Gasoline in a car’s fuel tank cannot be heated to the point of self-combustion, which is more than hundreds of degrees Celsius, experts say. Image Credit: VIRENDRA SAKLANI/GULF NEWS

Dubai: Fire officials say there is no truth to a spate of emails circulating throughout the country claiming that full filling of petrol tank in your automobile can lead to an explosion in high heat.

Officials with Civil Defence in Dubai told Gulf News that despite temperatures reaching into the high 40C, gasoline in a car’s fuel tank cannot be heated to the point of self-combustionnn which is above hundreds of degrees Celsius.

A fire spokesperson said, “it’s not true. No warning has been issued, and it’s not dangerous to fill up the car’s tank no matter what the temperature is. Cars have their own safety systems when it comes to petrol tanks.”In recent weeks, emails sent by unknown sources have needlessly scared the public across the UAE that cars with full tanks might burst.

According to a statement issued by a car-rental firm yesterday, one email falsely warned “all car owners in the UAE not to fill the tank full because for the next few weeks temperatures will shoot up to 53-54 degrees Celsius and thus can cause the tank to burst”.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group noted that, “In case readers are not already aware, this is a hoax. Without a spark to occur, the auto ignition temperature of petrol is about 400 degrees Celsius.”

Ashfeq Ahmad, a Dubai auto mechanic, reminded motorists yesterday that they should take all steps necessary to bring their cars up to standard for the intense summer heat.

A properly maintained vehicle will go a long way to helping to protect driver and passengers from harm.

“People forget that in the summer season, they need to change the oil after 5,000 kilometres,” Ahmad said, adding that frequent oil changes will help the engine beat back soaring temperatures.

Coolant needn’t be changed if it is found to be in good working order by mechanics but air conditioner filters should be at least cleaned out to keep cars at a comfortable cool climate inside the car, he said.