If you follow@MTLblog on Instagram that you've probably seen some of the videos below, of cars spontaneously bursting into flames around the city of Montreal.
What's most unsettling about all these videos is that they were taken when temperatures were very low and none of them indicate any collisions. So why did the cars burst into flames? There are a couple of likely reasons, and I'm going to break them down for you below so you can avoid this issue with your own car!
TL;DR Below are three cars that spontaneously burst into flames in Montreal in the past couple weeks. Winter seems like a strange time for cars to be bursting into flames, but the snow actually provides a perfect storm of circumstances. Scroll down for more info and to see these crazy car fires!
While we don't know the story of these specific vehicles below, there are some common causes for car fires, particularly if you're driving in a winter wonderland like Montreal.
The first thing to rule out as the cause of a car fire is a design flaw in the car. If your vehicle has a faulty part or something that has recently been recalled, you can search it here at Transport Canada's recall and defects list.
If there's nothing wrong with your car make or model and you know none of the parts are faulty, the next course of action is to make sure your car is properly maintained.
Broken parts, leaky seals or faulty wiring can create the perfect environment for an engine fire. Be sure, especially as your car ages, that you are bringing it in for scheduled maintenance.
However, the above-mentioned issues are apt to happen any time of year, and these cars are all on fire in the middle of winter. The snow plays a part in these incidents because often people leave their car on while they shovel themselves out of their parking spot in the morning.
There's a lot of plastic in a car and "plastic burns very hot and very quickly," according to a fire lieutenant in Green Bay. He suggests that you avoid the desire to leave your car "warming up" when you're digging it out of the show, especially if your car is an older make or model that doesn't have an engine light to indicate when the car is overheating under the hood.
Another winter-related issue is leaves under the hood. If you've got dried leaves around the engine left from fall of 2018 they are prime catalysts for a fire sparked by a hot engine in winter of 2019.
Almost anything can become a perfect catalyst for a car fire when you consider the amount of flammable liquid under your hood and the heat at which an engine runs.
Add to that people's tendency to leave their car running in the winter to keep in warm on the inside and you've just created the perfect environment for a car fire.