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Old     (malibu73)      Join Date: Jun 2006       07-07-2007, 4:24 PM Reply   
Ok so "burst" is an overstatement, but it was still exiting.

So today I was headed to the lake for a day of boating, I had just fueled up both the SUV and the boat. I was headed down a 2 lane, curvy, residential area with many different neighborhood all around and the out of no where the RPM's drop. So after this, I look for a place to turn off. I drive about 50 more feet and see a big neighborhood on the left to turn into about the same time all of the warning light come on on the dash. About as I turn into the neighborhood, the engine cuts off and I coast to a stop.

When the car stops I see smoke coming from under the hood and then it starts coming in from under the dash. I carefully open the hood and behind the engine I spot flames. The first thing I can think of is the gallon of water I had in the suv and I pour it over the fire, seems like I've put it out. I go around the SUV and open all the doors to try and get all the smoke ut and underneath the car it is dripping fire (burnt plastic, Gas?, don't know). I went back to the the engine compartment and it was a blaze again. I had already grabbed my fire extinguisher and decided it was time to use it and call the fire dept.

By the time the fire dept arrives the flames had spread into the cabin and it was coming up through between the driver seat and console. The fire fighters get there and rip out all the console, battery, dash, trying to put the fire out. They end up sticking a water hose in the console and spraying a ton of foam in the interior.

There assessment....

The catalytic converters got hot, burnt the wiring harness, and it went from there.

Anyone having any similar stories about towing mishaps? Any words of courage? I think its safe to say I didn't make it to the lake today.

Here are some pictures...
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-07-2007, 9:21 PM Reply   
Old     (goinboardn)      Join Date: Feb 2005       07-07-2007, 9:56 PM Reply   
Years ago I was pulling my 17 foot Sea Ray up the pass on the way to go camping... The last couple miles up are tough and when I got to the top of the pass I decided to give it a break and let the dog out to do his thing and get some water. On the way back to the Jeep I noticed flames dripping under the engine. Fortunately for "coolness" sake i had and extinguisher strapped to the roll-bar... i grabbed it and carefully opened the hood and let it flow... I was able to put it out fairly quickly. Turns out when i had the carb rebuilt the guys forgot to re-attach the temperature sensor so I was so over heated trying to pull the boat up the hill that it burned the emission hoses and they caught fire... I was able to plug the right ones and still make it to my destination...
Old     (tx_cook)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-07-2007, 10:12 PM Reply   
thats some crazy stuff.

so did you siphon the gas out?
Old     (extremeisaac)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-07-2007, 11:06 PM Reply   
whatcha going to get to replace it? we had an ML and it gave us lots of problems. We were happy the day we got rid of it
Old     (dubsac)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-08-2007, 11:33 PM Reply   
get a range rover sport
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-09-2007, 12:14 AM Reply   
good idea. replace the german truck with a english truck LOL. I would say the ML has to work REALLY hard to pull, I have seen so many cars overheat the cat and the tranny, then the fluid leaks out and catches on fire
Old     (tomcalabria)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-09-2007, 12:52 AM Reply   
wow, I have an ML too. It kind of makes me a little nervous! I think that I am going to have it checked out and see if there is anything going on under the hood.
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-09-2007, 12:56 AM Reply   
does the ML have a tranny cooler? That may be VERY beneficial
Old     (malibu73)      Join Date: Jun 2006       07-09-2007, 5:36 AM Reply   
It was my dads daily driver and replacing it depends on what insurance wants to give us for it, it was a 2000 is it was pretty old. My dad is looking at a new Ford Escape or a Toyota highlander. Do you guys have any suggestions?

