'99 Olds Silhouette


Old 08-15-03, 09:49 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
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.

Last edited by BobbieHorn; 08-16-03 at 03:25 AM.
Sponsored Links
Old 08-16-03, 05:56 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,869
Received 39 Votes on 31 Posts
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???
Old 08-16-03, 06:01 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

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.
Old 08-16-03, 09:56 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
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.
Old 08-16-03, 11:47 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
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.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: