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2013 500E
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
wife drove car to town (15mi) parked it smelled smoke,got out and FLAMES under hood!
shop owner ran out with fire extinguisher and put it out before fire dept came.
had wife explain battery disconnect to fireman who then pulled plug under rear seat.
haven't been able to tell what caught fire but doesnt look like inverter???
Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Car Vehicle
Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Car Vehicle
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Thank you!

The first burnt 500e I've seen & it has nothing to do with the battery!

It would be great if you could post a pic inside the hood.

The Power Inverter Module (PIM) is what supplies power to the motor, so if it fried the first thing that should happen is the car would stop. It's also sealed in a water-cooled metal box.

By any chance does it have LED headlights? If so, you might want to swap OEMs back in before any insurance inspection. They're in a heat-trapping flammable plastic box, & my LEDs get pretty warm. Not warm enough (yet 馃) to even come close to melting the plastic, but as after-market parts, every brand & model is different, so some would get hotter than others.
 

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QUOTE="jimairth, post: 1318769, member: 124260"]
hope this forum accepts big pics...
[/QUOTE]
Can you post some pictures of the burned hole? Looks to me like the fire started in the daytime running light. Did you have the DRL enabled? Thanks.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Thanks for the pics! It does look like the fire originated in the DRL/headlight assembly, as I suspected.

I drive with my headlights always on because it seems to help people see this tiny car. I wouldn't think an LED DRL would create enough heat like an LED headlight might, but an easy driver-side pic like this would show us if the headlights are OEM or LED:
Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle

The cover twists off easily by hand, rotating counterclockwise as viewed from the driver's seat.

& maybe a pic of the headlight switch, to see if they were on.
 

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2016 500e
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236 Posts
I would be willing to bet his STOCK headlight connector torched. I just had to replace BOTH the connectors on my 500E last month. one headlight went out I bought bulbs. Went to replace and could not get connector out of the dead bulb. It had melted together and it was a OEM connector. I noticed the driver side one had been replaced at the time, so I bought a pair(thankfully) of new connectors. Replaced the pass side and both bulbs. A week later the drivers side went out. opened up and the replaced connector had failed at the solder joint. Pulled the second connector out, made sure to interlace wires and solder and use heavy heat shrink for strain relief.

BOTH connectors I removed showed obvious signs of excessive heat/burning with stock oem bulbs in place. Damage on this car in thread looks centered around the headlight so based on my experience and what I see it looks pretty clear to be headlight/connector/wire failure.
 

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Think I'll add a fire extinguisher to my back seat after seeing this! Also going to read about the battery disconnect under the rear seat. Just picked up my 2014 500e last week and already disconnected my humidity sensor based on this forum! 10 mm wrench is at the ready, too.;)
Congrats 鈥. A great bunch of friendly helpful people inhabit the forum 鈥 enjoy your 500e.
 

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2013 500E
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE="jimairth, post: 1318769, member: 124260"]
hope this forum accepts big pics...
Can you post some pictures of the burned hole? Looks to me like the fire started in the daytime running light. Did you have the DRL enabled? Thanks.
[/QUOTE]
Wife always uses headlights, so yes headlights were on
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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OOPS! I forgot to mention that before HV disconnect you must open the hood & left door & don't open or close anything else for the entire process (to avoid the "wake up" signal) remove the key, & wait 3+ minutes for "sleep" mode. Then the official service procedure is disconnect HV, disconnect 12V, reconnect HV, reconnect 12V.
 

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I would be willing to bet his STOCK headlight connector torched. I just had to replace BOTH the connectors on my 500E last month. one headlight went out I bought bulbs. Went to replace and could not get connector out of the dead bulb. It had melted together and it was a OEM connector. I noticed the driver side one had been replaced at the time, so I bought a pair(thankfully) of new connectors. Replaced the pass side and both bulbs. A week later the drivers side went out. opened up and the replaced connector had failed at the solder joint. Pulled the second connector out, made sure to interlace wires and solder and use heavy heat shrink for strain relief.

BOTH connectors I removed showed obvious signs of excessive heat/burning with stock oem bulbs in place. Damage on this car in thread looks centered around the headlight so based on my experience and what I see it looks pretty clear to be headlight/connector/wire failure.
I've had the same experience. Both bulbs have gone out and when they did, they were melted into the connector. I found high-temp connectors and haven't had the same melting issue since.
 
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