What A Car Looks Like When A Nitrous Bottle Explodes Inside

We all know kids and pets shouldn't be left in cars on hot summer days, but one Fox Mustang owner in Texas learned the hard way that bottles of horsepower-boosting volatile chemicals should be on that list as well.

According to News 9 in Midland, the recently-purchased 'Stang had a bottle of nitrous oxide in its trunk. The bottle overheated on a late June afternoon and exploded, taking the car with it. The TV station reports that the Mustang was a total loss, which is not surprising given this photo.

Thankfully, no one was injured. Pieces of the car were found as far away as three houses down.

The folks at Dragzine have a good breakdown on how this happened exactly:

Nitrous bottles have specific temperature and internal pressure ratings, which are imposed to keep the bottle within a safe operating range. As the bottles heat up, their internal pressure rises (just as a tire would on a sunny day). It’s for this reason why you never want to leave your bottle heater on for too long a period of time, and certainly the reason why you never, ever want to use a torch to warm the bottle (even worse, this also weakens the structure of the bottle). But as you can imagine, on a 90-plus degree day in the sun, the temperature inside the car can reach well into the 100′s. With that ambient temperature inside and the sun beating down on the bottle through the glass, the recipe is there for disaster.

Fortunately, nitrous oxide companies are well ahead of the curve on situations like these, as any bottle produced today has a safety blow-off cap or disc installed that will safely release the pent-up pressure once it exceeds a specific psi rating before the bottle can explode. While we’d hate to speculate and falsely accuse the owner of the vehicle of any wrong-doing, tampering with or incorrectly installing the safety valves on a bottle can render these safety features useless. And in this case, the valves/discs clearly didn’t function as they were designed to.

Science, man. It can be a real motherfucker sometimes.

Photo credit CJ Pony Parts via Facebook

Hat tip to Automatch in Oppo-town!