22 February 2011

Snowbound cars are catching fire

From the Mpls/St. Paul StarTribune:
About a dozen cars caught fire in St. Paul during Sunday's storm, according to St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard.

He said most of the fires probably started when drivers got stuck in the snow and began rocking their vehicles back and forth in an attempt to get free, overheating the transmission and causing engine fires...
 I've "rocked" a car before to get it unstuck; I never realized such maneuvers endangered the transmission.  You learn something every day.


  1. I would expect this probably happens largely as a result of drivers not using that all-important factor: common sense. I witnessed this happen in a parking lot, where a woman kept rocking her plowed-in car back and forth despite being warned against doing so by at least one bystander. Sure enough, after another futile five minutes of gunning her hopelessly-stuck car back and forth a total of about six inches, smoke began to pour out from beneath the hood. As soon as some nearby fool opened it - POOF! - the inrushing air fed the fire and - well, they had to call the fire dept. They were both okay, but her car wasn't so lucky!

  2. A good argument for a MANUAL transmission.....

  3. Completely agree with Anonymous #1, this had to be people taking it to the extreme.


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