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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LI, NY
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Thumbs down HELP 944 on Fire

After installing a new battery, Connect the cables start up the car, the next thing I see and smell is black smoke billowing from the hood. Pop open the hood and see a small fire located around the starter.

Grab the fire extinguisher, stop the flames, pour two pots of water (hose is frozen solid) down the firewall and all is calm.

Checking the connection from the ground to the battery with a test lamp, the lamp shines brightly showing a open condition (short) in the system.

I can still start the car, but when connecting the ground cable I hear a poping sound like a short down by the starter.

What steps do I follow to resolve the condition or is it time to take to a dealer/repair shop for a professional to look at?


Old 02-19-2003, 08:33 AM
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What was burning?

Looks like you are definately in the market for new battery cables at the minimum. You may or may not have damaged the starter.

I would clean up the area and take a look - if the answer is nice and obvious, go ahead and fix what needs fixing. if you can't spot anything obvious, take it in and have it looked at.

Needless to say, car is not safe to drive until corrected.

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Old 02-19-2003, 08:58 AM
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A quick look under the car shows the starter solenoid paint is burned off. I suspect some of the noise insulation that is glued to the underside of the tunnel was burning/smoldering. I need to get the power washer started and clean all the powder from the fire extinguisher off the car, then do a proper investigation.

I did have to replace the clutch slave cylinder due to leaking. The insulation might still have contained some brake fluid from the leaking clutch slave cylinder.

I think Iíll remove the starter this weekend, replace the positive battery cable from the battery to the starter.

Has anyone heard of a starter/solenoid shorting out?
Old 02-19-2003, 09:30 AM
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Checking the connection from the ground to the battery with a test lamp, the lamp shines brightly showing a open condition (short) in the system.
I think it's a positive grounding near the starter. The wire will "glow red" when 12v is flowing. I bet the wires has brake fluid from the leaking slave cylinder. (When cooking food, ever seen oil touch the "glowing red" coil burner?) Fire starts.

944 fires is my most fear owning a 944. I seen lots on the Internet that was on fire and a total lost.

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Old 02-19-2003, 10:36 AM
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