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Author Topic: Garaging your vehicle  (Read 1732 times)

ZLoth

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Garaging your vehicle
« on: September 29, 2022, 07:37:37 AM »

When I moved to Texas, one of the first things I told my mother is that our cars live in the garage, not in the driveway, and our garage is not a storage unit. It is also good as an anti-theft deterrent, especially with catalytic converter thefts on the rise. Therefore, because it is supposed to be a secure location, I like to park my car with the windows open (to air out the interior) and to keep the trunk open (to load/unload stuff). However, I keep getting told by my know-it-all neighbor that I shouldn't be doing that, as keeping the windows/trunk closed helps contain any fires. What is the current consensus on this?
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SectorZ

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2022, 07:40:47 AM »

I've seen enough car fires in the winter to presume that is a mythical take on how cars burn. Glass has a lower melting point than sheet metal, meaning it's going to fail much quicker in a fire.
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NWI_Irish96

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2022, 07:46:41 AM »

Two car garage is a requirement in a home for me. I don't understand people who have garages and don't put cars in them, especially in the winter.
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Scott5114

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2022, 08:00:15 AM »

Not garaging one's car in Oklahoma is asking to get it totaled by hail damage. So I always keep it garaged if that's an option. There are other benefits as well (such as avoiding the elements and reducing the risk of pet escape when bringing in groceries, and freeing up driveway and street parking space for visitors).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2022, 08:03:31 AM »

Fires?  That sounds like an old wives tale, one Iíve never even heard of until now.  As noted already the melting temperature of automotive glass is low enough that it is going to melt in a fire.  That said, a car isnít likely to catch on fire unless there is something seriously wrong with it.  An ICE especially would really need to have some sort of major problem to catch on fire from a cold/idle state. 

At present moment I just have my Challenger parked in the garage, the other side is a COVID era gym I still use at least once a week.  I use my Challenger once a week on average or for special occasions such as a substantially scenic road or a car show.  I keep the windows closed due to the dust that is common to my area in the summer.  The summer dust is bad enough in Fresno that I still need to wash the Challenger once a month due to dust accumulation.  If I left the trunk open it likely would kill the trunk bulb after about a week since I donít think it has an automatic shut off. 
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Rothman

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2022, 08:09:03 AM »

Your mother?  She's the one fighting you on this?

In-garage fires?  They're so infrequent I wouldn't consider windows or trunks major factors.

I'd worry more about a trunk light or warning light running down the battery or insects/animals getting in the car through the window or trunk.

When I had a garage, I'd leave the windows and trunk closed.  Still lived to tell the tale.

And yes, people who fill up their garage with junk and do not put their car(s) in it befuddle/concern me.  In my experience, the junk just sits there.
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formulanone

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2022, 08:26:05 AM »

Car fires are quite rare, even less so if they're not running. (The external combustion engine proved to have poor reliability and low dependability scores; thus, largely relegated to action movies and civil unrest.) It also depends on the age, upkeep, and overall condition of the vehicle. Eventually, there may be a few more car fires in more homes as electric cars become increasingly common.

We keep our cars garaged but at least one of them will wind up outside when one of kids has a car. And I keep it in a parking garage when possible.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 08:28:08 AM by formulanone »
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Dirt Roads

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2022, 10:20:51 AM »

I've had several friends over the years that endured car fires.  One was in a garage that burned down.  But I would be more worried about modern hybrids and electric vehicles that have "high-voltage" lithium batteries that are prone to fires.

If you have a modern home, there should be a fire separation between the garage and the house.  Here in Orange County, North Carolina, our county required a firewall that runs all the way up to the roofline and a higher fire-rated door between the garage and the house (this all might have been required because of the type of double-door that we needed).

We live out in the woods, so it is nice to get the car into the garage before a big storm hits so that the car doesn't get damaged.  I had one incident years ago where I had an SUV and a pickup (which is now my clunker) sitting side-by-side and a big tree came down on both.  Amazingly, it only took out the window on SUV hatchback, but I don't park my cars side-by-side over there anymore.  Moral of the story:  If you CAN'T get the car in the garage when you need to, it stays outside and gets washed away in the storm.  Or blown away.  Or hit be a tree.
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MikieTimT

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2022, 10:57:08 AM »

Most of mine are outside, only because I have room in the garage for 1 vehicle.  It's not a 2 car garage, so the WRX lives there to preserve the paint and interior as well prevent birds from nesting in the hood scoop.  Stupid birds...
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wanderer2575

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2022, 11:09:27 AM »

I've never heard of the car fire tale.  Keeping the car closed and locked might be a deterrent to theft if someone were to get into the garage.

