Best Car Fire Extinguisher

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Needless to say that a car fire extinguisher is a necessary safety accessory for any vehicle owner, let alone for those who take their rigs to remote trails during an overlanding trip.

The best car fire extinguishers contain media that help drivers to fight against common car fires that could result from gasoline, petrol, gas, electrical faults, and overheating engines.

How big should your fire extinguisher be? An appropriate car fire extinguisher should be compact but efficient enough to put out the common types of fire in a car.

Most fire experts recommend one with a size ranging from one to two kilograms. 

Smaller models may not work efficiently while larger types might be bulky and quite hard for everyone to handle.

In many cases, drivers end up purchasing aerosol fire sprays since they are affordable and easy to use.

However, experts warn against these types of fire extinguishers as they have a short shelf life and they are not as effective as those that use dry chemicals.

fire extinghuisher for overlanding vehicles

Generally, a proper car extinguisher should use dry powders as the media for controlling fire and should have a rating of BC or ABC.

A powder car extinguisher with the ABC or BC rating can contain most types of fire efficiently.

To sum up, what you need to look for when choosing the best car fire extinguisher for yourself is the following:

  • It should be relatively light weight and have a compact size and shape
  • Durable body that can also withstand potentially higher temperatures in a vehicle’s interior
  • It should be available for immediate use – so ready filled
  • Equipped with a strong and controlled trigger
  • Ideally with a storage clip for safe mounting
  • Good warranty and labeled with local certification

Top Car Fire Extinguisher Reviews

Review of H3R Performance HG100C HalGuard Chrome Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher – 1.4 lbs

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H3R Performance HG100C is rated 1B:C by Underwriters Laboratories.

The rating implies that this equipment can efficiently manage car fire related to electrical faults, petrol, gas, cloth, wood, and organic combustibles. 

This HG100C type boasts a stylish high gloss chrome finish that makes it visually appealing.

This feature makes it a good deal for drivers who would love to mitigate the risk of a car fire without compromising their car’s interior design.

Drivers who have tried this chrome car fire extinguisher say that they would recommend it because it has an excellent 6-8 feet discharge range and it is constructed from a high-quality steel cylinder to last long.

Furthermore, the car fire extinguisher is portable since it weighs a mere 1.4lbs, and it has a five-year limited warranty.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The H3R Performance HG100C HalGuard Chrome Clean Agent Fire Extinguisher may be a pricier choice among the list of car fire extinguishers, however, the fact that it is rechargeable makes the higher price for the look justified.

As per the customers, this is one of the best fire extinguishers for cars.


  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • EPA Approved and rated 1B:C
  • Rechargeable fire extinguisher for the car
  • Comes with 5 years limited warranty


  • A bit expensive

Review of Amerex B500, 5lb ABC Dry Chemical Class A B C Fire Extinguisher

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The Amerex B500 is a dry chemical car fire extinguisher that can be used to control the standard class A, B, and C car fire related to ordinary combustibles, flammable liquid spills, and electrical faults.

Holding 5 lbs of dry chemicals powder the total weight when fully charged is about 10 lbs and it delivers a discharge range of 12-18 feet.

The reasonable range gives a driver the freedom to put out a car fire while they maintain a safe distance.

It measures 4.25x 7.25x 15.25 inches so it is definitely one of the larger devices on our list. It is equipped with aluminum valves.

While Amerex B500, 5lb ABC dry chemical class 2A:10B:C fire extinguisher looks like an excellent deal, although it would only be suitable for a larger rig or expedition truck due to its weight and size.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Drivers who have tried this car fire extinguisher report that they like it because its metallic trigger is sturdier than a plastic one. The users also recommend it because it is refillable and reasonably priced. 

They have said if you are looking for the best fire extinguisher that is robust, reliable, yet cheaper, this would be the best option.


  • Budget-friendly fire extinguisher for car
  • Comes with a wall mounting bracket
  • Class A:B:C Extinguisher
  • Refillable


  • A bit heavy to handle

Review of FIAFESA5 – Fire Extinguisher For Gasoline/Oil/Grease/Electrical Fires

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The FIAFESA5 Fire Extinguisher is from First Alert/Brk Brands Inc. It is rated 5-B:C, which means that it is useful in managing most car fires that could result from electrical faults or flammables like oil, grease, and gasoline.

The fire extinguisher measures 10.9 x 4.1x 3.3 inches, and it weighs 2.8 pounds. Compact and relatively light.

As a result, this First Alert fire extinguisher will be one of the best options for your overlanding trip.

This car extinguisher comes with all necessary mounting brackets for hassle-free mounting. The cylinder is made with durable metal, so you can rely on it.

The FIAFESA5 Fire Extinguisher is a very popular fire extinguisher on cars due to its ease of use and relatively lower price.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Users who have tried this First Alert car fire extinguisher report that it is highly portable since it is compact sized and light in weight, making it an excellent option for overlanding and camping.

