Forums > Technical Discussion > DANGER: Lamp oil dissolving my car!

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Strange but true.

I don't know about how your lamp oil but mine never quite closes right. I had my tiki torch fuel with citronella in my trunk and the bottle was closed 'properly' but even then, the bottle leaks very slowly sometimes. I guess I had it in there for a week or two and noticed a faint smell of cintronella (much like everything else I own.) I thought nothing of it but then noticed a small insignificant stain in the trunk of my relatively new car, which I didn't mind. Heck it's only lamp oil right? And I'm not that kind of 'crazy about my car' guy. BUT... I lifted up the rug and noticed that a small amount of citronella fuel had gotten under the rug as well.

The first thing I didn't realize was that the underside of my car wasn't metal, it was plastic. The second thing was that CITRONELA FUEL DISSOLVES THAT PLASTIC! I had a thin layer of gooey dissolved plastic under the rug in my trunk.

LUCKILY only a small amount seeped out of the bottle! I can't imagine what would have happened if a bottle had somehow opened, I might have been able to see my muffler just by opening my trunk.

So BE CAREFUL with fuels in trunks! I had no idea that they were making new hondas out of dissolvable plastic these days. Nor did I think that citronella fuel would be strong enough to dissolve it!


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Kinudin (Soul Fyre)
veteran
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Member Since: 21st Dec 2001
Total posts: 1325
Posted:By any chance would it be heat mixed in with the lamp oil that enabled it to dissolve the plastic?

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:Never leave fuels in a car anyways, that's a good way to get poisoning from entering your car and breathing in fumes.

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Lamp Oil has very similar proporties to Kerosene/Parrafin.

Kerosene/Parrafin are SOLVENTS. They LOVE to dissolve plastics. It's one of the reasons they are used as cleaners.

NYC...I'm surprised you are using containers that you know leak.

I would suggest going to the local plastics store and getting a few HazChem containers (they are pretty cheap) to use instead.

This will help prevent you breathing in the fumes while driving too. On the instructions of your lamp oil it should say "Use in a well-veltilated area".


Bummer about the car, but pleased to hear it's only a small amount...



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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Actually Charles, it's the original lamp oil container that it's sold in. Once the seal is broken, they sometimes drip a drop or two. I had it in the trunk so I didn't think I'd be poisoning myself all that much.

The only reason why I hadn't been using hasmat containers is because they usually get all gunky when you're trying to transfer the liquid. Using a funnel, then you've got liquid on the funnel and now where you gonna put the funnel that's covered in lamp oil. I've made a far greater mess attempting to be tidy.


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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:You can get all sorts of hazmat containers nowadays...Half of the basic cheapo-looking ones that seem really dodgy are approved for use with petrochemicals.

I've even got some with taps on them! (makes life so much easier)

The big heavy duty ones are made half for show or for commercial.

I think i know the containers it comes in, its like the tall ribbed (no jokes please) 1 Litre containers kero comes in...I usually pour all those into my other containers afetr purchasing them.

Then again, as we both know, I do go through a lot of fuel


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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:quote:Originally posted by NYC:
Using a funnel, then you've got liquid on the funnel and now where you gonna put the funnel that's covered in lamp oil. I've made a far greater mess attempting to be tidy. That's true, paraffin is disgusting filthy stuff that gets everywhere.

The best way I've found is to always have a rag handy when you're transferring it or using it and wipe down the containers and funnel.

I used to think my containers leaked cos whenever I left them standing on a plain floor there'd always be a puddle; using a rag helps a lot.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Astar
member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Member Since: 8th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1591
Posted:One thing you can sometimes do to help make a container like that seal is to stretch a big sheet of thin plastic wrap over the hole and keep it semi tight while you screw the cap on as tight as you can. But it depends on the thread size, sometimes it makes it leak more.

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telic
I don't want a title.

Member Since: 26th Jun 2003
Total posts: 940
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Astar:
One thing you can sometimes do to help make a container like that seal is to stretch a big sheet of thin plastic wrap over the hole and keep it semi tight while you screw the cap on as tight as you can. But since kero/paraffin dissolves plastic, won't that just end up in solution and do nothing?


E pluribus unum, baby.

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:It doesn't dissolve all plastic (or how could they sell it in plastic bottles? ) Apparently just those that make up my car.

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:At least the remaining plastic is clean!

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[Nx?]
[Nx?]

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both
Member Since: 5th Nov 2001
Total posts: 3749
Posted:Of course you could do what I do and be a dirty skanking firespinner who ALWAYS reeks of parrafin, and uses fuel by the tub.

that is very bad design tho, if parrafin disolves it, what about petrol?

Witch hazel is good for disolving soft plastics too....

T


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti

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adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:Though I generally (*) transport my lamp oil in the original plastic container, I always keep that inside a large plastic bucket with a snap-on lid, which in turn is bungee-corded to stay upright in the back of my car. So the fuel probably won't have a chance to leak, and if it does, it'll probably get caught in the bucket

* I do have a MSR fuel bottle that holds about a quart; when I'm going to a fire event by bike, I carry that instead.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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DreamingPhoenixTribe
member
Location: USA
Member Since: 19th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6
Posted:We use 'rocket boxes' - rectangular metal boxes with lids that clamp on and seal tight. We use them to transport all of our flammable gear (and those gross wet towels go in there too to keep everything else from rolling around instead of on the back seat). Of course, the fuel stays inside the original container, which we put in the boxes (just in case you thought we were pouring fuel into the boxes... wink)

You can find them at army surplus stores (they are used by the army to hold rockets, I think, hence the name).