I almost always keep windows open and the rear lid raised on my vehicle when it's in the garage.  I even make a point of opening one or more windows in winter.  Not only for ventilation and access (and I make sure the rear light switch is off), but because I get a perverse pleasure in knowing it's still protected from inclement weather.  It's one of my weird routines/habits.
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2022, 11:59:33 AM »

I never keep the trunk open, unless I'm loading or unloading from the trunk. Be it in a garage or elsewhere.
As for windows open, I normally keep them close, unless I'm changing the oil, or tinkering with the gauges.
Though I can forget and leave the windows open after driving.
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zzcarp

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2022, 12:01:41 PM »

I actually had my vehicle battery partially die when I left my rear tailgate open in the garage overnight. I had to have a neighbor jump me, so I try not to do that anymore.
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Henry

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2022, 12:40:48 PM »

Common sense should tell you to keep the windows up and the trunk closed, even when the garage door is down.

As for the car fire thing, I've heard stories about electric vehicles catching fire while being charged overnight. Because of that, I've held off on buying one, and the possibility of our current cars being the last internal-combustion powered vehicles we ever own has my back to the wall. While a Tesla would be cool to own, the high cost and unproven technology have turned me against that prospect, so I intend to keep my Equinox for as long as I can.
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Ted$8roadFan

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2022, 12:46:40 PM »

Two car garage is a requirement in a home for me. I don't understand people who have garages and don't put cars in them, especially in the winter.

Here in the Boston area, in many areas not only do people *not* garage their cars, instead they're used for storage (raises hand). Some of my neighbors have even turned their one-time garages into basement living areas or additional parking spaces.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 01:39:30 PM by Ted$8roadFan »
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Ted$8roadFan

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2022, 12:50:35 PM »

Two car garage is a requirement in a home for me. I don't understand people who have garages and don't put cars in them, especially in the winter.

Here in the Boston area, in many areas not only do people *not* garage their cars, instead theyre used for storage (raises hand). Some of my neighbors have even turned their one-time garages into basement living areas or additional parking spaces.

That said, if I had the $$$, I would garage my vehicle.
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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2022, 01:23:30 PM »

If my family had an extra garage for my car, I would happily garage it. I actually had access to a parking garage my last year at school. So I had a better situation there than I do at home! When I move out, it will be a priority for sure.
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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2022, 02:03:15 PM »

I have a detached one-car garage in a fenced-in backyard. I rotate cars that arenít registered that I keep in it. Right now one isnít in it, but one I have for sale is in the backyard just in front of it.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2022, 02:22:26 PM »

When I moved to Texas, one of the first things I told my mother is that our cars live in the garage, not in the driveway, and our garage is not a storage unit. It is also good as an anti-theft deterrent, especially with catalytic converter thefts on the rise. Therefore, because it is supposed to be a secure location, I like to park my car with the windows open (to air out the interior) and to keep the trunk open (to load/unload stuff). However, I keep getting told by my know-it-all neighbor that I shouldn't be doing that, as keeping the windows/trunk closed helps contain any fires. What is the current consensus on this?

I've never heard of any of this reasoning by you or your neighbor.

Unless you are an extremely unclean, unkept person with loads of trash in the car, you're not really airing it out. Most car's ventilation systems are pretty good.  A garage by its nature tends to be a dusty area with poor ventilation, so you're just adding dust and other unfiltered air into the car.

If you need to use the trunk, open and close it at the same time.  When you're out shopping, you wouldn't leave the trunk open in the parking lot just so you don't have to open it when you bring your purchases to the car, right? 

A car fire is extremely unlikely to start in the interior of a parked car unless you have combustibles within the interior, or are a smoker and potentially unextinguished matches, ashes or butts are within the car.  If you've ever driven by a car fire on the highway, have you ever seen a fire where the fire remained within the interior of the vehicle?  They usually consume the entire car, and at a fairly fast rate.

So, IMO, just park the car.  No need to overthink it.

I've had several friends over the years that endured car fires.  One was in a garage that burned down.  But I would be more worried about modern hybrids and electric vehicles that have high-voltage lithium batteries that are "prone to fires".

Fixed the quotes.

In the 1980's, there was, on average, 400,000 to 450,000 vehicle fires per year.  Approximately 0 were electric car fires.

In the 1990's, there was, on average, 350,000 to 400,000 vehicle fires per year.  Approximately 0 were electric car fires.