I kinda knew that that ML was a little underpowered to be pulling my boat (its a small boat 2000lbs) but never thought it would catch on fire. Also, the engine is German, the rest is made in Alabama...
Old     (hal2814)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-09-2007, 7:37 AM Reply   
I haven't seen a tow vehicle burst into flames but I did once see a Jeep Grand Cherokee pull off the road into a gas station parking lot when its engine caught fire. I was really glad there wasn't much traffic so I could speed out of there as possible. Nothing happened from what I heard on the news but I sure wasn't going to hang around to find out.
Old     (65sanford)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-09-2007, 7:50 AM Reply   
The Ford Escape will no have fun towing anything--Go for the Toy and steer clear of any newer Rover
Old     (dubsac)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-09-2007, 8:22 AM Reply   
I tow an x45 (about 6000 lbs with trailer) with a supercharged range rover sport (400hp) and its got plenty of power. I have never felt controlled by the boat either.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       07-09-2007, 8:26 AM Reply   
A friend has an Escape. Boy does he get mad when we call it a mini van.
Old     (malibu73)      Join Date: Jun 2006       07-09-2007, 1:38 PM Reply   
What about a Nissan Xterra. I was worried about The escape towing power also, but it says that it tows 3500 pounds. My boat is pretty light and my ML pulled it pretty good, but I would hate to have something with less power than the ML. }
Old     (rpayer)      Join Date: Jun 2007       07-09-2007, 2:10 PM Reply   
I drive a Mercedes and its the most unreliable, finiky vehicle I have ever owned!
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-09-2007, 2:12 PM Reply   
i think im sticking with toyota now a days, seems there engines and trany's are getting better and better.
Old     (radikal)      Join Date: Feb 2004       07-09-2007, 2:16 PM Reply   
had a s430 and they change the motor 2 times cause the oil change into sand in it !!! incredible to pay 100k for that car !!!! buy a mazda
Old     (holloway0105)      Join Date: May 2007       07-09-2007, 2:22 PM Reply   
When are they going to put a diesel in the Tundra? I have heard rumors, but nothing definite!
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-09-2007, 2:43 PM Reply   
not sure but that would be sickkkk. I would trust a rav4 to tow my 3,000lb boat over a mercedes LOL
Old     (fatsac)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-09-2007, 2:56 PM Reply   
I pull with an '06 4-Runner. It does the job (see profile) but I wouldn't want anything smaller. Are you sure about the Highlander?
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-09-2007, 3:00 PM Reply   
hahaha as long as you have a light boat like mine it will work. anything over 2700 dry i wouldnt do. I have trailer brakes also
Old     (65sanford)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-09-2007, 4:02 PM Reply   
Can you get a Jeep Liberty Diesel?? Not a huge fan of Nissan--had trouble in the past
Old     (extremeisaac)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-09-2007, 4:55 PM Reply   
get a tahoe 3 rows so you and family can all be comfortable and more than enough power incase your boat catches on fire next and you get something bigger. reasonably priced too. You cant beat american when it comes to towing and comfort
Old     (ronnyboy27)      Join Date: Nov 2005       07-09-2007, 5:25 PM Reply   
I thought my friday sucked cause I burned up my impeller by sucking up some mud.
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       07-09-2007, 5:28 PM Reply   
man i got a extra impeller but now im thinking I need a extra motor for my tow vehicle incase it catches on fire
Old     (goinboardn)      Join Date: Feb 2005       07-10-2007, 12:33 AM Reply   
Why "steer clear of any newer Rover" Phil? I tow my Supreme with an '03 Range Rover and it tows like a dream... if anyone doubts the capability of controlling what you're towing with a Rover check out:
Old     (65sanford)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-10-2007, 6:56 AM Reply   
My friend had just gone through an ordeal with Rover with his brand new truck. The dealer worked on it for over two months and could not fix the multitude of problems that the vehicle had. Rover would not stand behind their product and he ended up having to turn it in through the lemon law. After this incident, he will never buy another Rover although he had been purchasing a new one every year. I could not believe that a car company that has had a person's business for over 10 years would not do more to remedy the situation. I have no doubts that a Rover can tow anything--my friend towed a 32' powerboat for years with his--I just have doubts on the quality of their products. When we were looking at a new/used vehicle for my wife, I had considered a Range Rover myself--my mechanic steered me away from the brand because of quality concerns. For reference, I tow with a GMC 2500 diesel, previous to that a Ford Excursion diesel(another one I would never buy), and previous to that a GMC Yukon--by far the best truck I ever owned.
Old     (hal2814)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-10-2007, 8:06 AM Reply   
I've always heard that the initial build quality on Land Rover is pretty bad but once the factory bugs are worked out they're pretty reliable. I had two mechanic friends (one who owned a European auto shop and ran a race team, the other who worked at a German auto shop) who both swore by used Land Rovers. One had a Range Rover and the other had a Defender 90. Then again, what would be a minor problem to an auto mechanic might be a big problem to you or me so I've always taken car advice from mechanics with a grain of salt.

Also for reference, I drive a Jeep Commander which isn't exactly the paragon of reliability itself. I've always wanted a Discovery but that just won't pass the wife acceptance factor. She won't let me spend that much on a used vehicle that has such nasty marks from Consumer Reports.
Old     (bob_l)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-10-2007, 9:09 AM Reply   
At the gas pump (in the middle of pumping) and a dude pulls in with his car smoking. Next thing you know it is up in flames and the clerk shuts the pumps off (cant leave cause I owe them money for the diesel I was in the middle of pumping). No where to go so I watch as the fire dept shows up. After they put the flames out I asked why they did not open the hood and spray it down and they said you should never open the hood when there is an engine fire - claimed that extra oxygen will only cause a flare up.
Old     (woreout)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-10-2007, 10:45 AM Reply   
This guy named Moses saw a bush do that once.
Old     (rson)      Join Date: Jun 2002       07-10-2007, 11:46 AM Reply   
That is true about the hood....never open it when there is smoke...It will flash up when the air comes in contact and feed the fire.

Keep the hood shut and there won't be enough air to start a fire.


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