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Discussion Starter #1
Well, the fire is out now thanks to a fire extinguisher we happen to keep in the house but this morning I was going to give my wife a lift to work, she went ahead and started the engine to de ice the car and the next thing I know she's running up the stairs saying it's on fire!
:censored:

There were globs of flaming oil (I assume it was oil - more below) dripping down from under the steering wheel and collecting in the footwell. I'm rather glad I wasn't driving at the time.

I'm pretty sure this is my fault as in an effort to stay on top of maintenance I decided to check the oil the other day and was struggling to get a clear reading but it looked like the level was low - I wasn't getting any clear reading above the min line on the dipstick.

I therefore assumed that it needed a top up and topped up small amounts incrementally checking dipstick every time, but still got no clear reading, so I stopped

So , please can you confirm my fears that I have put in too much oil and give me advice on what to do next? Also, why the drip down from the steering wheel?

Thanks
 

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That's a good start to the day :depressed: sorry for your bad news...

Fear not it sounds like the fusebox has caught alight, normally it's the rear windscreen fuse that causes the fire. Wait for the car to cool down and remove the fusebox cover & you'll be presented with a melted mess, if no fire damage to the wiring then you may get away with a replacement fusebox, although I fear that there will be damage to the wiring looms above & possible melted air con ducting for the vents.
 

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+ as Stixy said. The globs were molten plastic not oil. The rear demister is a known design fault if you search the forum I think the fix is in the sticky section.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's a good start to the day :depressed: sorry for your bad news...

Fear not it sounds like the fusebox has caught alight
Thanks Stixy, that is somewhat reassuring. Cheers for your quick response. I haven't had time to inspect the damage as I had to dash to work (covered in fire extinguisher powder :irked:)

Thanks sraouf, too. I'll read up on the fix.
 

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Sorry to hear of the mess :(

I imagine a replacement fusebox will be necessary. Are they still reasonably available? I always thought it looked similar to a FIAT Tipo unit but imagine the complex wiring inside might be totally different.

-Alex
 

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I think having a fire extinguisher on board is pretty vital on cars with 12+ years electrics, not forgetting that some of these cars will be knocking on the 20 year old door.
these things can happen.....
 

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And don't forget to check how good your fuel hoses are too on these old cars. I've seen at least one report of a fuel fire and my hoses were slightly leaky at the ends.
 

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Sorry to hear this hope it's not been to badly damaged. If it was the fuse box that caused the fire everyone needs to check and modify their rear demister wiring! I thought mine wasn't affected but after looking at the 30A fuse for the rear screen which had started to melt I immediately carried out the mod.

So glad I read the faults guide on here and thanks to this forum for such useful info.
 

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Just a bit more bad news for you (Sorry!) is the powder in the fire extinguisher can be pretty corrosive on metals (particularly on something like electrical contacts) so try and get rid of as much of it as possible!
(I am a fire extinguisher service engineer so know a bit about it...)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys.

The fusebox is a right mess, will investigate the damage fully at the weekend, just hoping the wiring is intact.

Is there a knack to removing the fusebox? I couldn't see how to take it out when I looked today.

Cheers :smoker:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got a mobile Auto-electrician round who checked it all out and informed me the wiring loom was fine, so I got a replacement fusebox on ebay and it is now fitted and back on the road!

He also added a relay for the demister.

A happy ending. Just need to get it professionally valeted now as I just could not shift all the powder...nasty stuff.

Many thanks to all on here for their sage advice!

There are 2 spring washers at the hinge. The difficult part is getting all the connectors out the back cos they can be stiff. I have a good phase 2 one ( it does have a little melting of the plastic around the demister fuse as usual) if its the same as yours.
Thanks for your help!
 
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