines don’t cooperate. Years past has seen it all and done most of it. A tire burning under a 2000 ford offset diesel tractor engine on a cold morning in a snow storm comes to mind but back then plastic wasn’t prevalent tractor flesh.
I use my gas grill in the garage sometimes during the winter. With a winder open of course.
Yesterday I could start the minivan, but couldn’t shift it out of Park.
Oddly enough, charcoal fires, lighting fluid, boiling water, and blow torches, all of which were available, did not occur to me. It took 45 minutes of running the engine before it would shift.
Now blow dryers and heating pads are entering my mind as possiblities, but I am not sure where I would put them, or that it would be a good idea with the engine running.
I paid a guy 6 incandescent 100 watt bulbs to plow my driveway this afternoon.
I’m setting up an ad hoc black market at my house, too.
In Obamatopia, light bulbs are currency.
I once watched a guy on a ladder attempt to remove, with an acetylene torch, the icicles hanging down from his gutters. Set the whole roof on fire.
Not that hard to install yourself. I did it my cars, and I’m not exactly a whiz with car mechanics. Works great though. But let’s say I was extremely happy when I moved into a residence with a garage. Even unheated garages, like mine, will keep your engine block warm enough to start on subzero mornings.
My dad too. He had a torch that could attach to a small LPGas tank. You could aim the flame right on the oil pan.
At first glance, I thought it said “warn instead of warm”. Good thing I looked again. : )
Herb Brooks did that once. Set his house on fire.