Car Fires: Can They Happen To Me?

Car fires here are, thankfully, not very common. According to our survey, an average of 10 or more car fires occur in a year, enough for it to still be a concern. So why do cars catch fire, what can we do to prevent one, and what should you do when it happens?

Cars in general are manufactured to a high degree of precision, and they have to adhere to international standards of safety. They are also machines that rely on complex electrical and mechanical systems to function and have all manner of fluids to keep them running. When a car overheats or suffers from a short circuit, it has the potential to catch fire. Fires usually start small but can quickly escalate due to the presence of highly flammable fluids such as fuel and lubricants.

The two most common causes of car fires are a leaking fuel system and an electrical system failure. If a car is not maintained properly or has suffered a collision, the fuel line connectors and fuel injection systems may be damaged, causing fluids to leak. Coupled with an electrical failure — such as a faulty battery or damaged starter cables — then, as the saying goes, it only takes a spark to get the fire going!

Transporting or carrying flammable cargo in the car is always a bad idea; needless to say, smoking in the car is always a fire hazard. Avoid doing any unauthorised additions or modifications to your car. You don’t want some unqualified person messing up the wiring or other components in your car. And make sure to actively participate in any car manufacturer recall concerning your car model to fix or replace the flawed component. 

Learn to identify the early warning signs of a car fire. The smell of burning, no matter how subtle, is always a strong indicator that something is wrong. The smell of fuel in the cabin is also not a good sign, as it’s a sign that there’s a leak somewhere. If you see white smoke being emitted from your engine, that’s an indication of overheating. However, if the smoke is dark, then that indicates that a fire has already started. If your car suffers from having the fuse blown constantly, it’s a definite sign that you should have someone take a look at the electrical system before a stray spark eventually leads to a fire!

If you think your car is on fire or spot any signs of smoke, don’t panic! Stay calm and pull your car to the side of the road when it’s safe to do so. Proceed to switch off the engine and unbuckle your safety belt. If there are passengers who need help with their seat belts, make sure to keep an eye on the traffic — especially if you’re on a highway — before going over to help them. Evacuate everyone to a safe distance away from your car before calling for help. If you happen to have a fire extinguisher in the car, use it only if the fire is still small and manageable while you wait for the help to arrive


You can only drive as safely as your vehicle allows. Make sure that your headlights, brakes, wipers, and the tread on your tyres are all in good working condition. book for Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance Vehicle Safety Checks… Call us or Whatsapp at 0780 579 261/0718 084 297 / 0736 523 424 our Technical Officer will be at your doorstep

Each day, your car easily takes you where you need to go. You drive from home to the office and back. You use it to run errands like going to the gym, doing the grocery shopping, and taking the kids to school or sports practice.+

Your car is a dependable machine, so it comes as no surprise that you want to use it on your upcoming road trip. Whether you’re leaving the town for a business trip or a family vacation, you expect your car to be as reliable as it’s ever been. Even if your car has reliably transported you or your loved ones around your neighborhood, a road trip is a bigger commitment—and the trip can put a lot of strain on your vehicle. Though you may get your oil and other fluids changed regularly,  Safety Checks is needed before you hit the road.

Before your trip, however, it is advisable to take your car to  Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance, which has launched the Drive Vehicle Safety Checks which assists motorists in getting their vehicles checked in the comfort of their homes. Calling all car owners to be part of the Drive Zim family!

Don’t miss out on the variety of benefits available to Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance Members, including roadside assistance, motoring services, technical advice, lifestyle perks, and many more…Join DZRA now:  

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