Also, the fire extinguisher is easy to use, and it is sold at a competitive price.


  • Cheap fire extinguisher
  • Comes with mounting brackets
  • Lightweight and compact


  • Doesn’t come with a built-in pressure gauge
  • Not refillable

Review of Amerex Dry Chemicals Fire Extinguisher – B417T – 2.5 Pounds

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Amerex’s B417T is a 1A:10B:C rated dry chemical fire extinguisher for use on conventional car fires resulting from flammable liquids like petrol, gases, energized electrical equipment, and any other combustible material.

It is designed from a steel cylinder with an aluminum valve construction. This durable construction can serve one for an extended time as it is a rechargeable unit.

It has a capacity of 2.5 lbs, and it measures 15 inches tall with a 3 inches diameter.

Amerex’s B417 auto fire extinguisher also comes with all mounting brackets required to mount the unit onto a vehicle, but you need to make sure you choose the B417T version.

This fire extinguisher has 10 seconds of discharge time.

One would want to purchase this extinguisher because it is refillable, and its excellent rating is effective in extinguishing most types of fire.

Also, the auto fire extinguisher is light in weight, and its metallic trigger is stronger than plastic triggers.

What Previous Buyers Said?

A happy customer called the B417T “the real deal” referring to its sturdy look and feel. The B417T from Amerex also received praise from past buyers because it is lightweight and easy to use.


  • Has a UL rating of 1A:10B:C
  • Very lightweight
  • Reasonable price
  • Refillable fire extinguisher
  • Comes with free mounting brackets


  • Might create a corrosive mess in the engine or electrical components

Review of H3R Performance MX250B Fire Extinguisher

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The MX250B fire extinguisher from H3R Performance is another top-rated option for you. This one uses an exclusive mixture of siliconized and fluidized ammonium phosphate dry chemicals.

As a result, it can be used to tackle class A, B, and C fires from flammable liquid, electrical fires, combustible materials, etc.

The H3R Performance fire extinguisher comes with a discharge range of 9 to 15 feet. The cylinder and the valve are made with all-metal construction.

So, this will be able to serve you for a long while. Furthermore, it features a 2 strap steel mounting bracket for free. With this, you can mount it to your vehicle securely.

It contains 2.5 lbs. of fire extinguishing agent. Also, the gross weight of the unit is about 5 lbs. The net dimension of the cylinder is 14.8 x 4.5 x 3 inches.

Another best feature of this unit is that it can be refilled whenever necessary. If you are looking for a lightweight, efficient, and simple to use fire extinguisher then this would be one of the best fire extinguishers.

What Previous Buyers Said?

According to past buyers, this H3R Performance fire extinguisher is one of the best fire extinguishers for cars.

Almost all of them liked the black color as it blends in with your vehicle easily. Also, the ease of use and the portability make it a perfect choice for overlanders.


  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • EPA Approved and rated 1B:C
  • Rechargeable fire extinguisher for the car
  • Comes with 5 years limited warranty


  • A bit expensive

Review of Buckeye 13315 ABC Multipurpose Dry Chemical Hand Held Fire Extinguisher

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Buckeye has been manufacturing top-notch fire safety equipment for a long period of time. They are offering this fire extinguisher for a very affordable price.

This multipurpose extinguisher comes with ABC dry chemical extinguishing agent. Thus it is suitable for putting out class A, B, and class C fires. The anodized aluminum/brass valve and the all-metal construction offer corrosion resistance. 

This fire extinguisher comes with 2.5 lbs. of extinguishing agent. And, the gross weight of the unit is about 5.5 lbs. The net dimension of the fire extinguisher cylinder is 3 ⅜ x 4 8/7 x 14 ¾ inches.

That means it is lightweight and compact in size. You will get a free vehicle mounting bracket with this. Overall, for the price, this can be one of the best options out there.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The majority of the previous buyers admired the affordable pricing of this car fire extinguisher.

They also liked the all-metal construction material. Another likable feature was the free mounting bracket.


  • Very much affordable
  • Comes with a free vehicle mounting bracket
  • It features all-metal construction
  • Lightweight, compact, and user-friendly


  • The shipping packaging could be better

toyota vs sahara

A good extinguisher could make a big difference…

Buying Guide – Best Car Fire Extinguisher

Fire Rating

Above, you might have noticed that we are addressing fire as class A, B, or C. Yes, depending on the source of fire, we can divide it into multiple categories.

That way every fire extinguisher also comes with a specific fire rating. Let’s explain it further.

The class A fire refers to fire created from combustible materials like paper, cloth, wood, etc. This type of fire is easy to deal with in most cases.

