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We’ve all heard the news stories about Jeeps mysteriously catching on fire but this is one of those rare times someone caught it on their smartphones as it happened.

With smoke mysteriously rising from the dash from a Jeep that wasn’t running, mechanic Fredrick De Silva knew something was seriously wrong jumping into action most likely saving the shop and the customer’s car. Earlier today (Dec. 11, 2018) De Silva shared this heart-pounding video shot by his friend at the shop he works at showing this customer’s 2008 Jeep Wrangler radio head unit catching on fire for no clear reason.

Check out the harrowing video for yourself below. Just in case the Facebook video below goes private or is deleted, here’s a mirror.

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According to De Silva,

Well I always heard cars goes on fire never witness one until today, we save one today.. after a oil change service and a brake job service about to go on a road test and radio on fire! [sic]

As he mentioned, De Silva’s work didn’t directly affect the electronics so, for all intents and purposes, the radio fire was not his fault.

Reading through the comments, one of the first things he did when he saw smoke rising from the dash was to unplug the battery but, as the video shows, the internal fire already got out of hand inside so that didn’t rectify the issue.

One other commenter asked why they didn’t get a fire extinguisher and De Silva states that the fire, being embedded deep in the head unit, would most likely not be extinguished by the fire extinguisher’s chemicals.

Thankfully, his quick thinking, fast hands, and cool head prevailed in the situation knowing that a couple of screws was all that was needed to take out the head unit. With the radio finding all the oxygen it needed out in the winter air, the fire from there really got out of hand.

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The Jeep Wrangler and the JK Wrangler itself has been in the news these past couple of years for catching on fire for a handful of reasons. An official NHTSA investigation that concluded in 2009 determined that the lack of an automatic transmission temperature sensor could cause a fire in Wranglers equipped with AT’s if boiled over fluid splashed onto hot engine components. But that doesn’t explain this fire.

Although a new generation, dozens of new Jeeps caught on fire, parked in a storage lot in Ohio earlier this year, faulty factory wiring as the cause so I wouldn’t put it past FCA’s factory to somehow botch up the wiring in these JK Jeeps.

Jeeps, in general, have been in the news for catching on fire for plain ol’ bad engineering so fire and Jeeps isn’t entirely new news.

More than likely someone has tampered with this particular head unit, perhaps repairing it incorrectly, not placing a safety fuse where it should be. But then again, it’s a stock radio head unit that looks to be untouched from the factory (until now.) Someone familiar with messing around with a head unit can surely change their own oil and mess around with their brakes, right?

I’m keeping an eye on this video to see if there are new developments.

Source: Fredrick De Silva

1 COMMENT

  1. “More than likely someone has tampered with this particular head unit, perhaps repairing it incorrectly, not placing a safety fuse where it should be. But then again, it’s a stock radio head unit that looks to be untouched from the factory (until now.)” ***Possible, but not likely. Anyone going thru the trouble to remove a stock/faulty radio is likely to upgrade and have a professional installation, not reinstall the repaired or stock radio.

    “Someone familiar with messing around with a head unit can surely change their own oil and mess around with their brakes, right?” ***Wrong. Oil changers typically have limited mechanical skills, and dealerships typically have specialized people do that kind of work as it is readily visible to the owner and as such needs to be right. Oil changers usually do light work like oil change tire change a separate kind of work involving oil and grease that would contaminate an interior environment.

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