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How to prevent, prepare for car fires on the road

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, in 2016, 279 vehicle fires were reported just in El Paso County.

In the past few days there have been two car fire accidents in the Borderland.

The first occurred on Saturday morning when a sports vehicle hit the back of a pickup truck that was pulling a small trailer carrying garden tools. El Paso firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and no one was injured.

The second car fire happened early Monday morning on I-10 West and Schuster Ave.

ABC-7 spoke with Victor Lopez, the owner of Texas Custom Body Shop in El Paso, who said that the top three reasons for car fires are fuel leaks, transmission oil leaks and electrical problems.

A few days ago a car that was close to catching on fire was sent to his shop.

“In that car, that was an electrical fire, where the battery touched the hood and it eventually heated up the plastic and it caught on fire,” Lopez said.

The majority of car fires in the state of Texas are said to start at the engine and wheel area, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Lopez said that it is always a good idea to carry a fire extinguisher in your car. Then, if you feel that you are able to extinguish the fire on your own you can do so. If not, you can pull over and call 911.

“Try to shut it off and just leave the car as soon as possible and just leave the vehicle because you don’t know what type of fire it is and just call 911 and let them know that your car is on fire,” said Lopez.

The smell of gasoline is a red flag when it comes to car fires. Lopez urges drivers never to drive a vehicle if you smell gasoline.

Lopez also urges drivers not to open the hood of the car if there is a fire. Doing so could cause the flames to grow.

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