And, the class B fire rating means the source of the fire is some kind of gases or flammable liquid like gasoline, grease, oil, paint, kerosene, etc. This kind of fire might do fatal damage if it is not contained as soon as possible. 

Lastly, C fire rating refers to fire-related to electrical equipment. In many parts of the world, Class C fire is also known as Class E. There are a few more classifications. But those types of fire are not related to motor vehicles.

In that sense, for your vehicle, a fire extinguisher with BC or ABC rating would suffice.

These types of car fire extinguishers are ideal for putting out fires from various sources like flammable liquids and electrical fires. And, in the case of a car fire, there will be mostly Class B and C fire hazards.

Now, you will also notice a number that precedes the letter in the fire rating. For instance, 1A:10B:C is a rating of a fire extinguisher, we have reviewed above. But what does that mean? 

The 1A refers to the capacity of the extinguishing agent in the cylinder. 1A fire extinguisher would contain 1.25 gallons of water. If it is 2A, then it will have double the extinguishing agent and so on.

Next, the number that comes right before the letter B denotes the area of fire the extinguisher can handle in the square-foot unit. So, 10B would mean the extinguisher will be able to cover an area of 10 square feet. 

And, the C doesn’t come with any number next to it. The letter C only represents that the extinguishing agent on this extinguisher is non-conductive and compatible with using electrical fires.

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The best extinguishers for cars would be rechargeable. That means if you have used the extinguisher in any case, you can refill it to its regular condition.

At the same time, this type of refillable fire extinguisher tends to be expensive.

Size and Weight

When it comes to a car fire extinguisher the portability plays a vital role. The handheld fire extinguisher should be compact in size and lightweight.

Preferably, for personal cars, a extinguisher containing fire extinguishing agent of 2.5 lbs. would be the sweet spot. 

In that case, the gross weight of the unit could be around 5 to 6 lbs. Thus it will be easy to carry with you. And it will also fit on most cars easily because of the small form factor.

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Based on the brand, the warranty policy will vary from a fire extinguisher to another. However, the best brands will come with at least 5 years of warranty.

Many extinguishers for cars don’t even come with a warranty. Conversely, some come with a shelf life of up to 12 years.

Thus, verify that you are getting the product from a reliable brand. That way you will be able to use the unit for a long period of time.

Also ensure that the car fire extinguisher receives maintenance regularly for the best and longest span of service.

What To Do In The Event Of A Fire in Your Car?

Here are a few tips to follow in the event of a car fire.

First and foremost, if you see flames/sparks, or smell smoke or something burning, you should immediately stop the car and turn off the engine completely.

Ensure that you are not trying to reach the destination or somewhere nearby in this situation. In doing so, you are not stopping the flow of fuel. Because of that, it might turn into a full-blown fire.

Then leave the car as fast as possible with all the other passengers and important belongings.

If there is a little smoke (and no flame) under the hood, you might use the available fire extinguisher following all the precautionary safety regulations. Try to avoid opening the hood all the way in that case.

But if there is a blazing fire or if the fire is coming from the rear of the vehicle, you should not try to extinguish it. Rather, get as far away from the vehicle as possible.

And, try to take shelter in a safe place. As it might turn into a full-blown fire. As always, after taking the shelter, call 911 or the emergency number of your own area/country.

A fire extinguisher should only be used when the fire is small and not growing rapidly. Also, make sure you are using the right type of fire extinguisher depending on the class of fire.

Types of Car Fire Extinguishers

Depending on the extinguishing agent, we can classify the extinguishers in a few categories. The most commonly used ones are dry chemical fire extinguishers.

This type of extinguisher breaks the chemical reactions of the fire to stop the fire.

Due to that, this type of extinguisher is great against Class A, B, and Class C fires.

But as these are chemical based options, the engine and the other electrical components might get damaged. When it comes to the safety of yours, this is a small price to pay.

Next, there are halogenated fire extinguishers. You might know them as clean agent fire extinguishers.

But this type of extinguishers is the most effective against Class A and B fires. As Class C fire can also spread in motor vehicles, these are not the best type of car fire extinguishers.

Remember, there are fire extinguishers for cars that contain water, CO2, or foam as an extinguishing agent.

There’s an issue here as well. Typically, the CO2 based fire extinguishers are not effective against Class A fires. 

Similarly, the water and foam based fire extinguishers cannot extinguish Class B and C fires.

Rather, using foam based fire extinguishers might help in spreading Class B fires. So, you should keep that in mind.

Causes of Car Fires

Although not that common fire can easily break out in your car out of nowhere. There are a few reasons your car might catch on fire. First off, the most obvious reason for car fire is malfunctioning in the fuel line. 

Also, another common cause of car fire is the split fuel line or leak on the fuel system.

As usual, if you have just had an accident, your car might catch on fire due to the failure of the electrical components inside it. 

