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My S4 is dead and gone

 
Old 01-10-2012, 02:39 PM
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Ather
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Default My S4 is dead and gone

It started out as a regular sunny and mild California winter morning. I was inspired by the weather to take the S4 to work instead of the boring old minivan. My daughter and I buckled in as I started her up. Seconds after starting, we both smelled a strong gas odor coming from the car. It was an all familiar smell to me as I've had gas fume issues before which I thought I fixed.
After driving a few hundred feet, a heard a popping sound and looked back into the rear view mirror. I could not believe my eyes as I saw a trail of fire on the ground. My heart started to pound and I immediately stopped the car. I then saw smoke coming out from under the hood and opened the door to notice flames coming from under the carriage. My 15 yr old daughter noticed then too and started to panic. I told her to get out and run far away. Not knowing what to do in the hysteria,
I opened the hood and tried to pat the flames out with a seat cushion I had and quickly realized it was an exercise in futility. A neighbor noticed what was wrong and ran over and handed my an extinguisher. After consuming all of the fluid, the flames kept on coming stronger and stronger. My neighbor also happened to leave the same time as me called 911.
Neighborhood kids were passing by walking and riding to school so I decided to focus on directing them far away from the car. I then started to hear the fire engine sirens and ran over to the main road so they could see me. I knew in that I had a full tank and was hoping the unthinkable wouldn't happen and the car would blow up. You start seeing images of what it would look like when you see it happen in the movies and think OMG not here.
I could see the fire engines coming and was just hoping the car wouldn't blow. Those few seconds seemed like an eternity.
When they finally got there, the got the hose going and went to work with the fire retarding foam. It took them about 3 minutes to get the fire out but they sprayed just about everything to make sure it was all out. What an ordeal.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I replaced most the fuel lines and and also repaired an exhaust leak on the catalytic converter which seemed to fix the issue. I say most because the other ones looked solid and the clamps looked good with no signs of smell and odor. I was going to replace the fuel pressure regulator next.
I would have to say it was truly my ignorance and stupidity which caused this. I put my daughter's life at risk and got off lucky. This is a lesson I will never forget. I did not listen to some of you who previously posted and said that I should not drive the car until this problem was fixed. I urge all of you to make sure this does not happen to you. Please make sure your fuel lines are in good shape and get them fixed immediately if they are not..at any cost. So my 928 days are over, as there is no way my wife will allow me to get another one. I have posted some pics, if you can handle looking at them.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:44 PM
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Damn. Sooo sorry to hear and see this. Glad everyone was ok.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:45 PM
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Man I am sorry to hear and see this.

Best of luck to you and I hope maybe some day you will get back into 928s, or another Porsche.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:45 PM
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It's of course most important that you and your daughter are OK.

Sorry about the car, but it's replaceable.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:45 PM
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The good news at least is that no one got hurt. Sorry to hear about your car though.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:46 PM
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Gawd bless man. Sorry to hear this, but I'm glad you're ok. Hopefully insurance will take care of everything.

Certain model years of Jaguar XJS are also prone to engine fires due to a well-known defect in the ignition system. I lost one to fire years ago. Upon purchasing another one recently, the first thing I did was the prescribed maintenance (a really easy fix, even for a non-mechanic) against such a disaster.

Yeah, so to any prospective exotic owners out there: Listen to the wisdom on these boards, and save yourself some heartache.

Glad y'all are ok.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:49 PM
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Which fuel lines were not replaced? The rear ones at the fuel cooler, and/or the U-shaped connecting the dampener to regulator?
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:54 PM
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man oh man... i'm so sorry to see this. I feel so blessed having this forum and people like Colin which ensured I would not ne in the same unfortunate position as you.
All the best and I'm glad that you and your daughter are ok. Work on that wife though...
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:54 PM
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Sorry to hear about your car.

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:06 PM
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Sorry to see but so glad you and your child are safe.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:07 PM
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Fuel smell == no drive
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:16 PM
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Those are gut wrenching photos...

This can happen to any older car. At the very least, you now have more wisdom.

I'm thankful you and your daughter are ok.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:20 PM
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Ather
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Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
Which fuel lines were not replaced? The rear ones at the fuel cooler, and/or the U-shaped connecting the dampener to regulator?
It was the U shaped hose that was not replaced. That one looked the most solid to me though.

Ian S4, its amazing how someone can find humor in someone else's misfortune.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:26 PM
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That sucks. Sorry to hear that you lost your car but try to find solace in the fact that you and your daughter were unharmed. Hopefully your insurance settlement will allow you to buy a better car.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:26 PM
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Scary first. Sad second.

Good that no one was hurt.
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