Making Your Jeep’s Exhaust Glow Bright Orange Probably Isn’t Good For It

Ah, yes—the external combustion engine.

Not everything that goes viral deserves it; luckily, this clip showing a Jeep Cherokee‘s exhaust glowing as bright as the sun earned its fame. In the 15-second clip, the owner—Mikko Jylhä of Finland—pans away from the tailpipe and reveals that his entire exhaust is burning hot, easily melting the snow below the 4×4.

The video has amassed 1.7 million views and more than 11,000 comments on TikTok, many of which were looking to help the owner out by answering the caption on the video: “What’s wrong with my Jeep?”

via Tiktok | @mikidi88

So just what the heck is wrong with Mikko’s Jeep? Well, nothing actually. According to the comments, it’s working as intended. I’ll explain.

The flames are caused by unburnt fuel making its way into the exhaust and igniting. This caused car-savvy TikTokers to jump into the comments and diagnose it, mostly coming to the conclusion of a clogged catalytic converter that became extremely hot and began igniting the fuel. However, the owner says the Jeep doesn’t even have one installed.

Mikko later revealed that he wired up an ignition cut to the Jeep. This allows for fuel to still enter the engine’s cylinders, but instead of combusting with the help of a spark plug, an ultra-rich condition is created instead. The unburnt fuel is dumped into the exhaust and eventually ignited. Think anti-lag and two-step, but not quite. 

The Drive’s Jonathon Klein wrote up a good explainer on the difference between two-step and anti-lag that you can read here.

In theory, this is similar to how many off-the-shelf, aftermarket two-step products operate. But the Jeep didn’t just blip the throttle for a few seconds to pop some fireballs. Instead, the repeated dumping of fuel resulted in spitting hot fire and lighting up the ground with the entire exhaust’s bright orange glow.

via Tiktok | @mikidi88

So there you have it—mystery solved! Now let’s hope Mikko is thankful his flame-popping fun didn’t end up like this Lamborghini Aventador.

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