Revving engine to get unstuck in snow could cause car fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Revving engine to get unstuck in snow could cause car fire

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - With all of the snow, there is a good chance you found yourself stuck in it.

When that happens many of us rev the engine and shift gears to do whatever we can to get unstuck.

However, that could be doing a lot of damage, putting our lives in jeopardy because our car could catch on fire.

At least cars have caught fire in eastern Iowa while drivers where trying to get out of snow-packed streets.

"Very hot and very nasty, quickly," said Bill Wagenknecht, owner of Vic's Auto Body. "We're all going to try to run forward and backwards to try to get it out, but if you gun it hard enough and your catalytic converter gets overheated and you have fluids leaking it could catch fire."

He says like many us stranded in the snow, including Angela Miller, we try to rock our way out.

"Did it by myself, it just took a long time," said Miller. "No one was around, and my roommates were still sleeping, I didn't want to wake them up."

Wagenkneckt says when your car is buried, snow gets packed down in the radiator blocking the airflow.

He says with the flammable fluids like oil and  transmission coolers located in the front end of your car, coupled with the blocked airflow, If you keep revving up your engine car could catch fire.

"You try to move just a little bit, which is common that's what I'll try to do myself, but if you can't get out and it doesn't come out right away just park it and call for help," said Wagenkneckt. "Another thing is, you could be spinning the tires enough to get them red hot, smoking. And if there's grass underneath, you can catch that on fire."

So the next time Miller finds herself stuck in the snow, she's not taking any chances.

Yeah, I'll call for help definitely," said Miller.
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