How to Prevent an Electrical Fire on Your Truck

by Houston Off Road Pros on March 5, 2018 · Off Road

Whether you drive a heavily modified off road truck or a regular pickup truck, you still need to be aware of the possibility of an electrical fire.

Being Proactive

An electrical fire in an off road truck isn’t something you should ignore until it happens. Instead, you need to stay proactive. There are a few ways of preventing an electrical fire on your truck, including:

  • Check for any leaks in your fuel line. When there are leaks here and your engine is hot, there’s a high risk for an electrical fire.
  • Aging electrical systems usually have frayed wires. These need to be repaired before they become problematic. This is especially true in brakes that aren’t used often. If they don’t “remember” how to properly release heat, it can spread to the other parts of your off road truck.
  • Never keep rags with flammable liquids, strippers, or combustible degreasers in your truck – not even in your cabin. These can self-ignite, especially if they’re stored together.
  • Listen for loud clunking or cracking sounds coming from your exhaust. This is a sign that something is blocked or damaged there.
  • Electrical system failures and malfunctions cause two-thirds of car fires. This is why it’s so important to properly maintain them – making sure they are properly connected and the wiring itself isn’t frayed or damaged.
  • When installing aftermarket parts make sure you do so correctly. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, have a professional install them for you and make sure you compare electric rates before choosing one.

Other common causes include overheating, short circuits, and accidents.

How to Prevent an Electrical Fire on Your Truck

Preventing an Off Road Truck Fire

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much about having an off road truck fire. This is especially true when you take the right steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. With this in mind, there are three things you can do:

  • Get a semi-annual truck inspection. Your mechanic knows how safe your off road truck is and what repairs you need. Although this seems like an added expense, since it’ll keep you safe, it’s one worth paying for.
  • Check your fuel lines and tank. Cracks, bad fuel injectors, and leaks can compromise your whole truck. In fact, this is the cause of about 15% of car fires. If you have a rapid change in your fuel level or any other fluid level, then you need to visit your mechanic right away.
  • Watch for blown fuses, especially if several are blown in a short amount of time. This is a sign you need to have a mechanic check your engine.
  • Never drive your off road truck without a gas cap that works correctly. Fuel is flammable. Additionally, debris can enter your truck’s system in this way, causing problems.
  • Look for any leaks. If you see large puddles under your off road truck or stained pavement when you leave a parking space, you need to have a mechanic figure out what’s wrong.

Reacting Appropriately

Understanding what leads to an off road truck fire is only half the battle. Once an off road truck fire does occur you must know how to respond correctly. Some things you should do, include:

  • Carry a fire extinguisher and fire blanket so you can put out the fire. Make sure that they’re made specifically for vehicles, because you’re dealing with combustible fuel.
  • Practice defensive driving so you don’t get into an accident. Since about 60% of off road truck fires happen as a result of truck accidents this is a good way to protect yourself before it happens.
  • Be on the lookout for downed power lines, especially after any type of storm. If these downed lines still have an electrical charge they could ignite materials in or on your vehicle.
  • Always wash off any fuel or oil before driving your off road truck.
  • Never park in high grass or where your truck can come into contact with trash. Always park in a driveway or on the street away from any debris.

Hopefully, with these tips, you now know what to look for before an electrical fire occurs in your off road truck. If one does occur, hopefully, you know how to take the right steps to make sure that both you and your passengers are safe.

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