Jeep Wrangler JK Radio Randomly Catches Fire but Is Saved by Quick-Thinking Mechanic

With smoke rising from the head unit, a mechanic grabbed a camera and a ratchet and went to work.

byCam VanDerHorst|
Jeep News photo

As proven by a strange mishap this summer, Jeep Wranglers seem to have a problem with random fires every now and then. The reason behind the inopportune sparks have remained a mystery for the most part, but now, we have a potential smoking (no pun intended) gun.

When a customer brought their Jeep into the shop for a simple oil change and brake service, we bet they didn't expect to almost lose their truck to a fire...but that's just what happened.

Mechanic Fredrick De Silva was working on a customer's Wrangler on Tuesday, Dec. 11, when he observed smoke rising from the dash despite the truck being turned off. He sprung into action quickly and managed to save not only the customer's Jeep but also his shop. Amazingly, he caught the entire ordeal on video, thanks to some help from another mechanic.

Almost anyone who works on their own vehicle has complained, at some point, about the way cars—especially modern ones—are screwed together, particularly when it comes to trim. Apparently, De Silva is not one of those people. He rips the dash apart in seconds, with what appears to be no damage to the fragile plastic tabs that hold everything together. 

Some quick work with a quarter-inch drive ratchet and a Torx bit, and the radio is free from the dashboard. De Silva turns the radio around for the camera, where we can clearly see a fire inside the unit, which only gets more intense as it's exposed to fresh oxygen outside of the shop.

Thanks to quick thinking and a cool head, De Silva saved the day. Hopefully, this documentation can shed some light on the mysterious Jeep fires that have popped up in the news in recent years.