What happens if you experience fire damage or smoke damage to your car? Either of these can occur if you have a car in a garage and a house fire breaks out — or if a small fire gets lit inside of your car itself. Smoke damage can even occur if your car is by a large fire, such as a wildfire. All of these things can impact the safety of your vehicle.
Minimal Fire Damage
Minimal fire damage commonly occurs due to lit cigarettes and other ignition sources. This usually involves some amount of smoke which could require that the upholstery in the vehicle be replaced. If a dashboard or any interior electronics were damaged, the repair might cost quite a lot. If the only damage was to cloth and padding elements, the repairs are generally fairly straightforward. A small fire will usually not cause any major body damage, unless the electronics have been damaged.
Despite that, a professional cleaning will still usually be advised. Even a small fire will likely leave behind smoke, which leads to both staining and odor.
Significant Fire Damage
It's easy to assume that significant fire damage means that a car is totaled. But that's not always true. Seriously fire damaged cars can still be recovered, it's just a lengthy process. Much of this has to do with how long the fire lasted. If the car was on fire only briefly, it's less likely that there is structural damage. If the car was smoldering for some time, it may not be able to be repaired.
Auto body technicians will need to first assess the damage to the car's frame. This often requires the car to be at least partially disassembled. Upholstery, internal linings, and internal components will usually need to be replaced. As with other fire damage, a complete cleaning will be needed. Some fires may be localized, such as to the engine. In this situation, the car may be mostly undamaged, but require a new engine and potentially hood.
Even if a vehicle hasn't been on fire, smoke damage can be considerable. Depending on where the smoke originated from, the smoke itself could contain hazardous chemicals. The smoke will often coat everything inside of the car and could take a professional cleaning to remove. If the smoke is allowed to remain in the vehicle for long enough, it might actually begin to eat away at the interior surfaces and cause permanent damage.
Cars are made to be remarkably resilient, so don't assume that your car is a loss just because it's been in a fire. Contact Suburban Auto Body today for a fast and professional consultation.