Car Care Tips

What to do if Your Car Catches Fire?

Buying a car

Nowadays, cars have become seemingly affordable for people to purchase especially used cars. According to Rakuten Insight (2019), 61 percent of Malaysian citizens are car owners. It is a complex and unique mechanism to ease an individual’s journey from point A to B. However, one must be extra aware of a car’s condition. Due to it having mechanical, electrical components and combustible fluids under the same roof – there is a likelihood a fire may break out. 

Warning Signs

car under the hood

Car fires usually start when two cars collide with each other. Nevertheless, it can be caused by internal issues such as oil or fluid leakage, loose or torn wiring, fuses that are acting up, an alarming elevation in fuel, broken or loose hoses, oil levels or engine temperature or unusual sounds from the exhaust.

If you notice one of these warning signs, you must immediately go to your trusted mechanic for a professional check-up. A disaster is bound to happen if you sit on the issue.

When Your Car is on Fire


If you’re driving on the road and a fire breaks out, immediately switch on your hazard lights while you navigate yourself to the roadside. To avoid the fire spreading faster, turn off your engine to ensure fuel stops flowing into the engine.

Exit the Car

Once you’ve turned off the engine, you (and if you’re in the presence of others) must evacuate the car immediately. If you have any personal belongings in the car, leave them.

Move away from the Car

Make sure everyone is far from the scene to avoid getting injured from possible explosions. Similarly, make sure any passersby also keep themselves away at a safe distance.

Contact the Fire Brigade

Contact the fire brigade through the Malaysia Emergency Response Services (MERS) hotline number at 999. The hotline is an integrated system where you can reach out to few emergency services such as the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia and Royal Malaysian Police (RMP). It’s advisable to save this hotline number in speed dial whenever emergencies like these were to happen. 

Inform your Car Insurance Provider

It’s best for you to immediately contact your Car Insurance Provider during the situation to have a real-time record of when the fire broke out, which will help you through a smoother insurance claim for any car damages or losses.


One of the key things to prevent car fires from breaking out is going through regular car servicing. Make sure your car is examined thoroughly and tuned once a year according to the given servicing dates. Don’t ever underestimate how important it is to service your car. Like humans, cars can get sick as well. 

It’s also a good idea to have a portable fire extinguisher in your trunk to slow the fire’s spread. But if the fire is coming from the rear of the car, don’t use the fire extinguisher on it. It may cause a potential explosion. Despite everything, you’ll still need help from the fire brigade to put off the fire entirely.

Lastly, when it comes to situations like these – you must never forget your life is the main priority and nothing else matters more.

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