Yesterday I was on my way home from a lunch meeting in Culver City. As I was heading North on the 405, I saw a Jaguar on the side of the road with smoke coming from the engine. As I passed the smoke turned from whitish to brownish and I knew it was catching on fire. There was the usual bumper to bumper traffic, but I fought my way to the breakdown lane and pulled my 5lb extinguisher out of me FJ. Running down to the Jag the owner who was an elderly gentleman was just standing there looking at the car and another driver who was holding an extinguisher in his hand was on the phone to 911 reporting the car fire.
From the passenger door side of the car furthest away from the roadway I could see flames under the hood between the windshield and the body, I gave it a shot from my extinguisher, but the flames rose again within seconds. I told the owner to pop the hood, which he did for me but the metal was already too hot and I couldn’t get the hood open, so I went back to the passenger side and unloaded the whole extinguisher into the engine bay through the small gap between the body and the windshield. I knew it would do little, but I had already pulled the pin and I’d have to have my extinguisher recharged so I figured it couldn’t hurt.
If the guy had popped his hood as soon as he had pulled over, I may have had a chance to get the fire out before it caused a total loss. The lesson is, if you think your car is catching on fire in the engine bay get off the road ASAP and get that hood open, other wise there’s no way to extinguish that fire. It’s like the fire is in it’s own little secure vault with plenty of heat, accelerant, and oxygen. It’s the perfect combination of combustion.
Toyota has announced it has created an emergency network on Land Cruisers in Australia. It’s a device I would love to see implemented here in the US. It works by connecting vehicles within a 15 mile range to leapfrog messages from vehicle to vehicle until a message is able to get to a beacon and then passed on to rescue personnel. It’s a brilliant system explained in the video below. Why TLC’s? Well in other parts of the world, especially Australia, Land Cruisers hold up to a 90% market share for offload vehicles.
The only aspect to the system I am unclear of is if your vehicle is within range and someone is in need of assistance are you notified of the call for help – say your phone connects to the device via bluetooth allowing you to read any communications? In cases of the outback, you could be closer than emergency personnel in terms of time to respond and even though you are not an emergency responder it could be the difference between life and death. If your smart phone would connect it could allow you to coordinate rescue efforts with other Toyota Land Cruiser owners. I fully realize it opens a can of worms – if you attempt to respond and render aid then get yourself messed up, well now there’s two people who need to be rescued instead of just the one. However, I have a feeling more positives than negatives would come out of it.
I don’t know who I have to contact but I volunteer to be a part of a test program here in America in my Toyota FJ Cruiser.
When the infrastructure shuts dow, whether that be because of snow storm, earthquake, oil shortage or EMP. One thing is for sure, we are a country built on an infrastructure dependent on getting goods from one place to another. Time has long since past that there was a town called Mayberry which is self sufficient. Everything and I mean everything needs to be shipped in for us to eat, wear, drink and medicate.
Here is an infographic illustrating what will happen if there is a long term shut down of transportation: