My 15 Year Old Pathfinder Caught On Fire!

Okay, there weren’t actually flames, but there was a ton of smoke!   And you know usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  I started out last Tuesday morning, I was leaving home at 7am instead of my usual time of 5am because I had to go shopping for my employer for an upcoming event.  As I turned the corner about one mile from home I flipped on the air conditioner and whoosh!  Stinking plastic burning white smoke billowed from the air conditioning unit’s vents.  Oh!  My first thought was the nasty stinking smell was like being poisoned!

Just two weeks earlier I’d observed a vehicle engulfed in flames on the side of the road and the second thought to run through my mind was my vehicle was on fire and I had better remove myself and my belongings, pronto!  I rolled down the windows as I pulled off to the side of the road, turned the vehicle off, grabbed stuff and started moving it about 5 yards from my car.  When I got the most important things out I called my husband.

No answer.  Just the answering machine.  Great!  That meant his phone was dead.

Next I called my son, AJ and was greeted with “Ugh.”  He was still asleep and I screeched into the phone, “The Pathfinder’s on fire, wake up your dad!”  Nothing.  Silence. Great!  I figured he must have dropped his phone and fell back to sleep.  I peeked inside the car.  Tendrils of white smoke were still cascading from the passenger side vents.  I was relieved that there were no flames, but I expected to see them any second.

Oh boy.  I’ve been under the weather and I did not feel up to running a mile home with all my belongings in my arms, and didn’t feel I could leave them on the side of the road either. So I tried my son again, and this time he answered and was awake, and had just woke up his dad.  I could hear commotion and yelling in the background as my husband scurried around to leave the house.

The white tendrils of smoke had dissipated by the time my husband arrived which made me look like a real kook since just a few minutes earlier I’d been shrieking that my vehicle was one fire.  Hey, what was I supposed to think?  Smoke = fire, you know?

He tried to start the engine, nothing. He tested my battery and it was completely dead.  So naturally he tried to jump my car with his truck.  Well, that started the white smoke again.  We were so close to home that we didn’t want to bother with AAA so he pushed me back home.

I borrowed AJ’s car that day, and the next day drove Mr. A’s work van.  Mr. A disassembled the dashboard and discovered that one hot wire had shorted out and all the plastic had burned off it the entire length of the dash board. He said it was a good thing I turned the engine off as quickly as I did because the hot wire would have continued to burn wires within the entire length of the wiring harness and turn the harness into one big tangled glued together mess.  sigh.

Nissan Pathfinder 1996 Wiring Harness

 

My poor car.  Mr. A has done some preliminary searching for a new harness and he saw prices of $300 for a used wiring harness up to $1800 for a brand new one. I haven’t taken the time to look myself.

In the meantime I’m grateful that I was right around the corner from home.  I’m grateful I was not driving 70mph in the fast lane on the freeway five lanes from the emergency lane. I’m grateful there were no actual flames!  I’m grateful I can borrow my husband’s work van or my son’s car until mine is fixed or I can find something else of my own.  I also need to figure out if I should cancel my auto insurance for the time being.  If it won’t be running for a couple months that might save us some money.  Then again, it might be time for me to buy a new “used” car.  Oh, that I wish we were already out of debt.

OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. This post may contain affiliate links.

Be Sociable, Share!

Related posts:

14 comments to My 15 Year Old Pathfinder Caught On Fire!

  • That’s awful. It’s a good thing you were quick acting and thinking enough to turn off the car and get out. You did experience some luck by being so close to home. I think it’s fantastic that your hubby is so handy.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Sunny, yes it was lucky I was so close to home and I am also fortunate that my husband is able to fix this sort of thing. Hopefully he will find the time soon and I can drive my own wheels instead of borrowing his vehicle or our son’s car. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • I’m glad you are OK! That must’ve been a scary experience!

    There are somethings even regular checkups can’t prevent. This unfortunately is one of them.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Moneycone, thanks. I still don’t understand how it could just happen but it did. And I’m very thankful it turned out okay.

    [Reply]

  • oh how scary!!! Glad no one was hurt.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Ashley @ Money Talks, thanks, me too!!

    [Reply]

  • I am SO sorry to hear this! But I’m glad you didn’t get hurt in the process.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Sandy@ Journey To Our Home, me too! As I said, I was very glad that I wasn’t driving on the highway at high speeds. I don’t always turn my a/c on that close to home as it’s getting cooler in the mornings so that was serendipitous. Thanks for your condolences, Mrs. A

    [Reply]

  • Is that picture really your car? If so, holy crap! Glad you guys are ok.

    If you decide to buy a car (new or used) feel free to drop me a line if you want any advice or help at all.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Car Negotiation Coach, hi Geoff, yes, unfortunately that is my car! And it sits there still. I’m not sure what we are doing as money is tight so I’ve been driving one of my husband’s business vehicles. And then we had a blowout on that vehicle which was driving on its spare. No fun. Thankfully my sister-in-law’s brother-in-law buys and sells good used cars from the auto auction so if we get to the point where we decide to get something different we’ll see what he can help us with. Thank you for the offer though. Best, Mrs. A

    [Reply]

  • What is it about cars? Why don’t they ever die quietly and with advance notice at a time when we’re feeling financially secure? But I’m with you–if I see smoke coming out of my car ANYWHERE, I’m outta there!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Grace, LOL! As I mentioned I’d just recently saw a vehicle on the side of the road in flames! I actually took a photo, it was so scary to see. I still am without a vehicle… my husband has been trying to find the time to fix it but obviously hasn’t found time yet. It’s a pain, having to borrow a vehicle and not have my own. Hey, thanks for visiting and commenting! :-)

    [Reply]

  • I am glad you are safe, I think it is amazing your husband is that handy!

    [Reply]

  • [...] Pathfire catch on fire? Repairing your own wiring system could save you $1,500. [...]

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Splyced Hosting