Causes of a Car Battery Fire

by Casey Holley

Lack of Maintenance

There are many reasons why a car battery may catch on fire. Because the battery powers the electrical system, the possibility for a fire is great. However, most car batteries are safe, as long as they are properly maintained. This includes checking the battery itself every 12 months. However, you should also check the battery clamps and connections every time you fill up your gas tank. Additionally, you should keep a vehicle fire extinguisher within easy reach just in case a fire breaks out in the engine compartment.


When a car battery charges while the car is being driven, electrolyte vapor mixed with hydrogen can escape and vent out of the plastic shell. Because of this, corrosion can begin to form on the battery posts and terminals. This starts a chain reaction of bad things to take place beneath the battery tray. The existing corrosion on both the posts and the terminals can hinder the regular flow of electricity into the battery. Electrolyte levels will start to drop once the solution starts to evaporate and this will leave the battery unable to hold a charge properly. Many people will leave the corrosion on the battery cables and the battery tray, which is a precursor to battery fires. Car battery leakage is not only toxic in its own way. It is also highly flammable and can prove to be a true fire hazard.

Loose Battery

One thing that can definitely attribute in a big way to a car battery catching a car on fire is if the batteries hold down isn't tight. A car battery can shift if the holder isn't tightened during hard cornering. The positive terminal on the car battery will be exposed to the hold down that is plastic coated metal. It can short to ground if there is a cut on the bare metal.

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