So Veeky Forums, this is my first time posting here

TreeEater
TreeEater

So Veeky Forums, this is my first time posting here. Just generally asking what in the ever loving name of fuck happened to my 2000 Chevy Blazer.

I want to preface this entire thread with; I don't know anything about cars other than how to change oil, maintaining fluids, how to take off a flat tire and other extremely basic things.

I got my radiator tank and anti-freeze tank (I think?) replaced by a mechanic, just got my Blazer back a couple of days ago. First time driving it past 50mph since I got it back, also first time driving it longer than five miles in one go.

I went to my friend's house, went inside, and 30 minutes later, the car was engulfed in fire, which made the car next to it (my friend's) catch on fire as well. Called Fire Department immediately, and fortunately they got there before the fire spread to either of our gas tanks.

I have a few pictures with me right now, but the car is at my friend's, otherwise I'd take more photos to share.

I'm assuming it was the radiator, but I'd like some input from someone that actually knows something about cars. And no, I didn't notice if it was overheating or not, didn't smell anything like smoke or burning plastic when I got turned it off and got out of it.

Snarelure
Snarelure

@TreeEater
looks like it burned

Emberburn
Emberburn

@Snarelure
300 replies 150 images omitted replying to this comment

SniperGod
SniperGod

The back of the car was completely fine except for the soot on the windows.

Also it's my last image.

RavySnake
RavySnake

@Emberburn
in all seriousness, probably a fuel or oil leak onto something hot enough to ignite it, such as the exhaust manifold

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

@RavySnake
I went to the same mechanic a week before this and got my oil changed there. Think that has anything to do with it?

Anything dealing with the radiator at all?

My friend's dad proposed that it could've been an electrical fire as well.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

Absolutely nothing about the radiator is flammable in any way, the guy most likely forgot to install something properly and you had a gas leak or something. I would guess some parts were temporarily removed to make room for the new install and he failed to screw on the fuel feed line all the way.

DeathDog
DeathDog

Chevy Blazer
goes up in flames

teheehehe

eGremlin
eGremlin

@LuckyDusty
I doubt anything with the radiator would cause the car to catch fire by itself, but could have led to higher than normal temperatures'

i dont really know about auto electronics much, but could have been spontaneous battery combustion for all I know

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

He also replaced the battery and filled fluids, for clarity's sake. I didn't know if that was even worth mentioning or not, because I don't know that a mechanic could fuck that up.

@CouchChiller
He said, when we got the Blazer back, that he had to take out most of the engine and put it back in to replace the radiator itself. So maybe that has something to do with it?

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@PurpleCharger
well any battery wired up improperly can cause it to overheat, catch fire, and explode so that may be the issue

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

@PurpleCharger
That tells us a lot. As the other guys have said, something flammable probably leaked onto the exhaust manifold or an electric connection arced and started a fire. While rubber and oil can easily burn, the gas is by far the most volatile thing that would have most likely caused it. I would bet money that was the issue at hand, although there's little you can do unless you can prove it was the mechanic's fault. You can't of course, because any evidence went up in flames.

whereismyname
whereismyname

Also, I only have liability, in terms of insurance. Does anyone have an idea what'll happen for that?

It totaled my car and my friend's car. Would my insurance company pursue after me or the mechanic?

I kept the receipt for the shit the mechanic did and replaced on my car, which I'm pretty sure is vital towards that case. I can't really do anything until Monday when I can get a police report to give to my insurance though.

@Ignoramus
Well, not necessarily. I was able to recover the receipt for the transaction from the Blazer, if that counts for anything.

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@whereismyname
my only advice is to ask a lawyer if the case is even worth persuing

Lunatick
Lunatick

@whereismyname
It doesn't count. There's no way to prove the fire was the fault of the mechanic and not literally any other thing such as insurance fraud or just some shitheels kids setting fire to stuff. It's just not possible to pin it on him unless you miraculously had pictures of the engine bay displaying the problem before you took it out of the shop.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

@Fried_Sushi
Well either way, some sort of action will be necessary. It would be one thing if it was just my car, but it was also my friend's car. She'll be covered, but I'm not sure how much of that I'm going to have to cover from her insurance company going against me.

@Lunatick
So what, then? I'm fucked?

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

@Fuzzy_Logic
Fuck off out of tech support threads, pleb

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

@Crazy_Nice
Call your insurance and see what they say while pinning it entirely on the mechanic's fault. If you're lucky, you can tell them you have the receipt of the mechanic's job and maybe they'll accept it as something but you're shit out of luck as far as pressing legal charges against him. Chances are though that with only liability then you probably won't be getting a new car.

5mileys
5mileys

@haveahappyday
I don't give a shit that I won't get a new car. I just want to know if it'll cover her car.

SniperWish
SniperWish

@5mileys
It prob will but without calling know one knows for sure

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

Jesus, what the fuck? One way or another someones going to get sued here, by your hand or someones insurance company.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

Chevy Blazer
Performed as advertised.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@Sir_Gallonhead
My 4.3l s10 has never caught on fire... and it leaks fuel

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

Sorry about your rig, OP. Don't let yourself get screwed over too much.

