In Local Audi News: Car goes up in flames in downtown street

patrick gillen pat_gillen at
Wed Jan 7 19:45:04 PST 2015

I think Kent hit the nail on the head, fuel hose age and I will add chemical attack. Include the alcohol additive our government mandates that has totally wasted too many of our old equipment engines not to mention rotting out our automotive fuel system seals. What is it doing to the old gas hoses inside those SS  braids and did the engineers back then plan on that. Heck no.

It isn't only Audi burning but read on. On the contrary, Audi seems in the minority in my observations over the years but I can't comment percentage wise. 


in 1978 I had experience with my early 70's Ford rental pickup fuel line rupture near the carb and catching fire (5 yrs old?).  Fortunately I noticed smoke as I was pulling into a restaurant from a road trip and grabbed their water hose but it was indeed flaming and could have gotten real ugly elsewhere.

In 1983 I had the bosses mid 70's Ford truck with $20k of computers in back and the engine caught fire in downtown Portland while I was parking it. He had a known leaking PS high pressure hose and it made a hell of a smoking mess and a small blaze on the left side after a long summer heat highway run.  I got her put out with trepidation on whether the fuel lines would go or not. Bosses should tell employees with wrenches about this sort of maintenance item and I guarantee I would had gladly fixed it before hand.

In 1981 as an expert witness hired by an insurance co. I investigated a brand new Buick Riviera fire in the Northern Cali mountains. The guy was moving his precious non-moving van items from LA to Vancouver, BC. The tranny had a documented history of slipping from the dealer showroom floor. He brought it back several times to several different dealers including as he headed north and they sent him on his way as a neurotic. The car had less than 2000 miles on it.  The tranny fluid boiled and overflowed out the filler tube right onto the header. His prize dream car, all of his and his wife's prized belongings burned to the ground while he watched.  He lost everything on freeway shoulder including his faith in Buick.

There are countless other stories; all mfr cars seem to burn.

The other day I am checking whether my heater core R/R on the '90 V8 worked or caused more damage. The latter must have happened as while waiting for it to warmup and pressurize I happened to notice fuel spewing onto the right header.  I was just getting ready to hit the highway with it. So I redtag it, finally find a $300 hose and am good to go a week later. Wrong, return hose is now weeping too and they don't exist at any price. So off to the diesel tractor repair shop now. I was lucky, but I also had my hood open. How many of the typical burned vehicle driver besides us can say that with any frequency.

Do I see a market here for Audi fuel hoses and some scare advertizing? As I need to upgrade, I got a better idea.  Let us get 60 Minutes onto this Audi burning issue and start a national panic sale of the later models. That type of exposure is how I got my little old lady '79 5000 auto with 23k miles in '87 for $2300. Sadly, one of the drivers while "standing on the brake" ran over and killed their kid. Another in panic was flooring the accelerator so hard he sprained his ankle while he drove through the front of his garage and landed in the pool.  All disguised in court as unintended sudden acceleration and the idiots let the case progress for years in the news. I drove that car over 10 yrs and bought another while doing so. And then bot the V8 with the same crowded pedal well but hey, they got rid of the 5000 moniker and clever marketing fixed the non-problem. 

The fuel lines are a serious issue and the EPA and ODEQ in my case should be held accountable. Somebody should study the air quality issues of all these fuel system related cars burning to the ground all across the land vs not having alcohol additives which frankly is dominated by several large companies and their ADM lobbyists.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Arman [mailto:Armanmik at] 
Sent: January 07, 2015 2:35 PM
To: quattro at
Subject: In Local Audi News: Car goes up in flames in downtown street

Question . . . could this be specifically a Bosch/VW/Audi related problem?

Some years back I had a 914 and I needed some bits - went to a joint called Nick and Noel's Salvage in Orlando, Porsche and M-B only. They had a LINE of low mileage 914s which had had "minor" engine fires, enough to total the cars. I understand there was a recall on the fuel injectors on these, the rubber hose between the injector body and the high pressure rail leaked and managed to spray fuel on the hot engine, with completely predictable results.

I also wonder if we hear about this because we talk about our cars. I've seen very, very few auto fires in fifty years. One was in about 1968, a Pontiac convertible which scraped the gas tank on a concrete divider, my date and I watched the whole thing from the initial sparks to the smoking hulk. 
(Nobody was hurt.) This wasn't the car's fault. It turned out to be a hot date, but not in exactly the way we expected . . .

The next one was a Rolls Corniche convertible which was burned in a house fire. I bought the engine out of that one for $129.95 at the You-Pull-It and sold it for a grand through Hemmings. Turns out there is a group that hot-rods these cars (!) and they wanted it for that. This one wasn't the car's fault either, it was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Then there was a Triumph Trident on which one of the carb ticklers got stuck - or at least that is what the owner told the insurance company. I knew both him and the bike and have my own opinion as to what really happened.

So we're 0 for 3 on non-Audi/Bosch/VW vehicles.

Then we read on the list about the various Audis which have done the do-it-yourself Viking funeral trick, and there have been more than a few, far outnumbering other makes. Why do WE see "so many" 
and don't hear about other makes of cars burning down.

There's a known problem with A-8s and leaky high-pressure fuel lines, there seems to be an endemic problem with older type 44s and their variants, and there was the 914 debacle. Commonality: Bosch fuel system components.

Do other makes/models have the same incidences of fires, or are we something special? I wonder what the percentages are, same for everyone, or higher for specific makes due to the suppliers of fuel system components? Is Bosch the problem? Fuel lines? Connections?


Best Regards,

Mike Arman

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