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Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

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Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby Scepcop » 24 Dec 2010, 00:40

I have a question. In movies, cars flip for trivial reasons and then they often explode after flipping over or getting into a collision. But in real life, I've never heard of a car exploding after an accident or collision. So is the way TV portrays that totally fictional?

Even if you dropped a burning match into a car's gas tank, would it explode like in the movies?

Also, just out of curiosity, what would happen if you drove on the freeway at 60mph and then suddenly put the gear into reverse drive? Would that flip the car or suddenly make it go backwards at 60mph? I would never try that of course. Just curious what would happen. Has anyone ever accidentally hit their knee on the gear shift while driving on the freeway and put the car into reverse?

Sorry if these are silly questions. But I've always been curious.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby Arouet » 24 Dec 2010, 00:54

I think mythbusters may have done that one. You could probably find it somewhere...
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby ProfWag » 24 Dec 2010, 01:16

Arouet wrote:I think mythbusters may have done that one. You could probably find it somewhere...

C'mon Arouet, do you really think Scepcop can do his own research? You've been on here long enough to realize that'll never happen... ;-)
My question is what happens when you're driving a car at the speed of light and you turn on your headlights? (actually, that's an old Steven Wright question...)
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 24 Dec 2010, 03:34

I don't know about shifting into reverse at high speed but I can add some insight into explosions with gasoline. My source being "The Hubs" who was 'Bomb Squad' back in the day, now called EOD.

I have asked pointed questions about things 'blowing up', while watching various TV shows and the car blowing up thing has been one of them. I followed up with a short interview two minutes ago to make sure I could explain it properly. Here goes:

Aside from the Ford Pinto (which had been reported to 'catch fire' due to rear end collisions) cars don't blow up very well without some sort of explosive device to trigger the BOOM! For demonstration purposes, a 5 gallon can of gasoline blows up REAL GOOD (with some C4) but unless it's a small diameter hole where the fumes can build up, it just burns very well. If you flip a car and the gasoline goes all over, it just burns like a mofo. No built up fumes, you don't get much BANG for your buck.

That whole thing that you see on TV requires some form of explosive device.... and yes, he even used the T-word (thermite) as a possible explosive device to set off gasoline to give you that whole special effect, as seen on TV, BOOM.
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 24 Dec 2010, 04:23

As a matter of fact, most of the explosions seen on TV use gasoline (sometimes diesel) + explosive charge for the fireball effect. They don't care what type of explosion it's supposed to be. He doubts they use thermite as any run of the mill squib is acceptable. They also need an electronic trigger. I forgot that part.
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby derrida » 24 Dec 2010, 16:29

can Carebears throw care-energy out of their chest in brighting colors?
just asking...
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 24 Dec 2010, 20:24

derrida wrote:can Carebears throw care-energy out of their chest in brighting colors?
just asking...

Derrida - This question belongs in the "Alternative Health / Holistic Treatments" section.


:lol:
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby Scepcop » 04 Jan 2011, 02:17

What about houses that burn down in movies over trivial things, such as candles falling over from a gust of wind, or a piece of clothing that was too close to the fireplace, etc? Do whole houses burn down in real life due to such trivial accidents?
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby Arouet » 04 Jan 2011, 05:02

Scepcop wrote:What about houses that burn down in movies over trivial things, such as candles falling over from a gust of wind, or a piece of clothing that was too close to the fireplace, etc? Do whole houses burn down in real life due to such trivial accidents?


It would certainly depend on placement but sure, why not?
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby ProfWag » 04 Jan 2011, 05:38

Scepcop wrote: Do whole houses burn down in real life due to such trivial accidents?

No, they don't Scepcop. It takes a team of experts armed with thermite or a jet airliner loaded with fuel to burn down a house. You didn't know that? Sheesh. ;-)
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby derrida » 04 Jan 2011, 06:19

actually
that reminded me a believer´s story
a guy lit up some candles in a room devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe (the mexican one)
the room lit up on fire.. and ¨AMAZINGLY¨ the only thing that wasnt burn was the picture of the virgin

so for him that was proove of the amazing powers of the virgin
so i went like... well.. couldnt the virgin of Guadalupe protect the whole room?
she just protected her image? what a narcicistic bitch!
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 04 Jan 2011, 20:01

What about houses that burn down in movies over trivial things, such as candles falling over from a gust of wind, or a piece of clothing that was too close to the fireplace, etc? Do whole houses burn down in real life due to such trivial accidents?

Unfortunately, they still do. Many items produced for home decorating are still highly flammable. I would also say that you need to take into consideration the quality of housekeeping into the equation.
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby Scepcop » 09 Jan 2011, 04:25

What about shooting cans or barrels of gas with bullets? Does that make them explode like in the movies?

What about shooting big rig trucks carrying gasoline or crashing into them? Does that cause them to make huge explosions like they do in the movies?
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Re: Do cars explode in real life like they do in movies?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 09 Jan 2011, 04:30

Scepcop wrote:What about shooting cans or barrels of gas with bullets? Does that make them explode like in the movies?

It could. However, most of the time the can would just leak.

Scepcop wrote:What about shooting big rig trucks carrying gasoline or crashing into them? Does that cause them to make huge explosions like they do in the movies?

Now this is a bit more Hollywood. If the tanker truck were still moving (friction and sparks) and the tank ruptures, yes it will go up in flames... even a giant fireball is possible.

That's not to say that a can of gas can't go boom. If there are gasoline fumes under pressure and a metal bullet goes clear through and makes a spark on it's exit on the other side of the can, yes you can have problem on your hands. Just not quite as exquisit as the movie version as they are helped to look better with explosive devices.
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