Does your friend have insurance? Her insurance company should pay her and get the money from your insurance company.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@5mileys
if it'll cover her car.
Only if you are in an accident and you're proven liable. So no.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

@PurpleCharger
take out most of the engine to replace the radiator
Uhh, you didn't pay him for assloads of labor did you? The radiator is right at the front of the engine bay. You don't need to remove anything else to change it.

girlDog
girlDog

I'm back now, sorry. I went to go take a four hour nap.

@SomethingNew
I didn't pay him for any labor, he's a family friend.

@StrangeWizard
So what happens then?

@ZeroReborn
Thanks man. She does have insurance. I just hope that whatever happens, she gets covered. I feel like a piece of shit for letting this happen.

happy_sad
happy_sad

I called my insurance and made a claim, but nothing can be done until tomorrow until my actual agent is in and I can go grab the police report from the Sheriff's Office. So I guess I got a thumb up my ass until that happens.

SniperGod
SniperGod

@SomethingNew
I suspect hyperbole on the mechanics part because he had to remove a lot more shit from up front than he thought should have been necessary.

There would have been no reason to disconnect the fuel system and the extended delay between shutdown and the fire causes me to further doubt gasoline as the source of ignition.

Batteries however have several hundred amps of stored energy and will quite handily start fires at literally any time due to a short to ground anywhere in the car or itself. Th fact that it was a new battery just adds to my suspicion because defective new batteries are way more common than they should be. IMO the hottest part under the hood seem to be on the vehicle's right front where the battery would be on those. FWIW you can break side post battery terminals inside the battery if you tighten the bolt down without also holding the cable firmly to keep it from twisting. This could potentially lead to a high resistance connection inside the battery that makes enough heat to cause fires.

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

obtain legal counsel
Sue mechanic
Buy new cars
Figure out what happened

You skipped a few steps

girlDog
girlDog

@girlDog
Oh you have done messed up. Did you actually get a receipt or invoice from your "mechanic"?
I know he's a family friend but do you have actual signed paperwork?

farquit
farquit

@girlDog
If you didnt pay anything then there is nothing you can do. He may have fucked you over, but it would be out of ignorance rather than him maliciously trying to..

Git gud and fix your own shit. Or dont be a poorfag and take it to a real mechanic.

Inmate
Inmate

@SniperGod
This, side post batteries are terrible, people strip and fuck up the terminals all the time. Even worse they can put the battery in wrong and allow the terminals to touch something metal, like an AC line and short out.
Im with this user.

RavySnake
RavySnake

@girlDog
'Family friend' mechanics are the sleaziest motherfucking mechanics out there.

My mechanic butchered my power steering one time, and asked me if I would buy his Jeep Patriot for 6k.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@girlDog
@whereismyname
liability
Fuck...

Like everybody else said, it's gonna be damn near impossible to prove it was the mechanic. And it's an old car, so it could've been bad timing with something wearing out or the mechanic working on it, he moved some stuff around and an old dry rotted hose or wire ended up cracking and it really wasn't his fault. Or maybe he did fuck something up and it was either electrical, fuel, or any other random thing from the hot engine.

Liability should at least pay for your friend's car, but probably not yours. And you said you didn't pay for labor, so was it done at an actual shop? Because with that it will only make it harder to go after the mechanic if you can prove it.

If you had full coverage, maybe the insurance company would pay for the car and go after the mechanic themselves but with liability they might not care too much.

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

@girlDog
@farquit
@RavySnake
This.

I hope it was at a real shop and he just gave him discounted labor and charged him only for "parts" aka 3x retail on those parts.

Booteefool
Booteefool

@girlDog
We have a signed receipt from the mechanic that worked at his own garage, which is his own business.

@farquit
Thanks for the hindsight, I didn't consider this before, but now that you said that, now I will change my ways.

@RavySnake
He's telling me now that he wants to get what's left of the car towed and scrap it for salvage, but he wants it done today. I told him to go fuck himself because I need to talk to my actual insurance agent before anything major happens. He said the claims agent would be good enough, but I'm not listening to that.

@Sir_Gallonhead
Like I've said before, I don't really care about getting my car covered so much as getting my friend's car covered. I have a 99 Grand Am as a backup car just in-case shit ever hit the fan with my Blazer.

massdebater
massdebater

@farquit
And yes, I did pay for the parts, I didn't have to pay for labor. He has labor written down, but deducted on the receipt since he wasn't charging us for labor, just for parts.

Playboyize
Playboyize

Not a GM guy, but does anyone know if that Blazer has an ATF cooler? How is it mounted? I'd assume it would have had to be disconnected if the radiator was installed. I've had an ATF line blow out in my Titan, and holy hell was it a smoke show.

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

@girlDog
So what happens then?
Nothing

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@Skullbone
Holy shit the master cylinder melted right off of the brake booster

whereismyname
whereismyname

@Fuzzy_Logic
Master cylinders have been plastic dogshit for years.

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