Seeing smoke pour out from under your hood can be a scary thing to witness. If this happens, it’s important to remember to stay calm and to have a plan of action.
The first thing to do is determine if it’s smoke or steam that is coming from your engine. In either case, you should pull off the road immediately. However, if it is indeed smoke, the next step is to get out of the car and away from it as quickly as possible.
As you pull off the road, unlock your power door locks in case your car’s electricity shuts down. As soon as the car is off the road, immediately turn the ignition off — this will shut off both the fuel pump and the spark plugs, either which may have been cause of the fire. Before you get out of the car, pull the hood release so that firefighters can put out the fire. However, leave the hood closed to starve the fire of oxygen, and be sure to close all windows, doors and the sunroof for the same reason.
After the hood has been released and everyone is out of the car, call the fire department. Do not ever try to fight the fire yourself. Typically, car fires can’t be put out with water because gasoline and electrical fires require a TYPE B or TYPE C extinguisher. If the fire is under the car, stay away from the car, as the gas tank could potentially explode.
The most important thing to remember, however, is not to panic. It is, after all, just a car; let the firefighters and the insurance company worry about how to deal with the fire and worry about the safety of yourself and your family first and foremost.