Is It Possible To Restore A Car After A Fire?

April 22, 2023

Car fire is often caused by faulty wiring. It can also be deliberate arson, installation of additional non-standard equipment, or smoking in the car.

Whatever the cause, a fire causes significant damage to a vehicle, which raises the question: is it possible to restore a car after a fire? In this article, you will get the answer to this question. You will also learn how to quickly sell damaged cars, as we buy scrap cars, as well as vehicles that are damaged by water, fire, and rust.

The Main Causes of Car Fires

The modern automotive industry guarantees 100% protection of new vehicles against spontaneous combustion. However, it is worth remembering that after the end of the warranty period or in case of improper operation, some car systems fail.

In the case when the car caught fire due to faulty electrical wiring, the fire does not have time to destroy the metal parts of the body and engine. Repair of the vehicle in this case will only consist in replacing the electronic filing, dashboard and electrical wires. You may need to reset the alarm.

If the cause of the fire is deliberate arson, the restoration of the car will depend on the extent and location of damage. Often in this case, the engine is subject to repair, but the interior lining of the cabin burns out. The fire can affect the steel parts of the car. In such a situation, the algorithm of actions to restore the body is as follows. The insides of the cabin are subject to complete replacement, and the iron parts of the body are painted after anti-corrosion treatment.

A malfunction of the fuel system leads to the complete destruction of the car, because it is almost impossible to immediately extinguish the burning vapors of gasoline or diesel fuel. Such cars are not subject to restoration and can only be used as separate spare parts, since with timely localization of fire, the trunk and rear fenders remain practically untouched. You can also profitably sell the car. We buy scrap, burned and flooded cars in any city in the USA.

Assessment Of The Condition And Diagnostics Of a Car After a Fire

The assessment of damage to a car affected by a fire is carried out by experts from the service station, who carefully inspect the car, revealing the extent of damage. Having identified the damaged parts, the specialists establish a work plan, make a list of materials needed for repair, and calculate their cost. Restoring a car after a fire is a complex and costly process in every sense, consisting of many stages. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. Car dismantling.

First of all, a complete disassembly of the car is carried out. Bumpers, hood, doors and windows are sequentially removed from it. This stage allows you to fully check the vehicle and identify which parts are damaged and which survived.

  1. Body cleaning.

The body of the car is made of metal, so as a result of a fire, it receives the least damage in the form of burnt paint. To avoid further decay, it should be removed from surfaces with abrasive materials and chemicals. After cleaning the body, you can evaluate whether a complete painting is required or whether restoration of color in certain areas is enough.

  1. Replacement or restoration of body elements.

With the help of welding, specialists restore or change body elements. The choice of method depends on the material of the parts.

Metal welding is usually performed by the electrode method. For aluminum, only argon welding is used, since other options lead to the oxidation of the element. The argon method needs professionalism, high-quality equipment and materials. If you do it yourself, you can learn the welding technique from manuals and videos. Details without serious damage are restored by local repair.

  1. Frame restoration.

Cars with a frame structure of the body after a fire require the restoration of the frame. This is the basis of the body, the rest of the modules are attached to it.

To detect defects in the form of microcracks and deformation damage, craftsmen use sandblasting. Then the frame dimensions are checked against the factory data. Often mechanical defects are discovered after an accident, but there is also corrosion and metal fatigue caused by fire.

  1. Repair of components and assemblies.

The masters repair damaged components and modules of the car, including the engine, transmission, brake system, etc.

When repairing an electric motor, special attention should be paid to the health of the winding, which ensures a continuous and uniform supply of current from the starter to the rest of the motor.

  1. Painting work.

After the repair of elements, the car is exposed to painting and protective polishing.

  1. Salon restoration.

Having brought the external surfaces of the body back to their original state, the craftsmen restore the interior: they replace the upholstery, install glass with the replacement of seals, and dismantle the seats. They usually combine this with a wiring change. At this stage, it is worth purchasing the necessary car accessories and components damaged by fire: car compressors, pumps, fire extinguishers, etc.

  1. The feasibility of restoring a car after a fire.

Restoration of a burned-out car is carried out taking into account its expediency. Repair costs should not be higher than the price of the car. The main damage to cars exposed to fire is corrosion. It leads to the unusability of most body components. Therefore, cars after a fire, as a rule, are classified as “non-repairable”, and only rare models require restoration.

Restoring a car after a fire in the engine compartment is impractical. Restoration in this case will consist of 90% repair work. At best, the rear of the car and a small part of the cabin will remain intact. Then after dry cleaning, you can use the surviving elements of the vehicle as spare parts, or put them up for sale.

Restoring a car after a fire is rarely worthwhile. But if the fire was eliminated at an early stage, and the equipment was partially affected by the fire, then you can achieve positive results and return the previous look to your favorite car.


The question of whether it is advisable to restore a car after a fire depends on the degree of damage, the location of the fire and the purpose of the further use of the vehicle. If you are the owner of a burned-out car that you want to sell, we recommend that you contact JunkCarsUs. We specialize in buying scrap cars in any city in the United States.

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