Since 2000's, car fires have dropped significantly to roughly about 175,000 vehicle fires per year the past several years.  So, how many are non-ICE fires? No one really knows.  One of the few sources of data appears to come from a group called autoinsuranceez , and then this article https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a40163966/cars-catching-fire-new-york-times-real-statistics/ notes that they don't really provide any statistics to back their findings or theories.

So, there's going to be a few partial or fully electric cars that will catch on fire.  But the theory that they're "known" to catch on fire is quite false, and ignores just how many ICE cars catch on fire each year.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 04:00:33 PM by jeffandnicole »
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kalvado

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2022, 02:23:20 PM »

well, car fires are not totally urban legend:
https://www.consumerreports.org/consumerist/subaru-recalls-100k-vehicles-over-fire-concerns/
https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/car-recalls-defects/kia-suv-recall-park-car-vehicle-outside-due-to-fire-risk-a3676531174/

I don't see a reason to keep internal car volume ventilated until its wet, or is under direct sunlight. If nothing else, mice  or squirrels may find something interesting inside...
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skluth

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2022, 02:30:50 PM »

I've only had an attached garage once. I didn't lock my car or worry about the windows. I never considered leaving my trunk open but my windows were left open out of laziness and not to air out the car. There was no firewall between the garage and house, so a garage fire would have probably burned most of the house down; I never lost sleep over the lack of firewall. I've had garages elsewhere, but they were never attached and the only time it was used only for storage was when I lived in Tidewater and the single-stall garage didn't work very well for cars. I currently have a carport which works fine in the desert though I'd park in a garage if I had one.
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Rothman

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2022, 02:38:09 PM »

I wonder what the difference is between Dirt Roads' friend circle and mine.  None of my friends have had a car fire.  I know of one friend that lost everything in an apartment fire (old building).
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kalvado

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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2022, 02:40:58 PM »

I've only had an attached garage once. I didn't lock my car or worry about the windows. I never considered leaving my trunk open but my windows were left open out of laziness and not to air out the car. There was no firewall between the garage and house, so a garage fire would have probably burned most of the house down; I never lost sleep over the lack of firewall. I've had garages elsewhere, but they were never attached and the only time it was used only for storage was when I lived in Tidewater and the single-stall garage didn't work very well for cars. I currently have a carport which works fine in the desert though I'd park in a garage if I had one.
I am not sure about the degree of the protection, but drywall is generally fire-resistant. In general, 30 min for regular stuff. There may be some higher grade drywall used in the garage that you would never notice.
So, I suspect, people inside the home may be OK. Not sure about home resale value, though...

Please note that snow is still on the roof above garage
 
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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2022, 03:06:34 PM »

One-car garage but a two-car driveway means I can't really park there unless I want to waste extra time rearranging the other car for the household. It's good enough for storage since our weather doesn't get too extreme and the worst I have to worry about for an outdoor car is some wildfire ash.
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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2022, 03:21:47 PM »

I moved away from home at 18.  I'm now 41 years old, and I've never had a garage.
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Re: Garaging your vehicle
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2022, 03:30:51 PM »

When I moved to Texas, one of the first things I told my mother is that our cars live in the garage, not in the driveway, and our garage is not a storage unit. It is also good as an anti-theft deterrent, especially with catalytic converter thefts on the rise. Therefore, because it is supposed to be a secure location, I like to park my car with the windows open (to air out the interior) and to keep the trunk open (to load/unload stuff). However, I keep getting told by my know-it-all neighbor that I shouldn't be doing that, as keeping the windows/trunk closed helps contain any fires. What is the current consensus on this?

I think it's a good idea to keep a car garaged if the space is available; two out of three cars I've owned have been totaled due to hail damage that could have been avoided if I had been able to park them under cover.  But I think it's a bad idea to park with windows and trunk open, even in a closed garage.  That's a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the window gear and the battery.  I don't know of a battery maintainer that will pump in enough juice to counteract the drain from the trunk lamp.

Moreover, our garage has a mildly unpleasant smell--a mix of gasoline and ethanol that escapes the gas can for the lawn mower, plus dead grass--so I actively don't want that getting into the cars.  I even pull our back door almost closed when I step out to dump newspapers and empties into our wheelie bin, which we keep in the garage.  A car should not smell of anything (other than "new car smell," which still occasionally surfaces for my daily driver even though it is now 28 years old) or need to be aired out as long as the interior is kept picked up, as I try to do to prevent theft and discourage search requests at traffic stops.

The risk of a garage fire is so small that we basically don't take any special measures to address it other than to stay up to date on maintenance and take prompt action if and when a gasoline smell is evident near either vehicle.
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