minis are dangerous! - sam
All new Mini's are being recalled to BMW's Oxford factory because of a design fault that could cause an explosion when the cars are being filled with fuel.
Static electricity could cause a small spark when a petrol pump nozzle is inserted which could in turn ignite fuel vapour in a flash fire.

The problem was discovered when testers found special paint used to earth the fuel filler neck was wearing off too quickly.

Mini engineers at the plant in Cowley will fix the 500 models already delivered to customers and modify the others which are yet to be sent out to dealers.

BMW officials are reassuring customers saying there have been no fires, explosions or injuries at any time during the launch process and that the risk is very small.
Re: minis are dangerous! - chris watson
the best thing to do would be to put a rubber ring around the hole for the petrol tank.
Re: minis are dangerous! - andy bairsto
I would have thought it impossible to get a static spark from the hose as this is rubber.
Re: minis are dangerous! - Michael
it's a little ironic to worry about a static spark when you watch some people filling their tanks with a cigarette in their mouth. Still, better safe than sorry.
Re: minis are dangerous! - Ian Cook
In the aviation industry static electricity is a well known hazard during fuelling operations, and I don't see any reason why it should be fundamentally different with a car.

When fuel is dispensed from a pumped source it is often statically charged, and the aircraft itself may be at a different potential to the pumping equipment. All aircraft equipment is grounded (i.e. earthed) before fuelling begins.

A car builds up a static charge and there is no pre-grounding procedure. I suspect that the filler neck (and hence the bodywork of the car) is supposed to be electrically insulated from the pump nozzle. I'm surprised that anyone relied on paint insulation for this purpose.
Re: minis are dangerous! - andy bairsto
They do not.the car is always grounded through the tyres (its the high carbon content)
Re: minis are dangerous! - Bob Jeffery
So how come I used to get vicious shocks off my AStra until I fitted a grounding strip which cured the problem?
Re: minis are dangerous! - Michael
That's interesting Andy, I always though car were permanently insulated from the ground, by the tyres. Hence the market for those anti-static strips that you see hanging from the rear of some cars. I probably misread it but will go and check again.
Re: minis are dangerous! - andy bairsto
Its amazing to see these strips hanging from cars they are made out of tyre compound.Cars are always permanantly grounded.The days of rubber tyres went out years ago they are made out of sythetic materials and loads of carbon.
the reason why planes are more dangerous when filling apart from the massive quantities is that perol fumes along with aviation fuel fumes are heavier than air so the vapour collects on the ground under the plane.One reason why petrol stations must periodically renew the concrete or tarmac.
Re: minis are dangerous! - andy sampson
When un-loading fuel tankers they must be strapped to earth to discharge any static build up!
Re: minis are dangerous! - honest john
Thanks, Sam. I already had this in the car by car breakdown from this afternoon's news. But I hadn't realised that the reason was wearing away of the paint.

Re: minis are dangerous! - Phil Oliver
Back in the 70's a driving school I knew ran on LPG. A wire had to be clipped on to the rear bumper to earth the car to the pump before connecting the delivery hose. One day someone forgot to do it. One less driving school car.

p.s. the guy that maintained them (not who filled them!) said they were the cleanest engines he had ever dismantled, and liked LPG just because it kept his hands clean.
Re: minis are dangerous! - Alvin Booth
I wouldn't have thought myself that a cars tyres would act as an earth to the ground.
What about people who collect static and get a shock when they step out of the car.
JCB drivers who have ripped up an electric cable will always jump from their digger to the ground in case they have still got a live supply to their vehicle.
I will try my continuity tester on my car but I doubt it will read.
Re: minis are dangerous! - Darcy Kitchin
Always thought static shocks in cars were as a result of sliding over the seat material to get out. This is enough to create a static charge on your body.The shock was when you earthed the charge on the car metalwork. Same principle as coming hair and picking up bits of newspaper with it - the comb, not the hair.
Re: minis are dangerous! - Michael
Alvin, I shared your understanding and was/am investigating further. I remember being told that a car was the safest place to be when in a thunder/lightening storm as your are insulated from earth by the tyres. However, Andy seems to know what he is talking about, so more research needed.
tests on TV. - chris watson
i saw a program a while ago, i think it was 999 lifesavers on bbc 1, it had a guy driving a car around an electricity station, and he got hit by lightning ALOT of times, but the car kept on going, until he was hit about the 10th time, at which point the car stopped. the point being was the guy was perfectly ok after the experiment.
Re: tests on TV. - Ash Phillips
That's because it's a car is a passable imitation of a Faraday Cage, not because it is earthed through the tyres.
999 - David Lacey
Yes, Chris, you're right! It was the stuntman blokey from 999 on BBC1

I remember watching it, until the car gave out!!


Re: Germans & Minis - Dave M
Yeah what it needs is a touch of british class ha ha ha ha ha
Germans & Minis - David Lacey
See, as soon as the Germans get hold of an English classic, they cock it up!

For what it's worth, they should have left it with Rover!


David (no sour grapes here) Lacey
Re: Germans & Minis - Dave
David Lacey wrote:
> See, as soon as the Germans get hold of an English classic,
> they cock it up!
> For what it's worth, they should have left it with Rover!

The original Minin had the petrol tanks next to the battery, no?

I'd say the fire risk of the new mini is just a quaint nod to the original car.
Re: Germans & Minis - PhiL P
Actually there have been two instances and all that occurs is that a small blue flame is apparent in the fuel filler neck which then extinguishes, no explosions!
Re: Germans & Minis - Andy Gayle
Small blue flame or not. I wouldn't be hanging around to see if there where any great explosions. I suspect for any mini owner and would be mini owner the last thing they want to see is a little blue flame (no matter how little) accompanying them while filling up.
Near miss. - David Woollard

With you on this one. Can't imagine standing watching the blue flame in mild interest seeing "if" it may travel back down the filler tube.

As a kid I tried to make a flame thrower from a flammable source in a galv' metal watering can. I lit the "fumes" at the spout, in a split second the flame rushed down the can and there was a teriffic explosion. After I recovered my composure and checked for missing limbs I saw the bottom had been blown clean out from the can, as if removed by a can opener. Lucky escape that one.

Now I run at the first sign of the "little blue flame" looking for a sealed container of explosive mixture.

Re:Rascal - Mark

potatoes up the teachers exhaust pipe, flamethowers, you are turning out to be quite a rascal.

as ever

Re:Rascal - David Woollard

My Uncle was a senior manager with a major industry a few years ago. He said such pranks in your early years showed some spirit, then when combined with a little more maturity the result was a worthwhile employee.

Now even more maturity sees me wandering about ready to shout "put that potato/flamethrower down you little horror".


Value my car