'99 Olds Silhouette

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  #1  
Old 08-15-03, 08:49 PM
BobbieHorn
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Fire in '99 Olds Silhouette

Earlier this week my van caught on fire and burned. The cause of the fire was a ruptured power steering hose. My son got his grandmother out of the van and no one was injured. Almost everything in the van was lost. I had serviced the van 6 days before. I have checked the NHTSA website for recalls. I am wondering if anything could have been done to prevent this or if it was just a freak accident.
Thanks for your help.
Bobbie
 

Last edited by BobbieHorn; 08-16-03 at 02:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-16-03, 04:56 AM
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I would indeed call that a freak accident if there is absolutely no doubt as to the cause. Was the cause diagnosed by competent authority? The reason I say "no doubt" is that power steering components fail all the time and power steering fluid, although petroleum based, is not nearly as flammable as, say, gasoline. For the ps to be the cause you would have to get a leak in a high pressure hose that lost fluid in such a way as to hit the hottest part of the exhaust manifold in the proper proportion with the air to cause it to ignite. PS parts on a four year old car should be in no danger of such a failure in my opinion.

What do you think, Joe Cool???
 
  #3  
Old 08-16-03, 05:01 AM
Joe_F
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Arrow

The main thing is that no one got hurt. Cars are replaceable, (especially those) people aren't. Your safety and life were key and that's the main thing.

You might have the fire department do an investigation into the problem, what they will find is unknown.

You could file a case with the NHTSA, but they will not likely do anything until there's enough of them---could have just been an fluke.

My coworker called up one morning to say his Durango slipped out of gear and crashed into the parking stantion in his apartment building in Manhattan. He was JUST about to get his two kids in there when it happened.

The truck was wasted with 8 grand of damage and when we looked on the NHTSA website, sure enough he wasn't alone!

He pitched the truck shortly after it was repaired.
 
  #4  
Old 08-16-03, 08:56 AM
BobbieHorn
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Thanks A_TOW_GUY and JOE_F,
I was driving on I-20 between Abilene and Sweetwater, Texas.
I heard a "pop' and the power steering quit working. I slowed down,thinking it had died, pulled to the shoulder, put it in neutral and tried to start it. You know that starter grinding noise? The engine was running. By the time I got the van stoped the smoke was billowing. It shut down west-bound I-20 for awhile. A truely frightening experience for a 15 year old boy and 2 women.
We were not only blessed with our safety but by the people who stopped to help. One couple took us home, about 150 miles. I really liked the van but I am much more aware of safety.
Bobbie
 
  #5  
Old 08-16-03, 10:47 AM
Joe_F
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You may wish to contact GM with your findings, although Oldsmobile is a dead brand so one less thing they care about .

Probably sprayed PS fluid on a hot engine. You'd have to have an analysis done on the vehicle, and frankly at this point, there wasn't much you could have done to prevent it, short of spotting the leak during an oil change, etc.
 
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