This really shouldn't be a shock to anyone, but for the record, let's just say it's usually a pretty bad idea to set a charcoal fire under your car. A Wisconsin woman did just that, and set her 2007 Dodge Caravan on fire. Even better, she lives in an area named after a burning torch!
The Lac du Flambeau woman was trying to start her minivan in some really awful temperatures, around -23°F, and after removing her battery and warming it indoors (smart), she decided to warm the engine block with a charcoal fire (not smart).
The inevitable fire started with the underside of the bumper, and quickly spread to all the deliciously flammable bits of rubber under the hood and around the engine bay, causing what the local news says is "about $1000" worth of damage. That would total a 2007 Caravan, right?
I kid, I kid! Still, that looks like it's way more than $1000 of damage to me — those plastic bumper covers alone aren't cheap, and it looks like grille, lights, air cleaner, hoses, and a lot more got engulfed in flames. And then there's paint. The news story also referred to the "engine chamber," which has a strangely medieval feel to it as well, so I'm going to take their estimate with a grain of salt.
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So, once again, we all know it's cold, and we get desperate — but an open fire under your car is rarely a good idea.
(Thanks Allan and other tippers!)