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Mini Bursts Into Flames


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#1 eagleswings

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 10:00 PM

I am a driving instructor and bought a new Cooper D in September 2008, the car had successfully completed 25K+ and has been serviced under a TLC package. This afternoon whist being driven at 50 down a dual carriageway the warning light 'Diesel particle filter malfunctioning' came on. Just a yellow light usually indicating that a problem has occurred that will need dealt with soon. The manual says - 'Continue your journey... use next opportunity to drive faster than 38mph for 5 mins.. ' the light went out after travelling about half a mile, but then I had to stop at traffic lights, at which point I noticed smoke coming from the back - I believed it was coming from the exhaust. I took the car into a car park just off from the traffic lights and when I pulled up a passer by point to flames coming from underneath the offside front of the car. Initial only a very small fire but within seconds the car was well alight and was destroyed within minutes.

Has anyone come across this problem with the mini cooper D, it certainly is not something I expect of any car certainly not one so new. I am particularly concerned that there could be a fault with this type of car which could result in a far worst outcome. Fortunately no-one was harmed.

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#2 zebidee

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 10:07 PM

Thats pretty alarming!!

I know quite a few people have new MINIs on this forum, though the chaps over on www.MINI2.com may be of more use in this scenario.

I take it you weren't taking a lesson at the time!?

#3 Burnard

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 10:10 PM

Looks like you had a lucky escape. Glad your ok and no one was hurt.

You should definatly post this on www.mini2.com if you havent already. This forum is primarily used by classic owners so there will be very few cooper D owners on here.


Chris

#4 tomgale

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 10:11 PM

apparently BINIs burst into flames a lot, but i thought it was just the older ones, kinda assumed BMW had fixed it..

anyway hey and welcome to the forum! and the important thing is that your ok (but equally as zebidee says MINI2 could be more usefull for you)

Edited by tomgale, 24 October 2009 - 10:13 PM.


#5 eagleswings

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 09:58 AM

Thanks for the kind comments. I was on a lesson, with about 5 minutes to go to the end. Fortunately the pupil had some experience (now more than she expected) and indeed she was the first to notice the warning light. The performance and control of the car was not effected during the short distance we drove from when the light first came on, but I dread to think what could have happened if we had been driving down a longer dual carriageway and had no need to stop for the traffic lights.

Have posted on mini2 as suggested, thanks. A bit new to this forum business so wasn't sure where to go but felt I should try to share my experience in case it could happen again.

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#6 Ethel

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 10:26 AM

Nasty,

I guess the filter warning sensor is just a pressure switch so maybe a split fuel line set it off and peed on the exhaust manifold - pure speculation though.

#7 adam_93rio

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 10:30 AM

welcome to the forum, i have heard about the new minis bursting into flames before, thought it wouldve been recalled tho to be honest

classic mini for your next car then?

#8 newdawn1st

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 11:32 AM

You might want to consider passing these details directly onto BMW, stating the make, model, which dealer it came from etc (maybe even REG and VIN). Ask them if them if there are any known faults with any batches and such, even if nothing comes from it from your point of view, at least BMW will have data on such problems and may be in a better position to correct/prevent future faults on other peoples cars.

#9 minimanclive

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 12:00 PM

The BMW Minis were on BBC Watchdog for catching fire. I think it was a fault with the electric power steering overheating.

#10 998dave

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 01:55 PM

Nasty,

I guess the filter warning sensor is just a pressure switch so maybe a split fuel line set it off and peed on the exhaust manifold - pure speculation though.


I can say with an almost complete degree of certainty that filter sensor is a differential pressure sensor, it detects a build up of soot which is burnt off when you do the highway driving for 5 minutes, it's called a regeneration, and is perfectly normal, and is something you wouldn't normally notice, (happens every 500miles or so during normal use, only if there's no chance to regen does the soot build up and need to warn you).

Anyway, the whole process is fully contained within the exhaust system, (which is cooler then a Turbocharged petrol engine like the Cooper S, so I doubt this directly caused the fire, I wonder if a fuel line was split somewhere, but I'm sure BMW will be on this asap, make sure it's reported and they should be running an investigation!

The engine itself appears everywhere, it's a 1.6 Diesel, used in the small Peugeot's, Citroen's and others.

I'd be interested to know BMW's first response.

Dave

#11 sazal

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:00 PM

;)

Glad that everyones ok though.

As said before, there was something on watchdog about them catching fire. I hope you get it all sorted out nice and quickly and with as little hassle as possible :genius:

#12 daemonchild

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 06:56 PM

Nasty,

I guess the filter warning sensor is just a pressure switch so maybe a split fuel line set it off and peed on the exhaust manifold - pure speculation though.


The engine itself appears everywhere, it's a 1.6 Diesel, used in the small Peugeot's, Citroen's and others.


I know petrol would catch alight in this way, but would diesel?
I guess if the exhaust was hot enough...?
(Just thinking out loud!)

#13 Burnard

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 07:43 PM

Nasty,

I guess the filter warning sensor is just a pressure switch so maybe a split fuel line set it off and peed on the exhaust manifold - pure speculation though.


The engine itself appears everywhere, it's a 1.6 Diesel, used in the small Peugeot's, Citroen's and others.


I know petrol would catch alight in this way, but would diesel?
I guess if the exhaust was hot enough...?
(Just thinking out loud!)


Petrol or desiel will not catch fire if dripped onto a manifold, there is not a real ignition source, it simply vapourises, it does not ignite.

Most likly an elextrical fault maybe made worse by a fuel leak.

#14 Astral

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 07:47 PM

Oh god Glad everyone was alright!

Shame about the car...This isn't the first time I've heard of random BINI self combustion... Classic cooper won't give you this!

#15 newdawn1st

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:01 PM

Oh god Glad everyone was alright!

Shame about the car...This isn't the first time I've heard of random BINI self combustion... Classic cooper won't give you this!


Unless the typical rotten loom goes bang, then flames :genius:




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