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Fire!!!

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by 4zdog, May 8, 2012.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. 4zdog

    4zdog New Member

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    Sorry, hope I got attention though -

    The other day my 2012 Explorer (2mos old) tried to imitate a flame thrower by shooting a flame from the 12V outlet in the dash. Took it to Ford dealer - they ran diagnostics said "there is no problem", "you saw a spark", and "this cannot happen."

    1. I know the difference between spark and flame
    2. IT HAPPENED (consequently CAN happen)
    3. there IS a problem - something caused it.

    The flame was brief (5-6 seconds?) but there is evidence of burniing inside the 12V outlet (although dealer technician couldn't find any evidence of fire). No fuses blew (BIG safety concern for me...) and everything in the vehicle works "normally" - also couldn't find cause of periodic malfunction of 4wd traction control during startup. The only thing they will say is my phone charger is the cause - I refuse this answer since my phone "charger" is a plane jane usb cable (which is now melted on one end).

    This is my first Explorer (had F350's previously...) - call me a recovering Jeep addict - and the vehicle has me nervous and more than worried. The dealer refused to keep the car and give me a loaner because I didn't sign up for their "VIP" program. Sorry Ford - vehicle's 2 mos old!!!! Considering reverting back to Jeep if they can't find the cause and don't stop telling me I imagined it...

    I joined Jeep forums like this in the past for the off-road chit-chat, never thought I'd be the panicky newbie on one but if anyone has any ideas all I can say is HELP!
     
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  3. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Although I can see a large spark being created from a short, a flame thrower for 5 seconds?? Lol, sorry, I dont buy it. Look at a clock for 5 seconds, that is a long time for a flame thrower out your dashboard.

    I would have thought your fuse would have blown. Were you using the usb into a car charger then into the dash? Keep in mind car chargers are all china crap and cost $1.50. Ive been a tech in the cell phone industry and the chargers fail all the time.

    Regardless, I am glad you are ok.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  4. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum 4zdog.:wavey:
    You don't mention which model you have in your profile and nothing is shown under Vehicle Specs. Are you referring to the outlet in the small compartment where the USB ports are located? I have the Limited and don't have an outlet in the actual dash.
    A 5 to 6 second burn would require a brief but steady fuel source plus an ignition source. Are you sure it wasn't an electrical arc of some kind?:scratch:


    Peter
     
  5. SouthernSAR

    SouthernSAR Active Member

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    Welcome, glad to hear you're ok! Hope you get this figured out.

    PS- I'll have to agree with the others here that 5-6 seconds seems a little far fetched.
     
  6. onaropus

    onaropus Member

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    The USB charger is my first suspect. The actual 12v outlet is metal and cannot burn.
     
  7. 4zdog

    4zdog New Member

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    It's an XLT... has USB, etc all in one small area under in dash display.

    Flame actually came from the round "cigarette lighter" outlet - the USB cable was plugged in but not in contact with the outlet (although one end melted - fire vs rubber cable end)

    Positive it was a flame - smoke and all. The dealer told me it was an arc but after 18 yrs in electronics I've seen plenty of those and this wasn't one.

    If you look in the outlet with a flashlight the brass portion inside is blue (marks of fire) and there is some charring visible on the inside of the outlet. This is obvious with use of a flshlight even though the mechanic couldn't find it.

    I'm looking to have the vehicle looked at by someone other than Ford despite it being under warranty. I'm looking for some ideas - honestly, I don't trust it right now and am leaving it parked outside at all times.
     
  8. cjlock

    cjlock New Member

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    It's really sad that a lot of these Explorers are brand new and are having so many problems right out the gate. I understand MFT being "buggy", or dashboards being misaligned, but fires, overheating, breakdowns??? On brand new vehicles; this is a serious problem. I was hoping this truck would last me for several years, now I'm hoping it just lasts day to day!!!!
     
  9. onaropus

    onaropus Member

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    If you are seriously worried about the safety of the vehicle you should pull the fuse for the 12v outlet until it is checked out by someone you trust. Also I would recommend you bring it to another Ford dealer first before a 3rd party shop, just in case something gets damaged it could cause problems with warranty coverage for the issue.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  10. HughCares

    HughCares Active Member

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    My EX runs and drives fantastic (only had the A Pillar issue which was taken care of)...sorry about your luck.....:D
     
  11. 182RG

    182RG Active Member

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    Thermite. Saw it on NCIS....someone is tampering with your Ex.....
     
  12. jcerrion

    jcerrion Active Member

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    flame throwers come standard on the XLT.
     
  13. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    sounds like you had a piece of something conductive stuck up inside there - til it arc'd its way into oblivion.
     
  14. bamacommander

    bamacommander Member

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    I had a phone charger plugged into the outlet located in the arm rest and had to unplug it because it smelled like it was burning. When I unplugged it it was very hot. I took it into the dealer and they replaced the MFT and said that was the problem. I don't think that it has been fixed and I am not going to plug anything into that outlet because I do not want to take a chance.
     
  15. onaropus

    onaropus Member

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    The cigarette lighter "power outlet" is a very simple design that has not changed over the years. Except for some riveted joints there are no electronics or components in it to fail. If it sparked something was physically causing contact with both sides of the outlet. The protection on this circuit is a mechanical fuse that has no choice but to fail when an overload occurs, if it did not fail the short's draw was less than 20amps. If your charger got hot in the outlet then one of two things were malfunctioning.... the charger or the alternator. If it had been the alternator over volting many electrical components in the vehicle would have suffered damage. So again I suspect the charger.

    Like blwnsmoke said these chargers are cheaply made. The have almost no quality control and are prone to failure.
     
  16. 4zdog

    4zdog New Member

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    The charger keeps coming into question BUT it was a USB charger and the end connector melted (not the internal wiring). The USB cord is a simple device - no voltage adaptation, fuses, etc just basic USB-A to mini USB cable - and still works.

    The dealer stated that this circuit is a 2A circuit with a 10A fuse. It seems a large number of failures COULD occur prior to the fuse opening.

    I have decided to take the vehicle to a different Ford dealer to have it checked out - I'm actively surveying all Ford owners I am able to find in the area to figure out which has the best service department :D I am concerned that this particular location was unable to find ANY evidence of burning yet we are able to see some with a flashlight... 2nd opinions are always good
     
  17. OffTrac

    OffTrac Elite Explorer

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    I'm just confused about the fuel source? :scratch:
     
  18. Turdle

    Turdle exactly like an explorer kind of Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I thought usb was 5 v???

    I do believe there is a step down transformer in those cheap adapter plugs. That is what burned.

    5 seconds ---lol

    Reminds me of the story on the news--" bulletin-Ipads are catching fire!!!" and they report one instance of one being tucked under the blankets and smoking.
     
  19. techieman33

    techieman33 Explorer Addict

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    You are correct, USB is 5v and most output 500mA or 1A. Most devices draw 500mA, but larger devices like iPads draw 1A.
     
  20. uniquename

    uniquename Active Member

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    Do you possibly have....a camera?
     
  21. HughCares

    HughCares Active Member

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    Just a wild hunch....perhaps he had the Rain Noise TSB performed recently and some of the expanding foam may have somehow dropped into the 12V power source? This combined with a cheap "arcing" charging unit could have produced a flash flame.......but 5 seconds???? LMFAO....!!!:fire::bsnicker:
     

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