Spontaneous engine bay fires! - Page 24 - North American Motoring


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Spontaneous engine bay fires!

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  #576  
Old 08-11-2012, 07:57 AM
violet violet is offline
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Hi everyone,

I'm in the UK and I just wanted to share with you my recent experience with my 2003 Mini Cooper.

Two nights ago we were woken at 3am to the sound of my Mini's alarm going. We went downstairs had a quick glance out the window and turned the alarm off with the fob and headed back off to bed. The alarm then started going off again, so I decided to go out and lock the car with the key as I thought there might be a fault with the central locking (I used to own an MGF that was really sensitive when locked on the fob)

I went outside to find smoke billowing out from under the drivers wheel arch - my OH opened the bonnet and there were flames coming up from the engine bay. Our hose pipe just reached and we managed to keep the flames down while the fire brigade were on their way. We then had to push it out of the drive away into the road away from our house and our neighbours.

The fire service were here for over an hour dampening it down, the car didn't burn completely but i think if we hadn't been able to control the fire when we found it , it would have been a totally different story!

Scary to think what might have happened if the Alarm hadn't gone off too.

Now I had got home at 9pm that night, the car had been sat for 6 hours before this happened! I have had no problems with the car, no lights were on the dash - no strange noises etc. Its been running perfectly. Full service history 73,000 miles on the clock.

I had no idea that there were other people who had been in the same situation, I just did a google search on the off chance and found this forum. I'm gutted as I loved that car and I have only had it since April this year.

The fire brigade thought the cause was electrical, and you could tell this from the smell too. The insurance company have taken it away to assess it so hopefully they will be able to shed more light on the cause. Not sure if it will be repairable as if the fire itself didn't cause enough damage the amount of water put into the engine might have :(

Feel really let down as I have just lost all faith in my dream car and BMW.
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  #577  
Old 08-27-2012, 09:47 AM
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blue agave blue agave is offline
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Wife's 2005 R50 in Maine. Engine compartment fire at steering pump with vehicle parked after driving 14 miles. Required new pump, hoses, belt, alt. & starter. Just read $3800 repair bill and dumb mechanic filled with $6.00 per quart PS fluid - apparently not CSF 11S.
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  #578  
Old 10-05-2012, 09:49 AM
ZigZagN ZigZagN is offline
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My Power Steering quit working yesterday on the way home from my lawyer's office here in Orlando, Florida. I felt the steering stiffen up so I was ready for no assist when I had to make the next sharp left turn. The car has 142,600 + miles and the pump and fan are original. I just got back last week from a 3200 mile vacation in my 2003 Mini Cooper S. While on vacation I was driving on a gravel road that may have damaged the power steering fan.

In reading several of the threads on the power steering pump failures, it seems most people don't think the fan does much good. So, is the fan the fault if it's damaged or is it just time for a new pump?

Also, this thread has been going on for years, yet I don't see where it has resulted in Mini doing anything officially to help their customers with this problem. Have I missed something?

Thanks
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  #579  
Old 10-05-2012, 09:52 AM
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GoThingNC GoThingNC is offline
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142,000 miles on the orginal PS pump is excellent

Most seem to fail under 100K.

A working fan helps prolong the pump life and the excess heat build up at the end of the trip may have ben the final straw for the pump.
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  #580  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:41 AM
rustyeuro rustyeuro is offline
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has anyone considered running a power steering intercooler to bring the system temperature down so the power steering fluid is cooler overall?
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  #581  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:36 AM
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Clubman S Turbo Clubman S Turbo is offline
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Rusty, I did that on my 83 SCCA Camaro, I used a tranny cooler for the core, worked very well but it appears whats happening here is the wiring and/or components (pump) in the P/S system are overheating, leaking P/S fluid and then igniting it and/or just torching the wiring harness. It sounds like BMW identified the issue but from the number of cars involved in catastrophic fires it sounds like it should be a full recall, if it hasn't been yet. The second Gen cars fires are most often centered around the secondary electric coolant pump for the turbo, which has a tendency to short out the controller and catch fire, that was and is a recall subject currently. Mine was serviced back in May. Now if they would do something about the timing chain system ..............
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  #582  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:25 PM
tonywa28 tonywa28 is offline
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Failure of both original pump and later pump

FWIW - 2004 S, pumped failed at 89K, replaced with later part number pump, it failed in 4K miles.....it of course took the alternator out both times.

I replaced the PS fan with a new one when I replace the orig PS pump.
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  #583  
Old 08-20-2013, 06:18 PM
Fische Fische is offline
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Possible cause of fires????

My power steering has been intermittent lately. After reading posts about the power steering pump failure, I decided it was time to take action. Rather than order a new pump I decided to check electrical connections first. I found that the connection for the pump power was the problem. I will try to post the picture of the wiring for the car. The harness showed signs of shorting, however I never had a fuse blow. I hope this helps with fires and power steering problems for someone.
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  #584  
Old 08-21-2013, 08:11 AM
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bmwg84 bmwg84 is offline
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Wow, smart move! Looks like the next logical step would be a fire from that corroded plug. Mini actually had a class action suit against them recently. You might want to look into it
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  #585  
Old 07-11-2014, 11:50 AM
GingerMiniS GingerMiniS is offline
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2005 MINI S Convertible (Ginger)

I posted this to https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/Vehicl.../confirm.xhtml - If anyone knows of a way for me to re-coup my out of pocket expenses, PLEASE let me know. I'm broke!!!!

Driving approx. 15 miles - mostly interstate - to attend a friend's birthday dinner. While pulling into the parking lot, lost power steering and all indicator warning lights started flashing. I proceeded to a parking space and saw smoke pouring out from under the hood. When I released the hood I could see an orange glow at the bottom of the engine (night time). Within 30 seconds it burst into flames. A 911 call to local fire fighters was placed who responded within 15 minutes. Since there were two restaurants in the complex, employees of each one had come out with fire extinguishers and put out the fire. The car had to be towed to my work place, from my work place to another city for repairs. Only the actual repairs were covered under warranty, but not the towing or rentals. I had to rent a car for two weeks and a week after picking my car up, I had other things to go out on the car caused by the heat from the fire. (Domino effect). The car had to go back into a shop where it took more than 3 weeks to get all parts in and repairs made, while I incurred yet more expense of a rental car. I am now in debt almost $3,000.00 as a direct result of this faulty system.
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  #586  
Old 08-09-2014, 09:53 PM
shizzane shizzane is offline
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My 03 non-s just went up in flames.completely un repairable front to back. House I was at didnt have a water hose an it was 3 in the morning. I had just replaced the trans a month before an was just about to renew my insurance policy. Now im effed in the a. Anybody know for sure if im eligible for this class action lawsuit? Kinda hangin on to a lil bit of hope for I have no other means of transportaion. I will NEVER buy another mini for as long as I live. How can bmw get away with knowing about this an not doing anything about it? I was going to get an s but considering that problem an many others I cant see myself paying for such a dangerous an poorly constructed(slapped together really) piece of machinery. I dont even want to think about what could have happened...... I have two children that rode in that car on a daily basis
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  #587  
Old 02-01-2015, 12:51 PM
Quentin Quentin is offline
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I parked my wife's 2005 MINI Cooper S (hardtop) in the garage after grocery shopping with her and my daughter. I took some items into the house and when I walked back in the garage, smoke was bellowing from under the hood. My wife was pulling my 2.5 year old daughter out of her car seat. I popped the hood, found smoke pouring from between the head and the firewall. I looked down further and found that there was a small flame down by the steering rack. I got the car out of the garage as fast as possible and ran for the fire extinguisher and put out the flame. I've read that there are quite a few cases of this happening. Is it the same root cause as the steering pump failure or is it different? Also, is there an exact VIN range anywhere? I didn't see it in the thread. We are the original owners of the MINI and got no such letter (we have moved 2x since we bought it 10 years ago.) It is a Jan or Feb 2005 build. The car only has 73k miles.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks,

