Car on fire!! Not ideal situation. Help required!

Car on fire!! Not ideal situation. Help required!

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g3org3y

Original Poster:

16,459 posts

155 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
I've mentioned on the E91 bearding thread about the battery drain issues I've had of late.

Took out the #19 fuse for the comfort access to see what would happen. My code reader was then not able to read any CA related codes (as expected - "comms error".

Thought I'd take the car for a little drive to charge the battery. Was on 11.7V when started.

On my return thought it'd be worth running the code reader again. Had the car set in position #2 (stop start button pushed but without foot on brake), so a/c etc on. Smelt some burning coming through the vents which I thought odd. Out the windscreen started to see smoke coming out from under the bonnet. Immediately turned it off and got the bonnet up to see smoke and small flames coming from here:





Luckily with some blowing, they were extinguished!

I can't see how this is related to fuse 19. Regardless, put it back in and started the car again only to have the fire start again.

I know there's an oil leak on this car (again) and there's quite a bit on the area behind the oil filter housing. Presumably something has shorted (due to the oil?) resulting in this situation.


What exactly is the area in question? Obviously I'm somewhat reluctant to start it again, so it'll be yet another tow to the garage.

Could there be any relationship to the battery drain issue?

d_a_n1979

2,539 posts

36 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
That's under the inlet mani

So is it a vac line, or something to do with the CCV on your engine?

What about giving it all a damned good clean with brake cleaner; then a simple degrease and engine clean; let it dry off and then restart and see what happens (ie any obvious oil leaks etc)

I'm not an auto sparky and have little knowledge of that stuff; but can't see how that's related to your other issue. Just sods law maybe?

g3org3y

Original Poster:

16,459 posts

155 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
That's under the inlet mani

So is it a vac line, or something to do with the CCV on your engine?

What about giving it all a damned good clean with brake cleaner; then a simple degrease and engine clean; let it dry off and then restart and see what happens (ie any obvious oil leaks etc)

I'm not an auto sparky and have little knowledge of that stuff; but can't see how that's related to your other issue. Just sods law maybe?
Been looking on RealOEM to try and match it up.

You can see the damage from the fire. I think it's the bit underneath the connector where the flames emanated from.


Unfortunately the gaps in the inlet manifold are too small to be able to reach down and gain access to the area. Looks like the manifold will need to be removed.

I can't see how it is related to the fuse either. confused

Better for this to happen at home on the drive than 50 miles away down the A12 with my son in the car.

EDIT: Looking at this thread, looks like it is indeed the CCV/PCV connector.


Edited by g3org3y on Sunday 28th February 13:04

g3org3y

Original Poster:

16,459 posts

155 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
Looks like part number 11617561408 (#7) on here: https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=VS32...

CCV Hose heater element.



I think this guy had the same issue: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76...

More info here: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14... and a couple of videos demonstrating the issue.

Edited by g3org3y on Sunday 28th February 14:32

d_a_n1979

2,539 posts

36 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
g3org3y said:
Looks like part number 11617561408 (#7) on here: https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=VS32...

CCV Hose heater element.



I think this guy had the same issue: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76...

More info here: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14... and a couple of videos demonstrating the issue.

Edited by g3org3y on Sunday 28th February 14:32
Yeesh!

Can you unplug and tape that plug off; or still not great access?

Dr Jekyll

21,212 posts

225 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
This has to be the perfect PH thread title.

g3org3y

Original Poster:

16,459 posts

155 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
Yeesh!

Can you unplug and tape that plug off; or still not great access?
Looking at the threads I linked to, seemed that was suggested as a (temporary solution. No power supply = no shorting = no problem.

Used a long flat head screwdriver down the gap to prise off the connector


Fished out the loose wire and cable tied it to another one.


Taking appropriate precautions...


...tested with the key on. No problem. Started the engine. No problem. Went for a drive. No problem.

Result: no more burning, no more fire. party

Seems that BMW designed this angle connector with a heating element integrated into it to prevent the PCV system from freezing. Reading around the topic, it appears that in milder climates this is not really needed so the car can be run without issue. Looks like they've revised this component and there is a recall over it (in the US at least): https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2017/RCRIT-17V683...

BMW said:
The blow-by-heater which is designed to prevent the engine’s Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system
from freezing can internally short circuit. The electrical contacts of the blow-by-heater are coated with a plastic
material. Irregularities in the manufacturing process could allow moisture to occur near the blow-by-heater and
lead to the short circuit.
Some have reported bad enough fires that the intake manifold itself gets damaged and needs replacing. I think I've been fortunate that this isn't the case here.

Old BMWs...rolleyes:

I'll add this to the E91 Bearding thread for reference.

Dr Jekyll said:
This has to be the perfect PH thread title.
biggrin

d_a_n1979

2,539 posts

36 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
Bloody hell.

Well glad you're sorted pal thumbup

eliot

9,375 posts

218 months

Sunday 28th February
quotequote all
blimey

B'stard Child

21,760 posts

210 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
That's certainly something I'm glad you shared - seems weird it was a recall in the USA and not the UK

bobiwine

6 posts

3 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
Christ, not good! looks like another item to add to the list when i take it in for major service next week

gizlaroc

16,391 posts

188 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
title said:
Car on fire!! Not ideal situation.
laugh So bloody British. Love it.

g3org3y

Original Poster:

16,459 posts

155 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
gizlaroc said:
title said:
Car on fire!! Not ideal situation.
laugh So bloody British. Love it.
I don't like to make a fuss. biggrin

Pleased to report, since the 'repair', no further issues. smile