Matter of fact, overheating can be another top reason for car fires. So, try to minimize overheating the engine, batteries, catalytic converters, and any other electrical components.

So, it is always better to do the maintenance of your vehicle on a regular basis and drive safely. That way car fire can be minimized to a great extent.

Should You Carry A Fire Extinguisher In Your Car?

You might think that there is no risk of fires as you are taking care of your car regularly. But there’s no guarantee to this.

Accidents might happen at any time. Thus, the best idea is to carry a fire extinguisher in your vehicle. That might save your life at times. 

On top of that most reliable extinguishers are not that pricey as well. And, most of them come with free vehicle mounting brackets, so you can mount the extinguisher in a secure place in your car.

That is why we would tell you that you should keep a quality fire extinguisher in your car at all times. Admit it or not, a fire extinguisher is one of the most essential overland gear.

Where Do You Store A Car Fire Extinguisher?

The rule of thumb would be to keep the extinguishers for cars in an easily accessible place. You might think that the trunk is a good place to store the fire extinguisher.

But as you know in times of a car fire, you might not be able to reach the trunk. So, you should mount the extinguisher in a readily available spot.

Additionally, you should use a mounting bracket to secure the extinguisher in your car. It will keep the extinguisher from rolling or sliding around. As you know a flying fire extinguisher cylinder could be deadly. 

Lucky for you, almost all of the fire extinguishers we have reviewed above come with a free mounting bracket.

Even if your one doesn’t come with one, make sure you are getting a mount bracket for the best result.

Avoid Using Aerosol Fire Sprays

Generally, fire extinguishers tend to be expensive. But there is a popular alternative to this fire safety equipment, which is aerosol fire spray.

Aerosol fire sprays are cheaper, available, and easy to use. So, you might be tempted to get one for your vehicle.

But we would suggest you avoid this type of fire extinguishers. Why? There are a few valid reasons that you should not use an aerosol fire spray.

First of all, there have been reports of fire spreading instead of diminishing from using an aerosol fire spray. They might turn dangerous in a snap. 

Next, most of these aerosol sprays don’t have a pressure gauge. So, there is no sure way to know whether it is ready to use or not.

Also, another drawback of this type of extinguishers is the lack of long-term shelf life.

Normally, dry chemical fire extinguishers come with 6 to 12 years of shelf life. On the other hand, the aerosol fire sprays come with 1 to 3 years of shelf life only.

Simply put, if you want the best safety, then you should not use aerosol fire spray fire extinguishers.

Conclusion and Buyers’ Advice

A car extinguisher is a critical safety equipment for controlling car fire related to flammable gas, electrical fires,  liquid spills, and other combustible materials in a car’s interior or exterior.

Usually the best car fire extinguishers are constructed from an all-metallic cylinder and triggers, and they are refillable.

These features let a driver or car owner use the extinguisher for an extended period. We have an exception in our list, the First Alert FIAFESA5 above, which is a single-use extinguisher, however, it is a great quality product specifically sold for cars and trucks so they are still highly recommended.

FIRST ALERT Fire Extinguisher, Garage Fire Extinguisher, Red, Garage10 FE10GR
  • Garage 10 garage or workshop fire extinguisher is rated 10 B:C and has a durable metal head, plus a commercial grade valve and trigger
  • Designed to fight flammable liquid and electrical fires; uses sodium bicarbonate extinguishing agent
  • Metal pull pin with safety seal to help prevent accidental discharge and discourage tampering
  • Corrosion resistant, easy to read, color coded metal gauge; waterproof label with simple instructions; U.S. coast guard approved for marine use as well
  • Secure garage extinguisher mount, bracket and strap are included for secure placement of extinguisher

Moreover, an appropriate car fire extinguisher should have the capability to easily extinguish the common types of car fires.

Such fire extinguishers use a dry powder, and they are UL rated BC or ABC. One should also shop around for a fire extinguisher with a reasonable discharge range and weight.

The fire extinguishers for cars in this list have all the qualities that define an extinguisher that is worth the investment.

We hope you found a car extinguisher that meets your needs and we do highly recommend that you don’t leave for an overlanding journey without one!

Photo of author
Ferenc Elekes has been a devout Overlanding enthusiast for many years. During that time, Ferenc has explored 75 countries on six continents, with overland travel involved in 40 countries on three continents. From his trusty 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a roof-top tent, he’s blogged about experiences that can only be found in the remotest regions on Earth. Along the way, he's gained in-depth knowledge of the novel challenges overlanders encounter and practical ways to meet them. On his website, he shares informed opinions about everything from the best overland gear to how to get a vehicle unstuck. Ferenc has also written for Ih8mud, the Expedition Portal, the Overland Journal, and he is often invited as a guest to outdoors-related podcasts.
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