Quentin
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  #588  
Old 05-08-2015, 04:59 PM
macsociety macsociety is offline
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Add another fire victim to the list. Wife and my 2005 Convertible caught on fire. Should have let it burn to the ground now that I see all these same power steering catching on fire issues. But no, I was quick to action, getting into the engine and getting the fire out, after about $8K of damage, that BMW/Mini of USA paid $0 to help. All on me and my insurance.

Amazed that a company can get away with this!

Parked, more than 1/2 hour in parking at mall, and come out to a burning Mini Cooper. Yes power steering caught on fire all by itself... same as most everyone else.

How do the rest of you feel about owning a ticking time bomb now? I now my wife and I are not too excited. I guess we can enjoy 4th of July more and maybe the Mini will catch on fire again.

Yes sarcasm there. Just baffled that BMW and Mini pass the buck and expect everyone but them to pay to get this fixed. Nicely done BMW and Mini. Do you feel good about yourselves. I would be embarrased if I were you.

So, anyone wanna but a car that offers excitement well past the thrill of driving one?

I know if my wife and I sell ours, I will forwarn in my add and to buyers what can happen. Odds are, I could not give it away now. Will run it until it explodes I guess.

TJ
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  #589  
Old 05-11-2015, 05:41 AM
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GoThingNC GoThingNC is offline
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TJ,


My condolences on the fire, glad nobody got hurt and the house did not burn down. Did you file a complaint with the NHTSA?




I would tow the Mini and park it in front of the nearest Mini dealership with a sign attached " Burns without warning"
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  #590  
Old 09-23-2016, 03:52 PM
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Squirrel724 Squirrel724 is offline
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I know I am digging up an old thread but I have a question about something which hasn't been addressed. On 10/29/15 Coopers (R50, 52, and 53) were recalled to address an issue where the power steering could cut out (also warranties for power steering components were extended to 13 years and 150,000mi) (). Does anyone know if this also fixes the potential fire issues with the power steering pump? I have seen articles mention that the power steering is linked to fires but nothing declaring that the fix addresses the fires, just that components and wiring may be replaced.
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  #591  
Old 11-21-2016, 07:55 PM
Denyse Riveiro Denyse Riveiro is offline
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My Mini Cooper s 2011 caught fire in October 23,2016. It was parked not running and ignited in the engine. It had a recall fixed by dealer. Car total loss. Lucky to get out before it ignited. It was completely engulfed in 4 minutes.
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  #592  
Old 11-21-2016, 08:53 PM
Denyse Riveiro Denyse Riveiro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCoop View Post
You might be on to something, but you might not... 6 of the 15 posted so far are Cali cars. That's just over a third of them. That could easily be attributed to California having that many more cars, and especially MINIs, than other places. I'm not yet willing to speculate that cars in California are more likely to develop this problem than cars in other locations.

Jenn
Interesting! Mine is in Florida. I'm disappointed in BMW acting like they have never heard of a Mini Cooper burning on its own.they saw my video of the fire & thought nothing of it
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  #593  
Old 01-04-2017, 08:44 PM
minimike21 minimike21 is offline
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2011 MCS Spontaneously Combusted!



Long time no see guys! Well I hate to be in this thread, but my 2011 r56 caught fire after being parked after a normal drive (on Christmas Day). Luckily I saw it and got it out out with a garden hose before it lit my house on fire! It's been a frustrating so far with low ball offers from insurance since it is a total loss. I've filed a claim with the national road and safety link on the first page here and in contact with MINI/ BMW for an investigation. What has been some of the outcomes from MINI on this. My car didn't have an open recall but seems to be identical to the water pump recall that caught so many cars on fire... sorry I didn't read through this whole thread I'm sure my question is answered somewhere.
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