COBill

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ANTIOCH TOWNSHIP, MI – The engine of a 2020 Jeep Wrangler suddenly caught fire while traveling down a Northern Michigan roadway on Monday.

At 10:20 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, a trooper from the Michigan State Police Cadillac Post was dispatched to a vehicle fire on M-115 near 21 ½ Road in Antioch Township, Wexford County.

The 36-year-old Traverse City man who was driving had pulled over to the shoulder and called 911 after he realized the Jeep’s engine compartment was on fire…


2020 Jeep Wrangler engine catches fire, vehicle burns up
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DanW

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ANTIOCH TOWNSHIP, MI – The engine of a 2020 Jeep Wrangler suddenly caught fire while traveling down a Northern Michigan roadway on Monday.

At 10:20 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, a trooper from the Michigan State Police Cadillac Post was dispatched to a vehicle fire on M-115 near 21 ½ Road in Antioch Township, Wexford County.

The 36-year-old Traverse City man who was driving had pulled over to the shoulder and called 911 after he realized the Jeep’s engine compartment was on fire…


2020 Jeep Wrangler engine catches fire, vehicle burns up
The media speculates taht the engine is what caught fire, but nobody will know where it originated or how it happened until an investigation. Unfortunately, they rarely, if ever, follow up. I'd love to know what caused it.
 

Columbus104

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Would be interesting to hear a number of things.
1. Was it really the engine?
2. If it was, what was the driver doing prior to this? For instance had he spent 4 hours doing rough offroading? Or was the Jeep parked in the garage and he was just driving to the grocery?
3. Was the Jeep modded? My first guess is this is was an electrical fire. For instance an inexperienced user installing a lightbar could easily have left an exposed wire that caused the fire.
4. If it was actually an engine issue, what engine was this? No engine is immune to defects and fires. But the Pentastar engine has been put in over 8 million Jeeps, Rams, and Dodges over the past 8 years and no trend of common fires (although of course, one-offs happen). But the 2.0T has been placed in several hundred thousand vehicles at this point and I haven't heard of issues there either.

Not all of the questions, but a starter list.
 

19JTRubiconEcoDiesel

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That JL might be driving naked, plastic parts melted, windshield shattered, but what happened to the hood and fenders?
 

Columbus104

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That JL might be driving naked, plastic parts melted, windshield shattered, but what happened to the hood and fenders?
That's a valid point. NO ONE is riding naked in northern MI in December. The windshield could have conceivably been knocked out by firefighters trying to extinguish the Jeep. But the doors and hood would not have been melted away. And there should have been some remnant of the roof.

Is it possible this Jeep was stripped for parts and then set ablaze for insurance money?
 

aldo98229

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That JL might be driving naked, plastic parts melted, windshield shattered, but what happened to the hood and fenders?
Hood and doors are made of stamped aluminum. So they are now vapor.

I read somewhere that the tailgate is made of a magnesium alloy. Magnesium is generally highly flammable. Keep that in mind when you go camping.
 

DanW

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You can find an example of every vehicle on the road where there has been a fire. Causes range from poor maintenance to brush/debris near a hot exhaust or catalytic converter, to electrical wiring (mods) to defects in design or manufacturing.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never get to know the actual cause of it unless a pattern becomes evident or a major defect is discovered.
 

Columbus104

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Hood, doors —and fenders I believe— are made of stamped aluminum. So they are now vapor.

I read somewhere that tailgate is made of a magnesium alloy. Magnesium is generally highly flammable. Keep that in mind when you go camping.
At the expense of sounding like a pyromaniac, I'm saying no on this. MAYBE an engine fire would've gotten hot enough to completely melt a hood. (I doubt it, but let's just say it could happen as a hypothetical).

But fires don't burn at uniform temperatures, especially away from their fuel source. If it was an engine fire, no way it would've been hot enough to melt the rear doors and rear fenders, which are 100% gone.

I look at all the pieces which are missing: fenders, hood, roof, doors. They all have significant value on the secondary market. I stand by my theory that this is insurance fraud.
 

DanW

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Hood and doors are made of stamped aluminum. So they are now vapor.

I read somewhere that tailgate is made of a magnesium alloy. Magnesium is generally highly flammable. Keep that in mind when you go camping.
Magnesium isn't classified as a flammable material or it wouldn't be used at all. But I know what you are saying. It is used in camping fire starters because it sparks easily.

But by the time it gets hot enough to burn magnesium, other things will be already up in flame, such as plastic and cloth and probably even aluminum, which appears to have gone up with the plastic. I don't see a hood or doors left. It would be interesting to have a shot that shows the tailgate, if it survived.

Hard to draw conclusions from a photo, though. It leaves as many questions as answers.
 

aldo98229

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At the expense of sounding like a pyromaniac, I'm saying no on this. MAYBE an engine fire would've gotten hot enough to completely melt a hood. (I doubt it, but let's just say it could happen as a hypothetical).

But fires don't burn at uniform temperatures, especially away from their fuel source. If it was an engine fire, no way it would've been hot enough to melt the rear doors and rear fenders, which are 100% gone.

I look at all the pieces which are missing: fenders, hood, roof, doors. They all have significant value on the secondary market. I stand by my theory that this is insurance fraud.
Everything online is a conspiracy these days.

Have you ever tossed an aluminum can into a campfire? While your bean cans remain charred in the morning, not much is left of your beer cans.

The top would burn easily because it is either fiberglass, vinyl or polyester fabric.
 

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all new meaning to Firecracker Red... Could be wiring or a number of other issues.
 

aldo98229

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Magnesium isn't classified as a flammable material or it wouldn't be used at all. But I know what you are saying. It is used in camping fire starters because it sparks easily.

But by the time it gets hot enough to burn magnesium, other things will be already up in flame, such as plastic and cloth and probably even aluminum, which appears to have gone up with the plastic. I don't see a hood or doors left. It would be interesting to have a shot that shows the tailgate, if it survived.

Hard to draw conclusions from a photo, though. It leaves as many questions as answers.
BTW, I am not saying the tailgate ignited the fire.

But I wouldn’t use FCA’s decision making as a template for safety; their main objective is to save a buck —and weight— wherever they can.

In its natural form, magnesium is classified as highly flammable.

According to the Wiki:

“Magnesium is highly flammable, especially when powdered or shaved into thin strips, though it is difficult to ignite in mass or bulk. Flame temperatures of magnesium and magnesium alloys can reach 3,100 °C (5,610 °F),[16]although flame height above the burning metal is usually less than 300 mm (12 in).[17] Once ignited, such fires are difficult to extinguish, because combustion continues in nitrogen (forming magnesium nitride), carbon dioxide (forming magnesium oxide and carbon), and water (forming magnesium oxide and hydrogen, which also combusts due to heat in the presence of additional oxygen). This property was used in incendiary weapons during the firebombing of cities in World War II, where the only practical civil defense was to smother a burning flare under dry sand to exclude atmosphere from the combustion.”
 
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