They look like this :
Non-Https Image Link


Come in various sizes and you can get em for US$3 at worldwide surplus (I get em locally - this is just the first to pop up on google).

This is the safest, cleanest way we have found to transport fuel and props.


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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Heh... I can't wait to see the cop's expression when he searches my car to allow me over the Brooklyn Bridge and he sees a trunk full of those.

NYPD shoots guys for pulling wallets out of their pockets too quickly. A trunk full of RPG boxes can't be good. eek


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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Something tells me you shouldnt use those when traveling via airplane either ubblol

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:So, NYC, assuming your car is still in one piece, and you aren't using rocket boxes, and that that puddle of liquid goo hasn't been slowly dissolving the rest of the car, and that (oh hang on, I'm getting carried away aren't I?)...

So, NYC, what have you done to remedy this problem... wink


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DreamingPhoenixTribe
member
Location: USA
Member Since: 19th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6
Posted:I dont think they are going to be too happy with you if you try fly with fuel in any container, rocket box or not, checked or carry on... biggrin



NYC, what do they say to you when they search your car and find large quantities of lamp oil, wierd wick/chain assemblies, and a strange puddle of goo engulfing your trunk? confused This cant be all that easy to explain either, I wouldnt think...



Hope you find something that works - maybe a plastic, non-military looking box (lots of em out there - try rubbermaid at walmart)? beerchug


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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:"No officer, It's camping fuel! For my stove. And all the lamps I have. I have many lamps officer. I need to keep them lit. I keep them in my cabin. Where I do all of my cooking with my coleman fuel. Yup... cooking on my coleman stove and reading by lamplight at my cabin officer... that's what there for"

Plus being a whiteguy helps. frown

Oh and actually I only drive with sealed, original lamp oil containers. If I've got a bit extra I do put them in my hazmat bottles that I've got. Usually, if I've only got a little bit left I give it away cuz I don't want to deal with it... but that's only because I'm independantly wealthy. smile


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FyreFlye
member
Location: PHX, Arizona
Member Since: 29th Jul 2003
Total posts: 26
Posted:I don't know about other places, but here in the states - if you have anything in a Hazmat container, or a BioHazard container (bag, bottle, whatever) and you get pulled over (or busted into for that matter) - the cops WILL call out the Haz Mat team! They are requied to, and with all the jumpy cops out there...

You could feasbly be sitting on the side of the road, in cuffs trying desperatly to explain to a whole team of superheros why you have unknown substances in Haz Mat containers. Grumpy superheros. And it's expensive to sumons the Haz Mat team...

Please don't ask me how I know this frown


Yesterday I thought I could not.
Today I am certain I can.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
I don't know about other places, but here in the states - if you have anything in a Hazmat container, or a BioHazard container (bag, bottle, whatever) and you get pulled over (or busted into for that matter) - the cops WILL call out the Haz Mat team! They are requied to, and with all the jumpy cops out there...





Not required in all states by law at all. You just ran into bad luck with a poorly tempered officer it sounds like.
A "hazmat approved fuel container" are the red, blue and yellow colored containers that are federally approved for the transport of fuels.
Red=Gas, Blue=Kero and Yellow=I'll get back to you, I forget.

Anyway, they do need to know what is in them, and what it is for, but they do not need to call out a hazmat team unless the explaination is not clear for them. I have been searched and have even been pulled over with more fuel types in my trunk than I care to admit. I explained it, had a promo sheet with me and was sent on my merry little way.
If you do transport fuels in other containers other than that which you bought it in, keep the empty original with you or bring along an MSDS on the fuel.
Any intelligent officer will know the smell of gas, kero or even alcohol. It isn't like it doesn't have a distinctive smell.

Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:Quote:
That's true, paraffin is disgusting filthy stuff that gets everywhere.



lol and to think i blow fire w\ ultrapure lamp oil...all saying its disgusting...lol i put it in me mouth...like liquid chapstik really......hahaha...srry ppl just had to put me thoughts out


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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:Quote:
Never leave fuels in a car anyways, that's a good way to get poisoning from entering your car and breathing in fumes.



yup, did that once. i had my gear in my trunk from a spin, and forgot to take it out. it was summertime, in vegas, so extremely high heat. the next day i was driving to work, noticed the smell halfway to work but couldn't do anything about it till i got home. took it out when i got home, but noticed i had a headache, nasea, dizziness, fatigue, etc. took me a little while to connect the two, but figured it out soon enough. thankfully the symptoms went away by the morning.


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:You could always go for hikers fuel bottles, although just about the largest I've seen them is a little over 1ltr frown We don't like fuel leaking all over in our backs so they tend to keep pretty good seals wink I think it would look just as odd having piles of bright red bottles in your trunk though.. just an idea..

http://www.msrcorp.com/stoves/bottles.asp


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