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Do Cars Really Blow Up When On Fire?

We’ve all seen the movies, where a single bullet or small fire causes a car to get completed decimated by the fuel tank exploding. How much of this is based in fact though?

Does Fire Explode Cars?

Yes, yes it can. However it’s really rare. So rare you shouldn’t consider it a real threat unless you see fire in your car. On average there are about 90 car fires reported per year in the USA, and that number continues to drop. What causes this? Well there’s few reasons. We’re told that the most common part of a car to explode is the battery. This causes a loud bang, can send debris flying and start a fire. Due to the batteries location many people assume their engine has “Blown up” when it’s actually the latter.

Leaks That Lead To Fire

So unless you’re in a Hollywood movie your car shouldn’t be getting shot at, or spontaneously catch fire however there is an extremely rare case that can cause this. If there’s a fuel or oil leak, and it just happens to connect with a hot enough components or an electrical spark then you could have a large issue that could lead (although very unlikely) to an explosion. This usually only occurs if the fuel pump or tank are removed and reinserted incorrectly. That doesn’t happen often thankfully. In 2009 Transport Canada had to recall nearly 130.000 vehicles to due a fault that lead to an engine oil leak.

Electrical Faults

The final and still rare way you could have a flammable problem is if your wires overheat, melting the insulation and causes them to short. If you remember our Chevy Bolt EV Recall Over Potential Fire Risk, you’ll know even E.V.’s aren’t immune to fires either. Read more here: Chevy Bolt Owners Ignoring Safety Recall!, Chevy Bolt Battery To Be Replaced Finally.

Why Do Movies Portray Car Explosions

Cars often explode in movies for dramatic effect, rather than for any realistic depiction of what happens in real life. Explosions are a common and visually exciting way to create tension and excitement in an action movie or thriller, and car explosions are a particularly dramatic way to illustrate danger and violence.

In reality, cars rarely explode when they crash or catch fire. While car accidents can certainly be dangerous and can cause serious injuries and damage, explosions are generally not a common occurrence. The gasoline in a car’s fuel tank is not typically explosive unless it is exposed to heat or flame, and even then, it would not necessarily explode in the way that is often depicted in movies.

It’s worth noting that the portrayal of car explosions in movies has been criticized for contributing to misconceptions about car safety and the potential dangers of car accidents. In reality, it’s important to follow proper safety procedures and to exercise caution when driving or handling a vehicle, rather than relying on the exaggerated and often unrealistic depictions of car explosions in movies.

Some movies do get car crashes and explosions more right than others, especially if they are trying to portray a more realistic depiction of events. For example, some action movies that are more grounded in reality may strive to depict car crashes and explosions in a more realistic way. These movies may show that cars can catch fire or explode if there is a fuel leak or if there is a significant impact that ruptures the fuel tank. In some cases, these explosions may be smaller and less dramatic than what is typically depicted in Hollywood movies.

In general, however, it’s important to remember that movies are primarily a form of entertainment and are not necessarily intended to be realistic depictions of real-life events. While some movies may strive to be more realistic, they may still take creative liberties in order to create a more exciting or dramatic storyline. As such, it’s important to maintain a critical eye and a healthy skepticism when watching movies, and to keep in mind that what is depicted on screen may not always be an accurate reflection of reality.

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