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View Full Version : Truck caught fire after tranny flush


RockRunner
02-20-2009, 07:25 PM
So I had my tranny flushed today, figured it was time. After I left the place that did it I stopped by some stores driving maybe a mile in between or so. Once I got on the highway, Wadsworth 55 mph, I smelled oil burning and saw a little smoke. Pulled over and opened the hood, found some oil around the rear of the engine bay and bottom of the hood. Also the tranny dipstick was not inserted all the way and locked. I stuck it back in and was on my way again.

Pulled up into the driveway and smelled burned oil again, figured it was the residue "burning" of so did not think much of it. I let the dogs out and went inside to say hi to the wife, get some paper towels and a :beer:.

When I opened the hood I was in for a surprise, the rear of the engine was on fire, flames about two feet high. I ran into the garage right away and grabed the fire extinguisher and yelled at Sharon to grab the other one. I got it out with one extinguisher, the large one. Always good to have those around just in case.

When all the powder had settled I could see the damage, passenger side of the motor burned up pretty good. The power packs melted and the wiring all around that area too. The plastic engine cover melted too and the sound dampener in the hood was fried pretty good. I haven't tried to start it nor am I going to, I can see doing more damage that way with the exposed/melted wires.

So that is how I started my weekend :mad: I called the insurance company and the place I got my tranny flushed at. Insurance was fine, tranny place said there was no way they did anything for this to happen. I don't know, I have owned this truck for 2.5 years and it has never failed me. I go get the tranny flushed and it catches fire. They, the tranny place, told me there was no way that by leaving the dipstick out that oil could come out of it. If that is the case why would they go through the trouble of putting a lock on the dipstick? I am not a mechanic but it makes sense to me, hot in the tranny causes pressure in the transmission pushing oil out the route with least resistance.

Anyway I guess I will wait till Monday to figure out what is going on with all of this. I do know that this is going to cost me at least $250 for my deductible and a $30 fire extinguisher until the insurance company works it out with the tranny place. I did not name them on purpose just in case it is not their fault and just a one in a million coincidence.

Atleast this did not happen on the road and nobody got hurt. I do really like this truck too so I hope to decide to fix it.

:cheers: and everyone have a great weekend.

Corbet
02-20-2009, 07:56 PM
Leaving the dipstick out probably could not cause the fire but a sure sign of sloppy work IMO. Spilling a bunch of ATF around your exhaust system could start a fire? Coincidence is hard to swallow on the way home from a service center.

Happy to hear everyone OK.

Air Randy
02-21-2009, 07:31 AM
Dang, that sucks. Do you think you'll have it back together in time to do the CM09 pre-run in March?

RockRunner
02-21-2009, 08:45 AM
Randy, it was the GMC that caught fire not my baby. I am really bummed that it happened and I hope they get it fixed soon.

As for the pre run aren't we using your rig to tow my rig up there? I thought that is what we decided. Maybe you thought my 4Runner caught fire, that is not the case.

Give me a call one of these days and we can work out the details.

MDH33
02-21-2009, 08:50 AM
Wow scary close call. Glad you noticed it before the damage out of control. :eek:

thefatkid
02-21-2009, 12:19 PM
So If they flushed the transmission and left a line loose, oil sprays onto the hot exhaust, that will not catch on fire?

Any oil leaks? See any evidence of a burned red rag? Did they spill when they refilled?

I'm not saying it is the fault of that company, but it could be.

Air Randy
02-21-2009, 12:35 PM
Yes, I thought it was your wheeling rig that caught fire. Still a bummer but the good news is were still on for March 20th!

We do need to check how the tongue of your trailer will fit my hitch when the camper is on the truck. I may have to use a 12" or 18" extension. I am hauling parts to Las Vegas next weekend, then I will put the camper on the truck. We'll have a week or two before we head out to Moab to get it sorted.

farnhamstj
02-21-2009, 03:36 PM
Glad you're alright. Sorry to hear about the truck. Good luck.

RockRunner
02-23-2009, 04:40 PM
Thanks for the well wishes guys. I am dealing with the insurance today and it is going smoothly so far............that means it is going to suck later :rolleyes:

Randy, I have just a normal trailer tongue that is the normal distance from my trailer, 2" ball. I have several different drops if we need that, we'll figure it out but if we need an extender I do not have one of those.

Hulk
02-23-2009, 10:45 PM
Wow. I read this and thought, "NOT THE 4RUNNER! NOOO-O-O-O!!!"

It's a relief to see that it was your pickup truck. Still sucks that it happened.

And I don't buy it that the tranny shop had nothing to do with the problem, and I bet your insurance won't either.

RockRunner
02-24-2009, 05:48 PM
Had the truck towed to the dealer today, Alpine Buick GMC. Did not know where else to take it since I have not had any type of engine trouble in about 15 years. The tow truck driver looked at it and agreed that it could have been the tranny dip stick. He said he has seen a couple of others like this but worse.:o

Talked to the dealer after that, he has never had an engine fire in the shop that he knows of and will go over this one dilengently. I told him to make sure they check the intake and fuel injectors etc. because of the extinguisher dust. Sounds like they want to take it all apart.:)

Get this, this "stealer" gets $109 for labor per hour.........:eek::eek:.is that crazy or what???

Updates to follow. :thumb:

ScaldedDog
02-27-2009, 01:03 PM
Any news?

Holler when you want those emissions tires.

Mark

RockRunner
02-27-2009, 03:02 PM
No news yet, the dealer did not call the adjuster to let her know they were ready so I did yesterday. She is supposed to come out today or Monday/Tuesday. It really sucks because we go to Mexico on Wednesday and won't be able to check on things.

Mark if you are good with me picking up the tires after our trip that would be great. We will be back the week after. LMK if that is works for you.

ScaldedDog
02-28-2009, 12:06 PM
No news yet, the dealer did not call the adjuster to let her know they were ready so I did yesterday. She is supposed to come out today or Monday/Tuesday. It really sucks because we go to Mexico on Wednesday and won't be able to check on things.

Mark if you are good with me picking up the tires after our trip that would be great. We will be back the week after. LMK if that is works for you.

Yeah, that works fine.

Do you need someone to go by the dealership while you're gone? I bet there are folks on here willing to help, including me. What would we be looking for?

Oh, come back with a tan!! :D

Mark

RockRunner
02-28-2009, 09:00 PM
Not sure yet what is going to happen with my truck. They are supposed to look at it Monday or Tuesday, the insurance that is. As long as they do that I should be OK.

I appreciate the offer though and if it comes to that I will let you guys know.

The tan part should be do able as long as I don't pass out after a few cervezas on the beach. I'll let you know whats what when we get back:thumb: