Spontaneous combustion of 2008 Tacoma TRD Sport

F350joe

Well-known member
Was returning my moms Tacoma today after getting it smogged and cleaned up for family to use when they come to town. Was doing about 35mph when the thing just lost all power, no brakes, flames shooting out from the wheel wells and under the hood. Before I even melted to a stop the hood was bubbling. Grabbed the dog and ran like hell cause **** was exploding. What in the world would cause such a quick and intense fire? Are things suppose to be blowing up? Must have been at least 10 explosions, nothing earth shaking but things were flying.

It was well maintained all recalls done but only had 24,500 miles, not a typo but I'll spare you the sad story.

I had it for week and everything seems to be normal, most of miles have been put on by me so I know the car somewhat.

It was garaged kept and pest free but a mouse did find its way into the air filter years ago. Other than that, never a problem.

Any ideas? Fire dude said its to burned up to ever tell the cause. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GEIuWiYk-ME. Sorry no pics but this 1990 website still can't handle a three year old camera phone upload, photo app doesn't even offer to resize anymore. https://youtu.be/33HUlD1uMQI
 
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Factoid

Three criminal heroes
The only thing that could cause it in the way you described is a loose or broken fuel line. Review the recent service carefully for anything that required removing a fuel line (supply or return). The high pressure fuel lines used in fuel injection can cause spectacular fires when fuel sprays on hot exhaust components. The initial loss of power backs this up as electrical problems usually cause immediate shutdown, while fuel leaks cause loss of power and poor performance before...catastrophe.

Glad you and yours are safe!
 

REDONE

[s]hard[/s]MEDIUM Core!
The only thing that could cause it in the way you described is a loose or broken fuel line. Review the recent service carefully for anything that required removing a fuel line (supply or return). The high pressure fuel lines used in fuel injection can cause spectacular fires when fuel sprays on hot exhaust components. The initial loss of power backs this up as electrical problems usually cause immediate shutdown, while fuel leaks cause loss of power and poor performance before...catastrophe.

Glad you and yours are safe!
I agree entirely. At first I was going to ask if there was a sulfurous smell indicating a battery explosion as a precursor, but really it sounds like the supply fuel line broke off or came undone dumping raw fuel on hot exhaust components. If the ignition key was still in the "on/run" position, the fuel pump would keep pumping as long as it had power. Explosions were probably fuel vapor building up due to a lack of oxygen, then breaking down into smaller, less stable hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon nitrites until they were at sufficient density to explode.

That's a bummer and also really scary. I'm glad you got yourself and the dog out!
 

DaveInDenver

Luddite
The leaf spring recall wasn't about addressing a specific cause of fire but it could result in a punctured fuel tank. Toyota installed new rear leaf springs on my truck and the packs had several additional bands to prevent this. It was part of their ongoing corrosion issues. For it to happen a leaf had to rust, break and then the stub rotate into the tank.

If your fire started under the hood then it's probably not related to the leaf spring recall. The fire would have started behind the cab under the bed. In the engine bay probably a fuel line or battery explosion.
 
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