A Water Bottle Can Start A Car Fire

Estimated read time 2 min read

With summer now in full swing, a lot of people are toting around water bottles to stay hydrated while playing out in the heat. However, the cool refreshment could lead to your parked car becoming a fiery inferno if you’re not careful. While that might sound bizarre, like one of those dumb internet rumors which turns out to be absolutely false, the fact is it can happen.

Find out why so many Hyundais and Kias have caught fire here.

Water in a clear plastic bottle acts like a magnifying glass. When sunlight shines through it, that light is made far more intense. If the sun shines through your water bottle just so, it can start to burn through a car seat upholstery, the center console, carpeting, or whatever else is in the way.

A woman in Avondale, Arizona had a plastic water bottle scorch holes in her car’s seat, as reported by AZFamily. While it didn’t start a fire, it could have, so she was lucky. We’re also concerned with how dirty her interior is in the news report.

Granted, the chances of this happening aren’t high, but it’s a known risk. You might be balking at this revelation because you leave plastic water bottles in your vehicle all the time and nothing has happened. But it only takes one time for that decision to lead to the unlikely but still entirely possible consequence.

The risk is when you’re using a clear water bottle with water or another clear liquid inside. An empty bottle won’t magnify the sun’s rays, but the clear liquid will. And obviously a bottle that isn’t clear blocks the sun. Consider this a good reason to buy and use one of those insulated water bottles made of metal. Plus, your water will stay cool longer instead of heating up while the bottle sits in the car.

An alternative is to stash clear plastic water bottles somewhere completely out of the sun. That might be in a cooler or your trunk, removing the chance the sun will shine through them and scorch your car.

Image via Styves Exantus

Steven Symes https://writerstevensymes.com/

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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