The Burnout Fail

Youtube is full of fail videos and the automotive world seems to offer up more stupidity than most. For those of you who don’t know what a fail is, it is essentially someone attempting to complete a trick or activity on camera and spectacularly failing to do so….with hilarious consequences. Often the subject matter is based around showing off and lets face it, there is a lot of showing off when it comes to cars. This means there is an almost unending supply of people doing stupid things in expensive and not so expensive cars from all around the world and the burnout seems to be a very popular thing to get wrong. These fail videos can become rather addictive so be warned!

The Burnout

It is hard to imagine anyone that is interested in cars is not aware of what a burnout is, however, if you are unsure it is basically making the wheels spin while keeping the car largely static. It has always been a popular way to show off how powerful a car is and has long been the preserve of muscle cars mainly because they tend to have enough torque to do it properly. It was originally used in motorsport to get heat into the tyres before a race but has now become a part of street car culture. It is also a highly popular part of the Le Mans 24hr event where almost every visiting car is encouraged to attempt a burnout on the road into the campsite.

Getting it Right

To get a burnout right you need a few things; lots of power, a clutch that can take the strain, a good amount of room and an idea of how to actually do it. We are not about to give you tips on how to do a burnout and we frankly would never suggest you do one but many people seem to want to and most of them seem to get it wrong.

Getting it Wrong

What tends to go wrong is that people end up burning out the clutch. This happens because they dump all the power from the engine in the hope it makes it through the transmission to the wheels. Sadly for various reasons it only goes as far as the clutch itself and consequentially the only things spinning are the clutch plates and the only smoke produced comes from both plates burning out. Other issues seem to be around what to do when you want to stop the burnout. Essentially when the car gains some traction it is going to head off pretty fast, not a surprise seeing as the engine is running a full tilt and the clutch is engaged. A lot of the fails are based around the car accelerating, often with the wheel still spinning and causing the car to slide. One of the final and most serious problems arise when the engine itself just cant take the strain of being revved that hard against tyres trying to get traction. Various states of engine fail occur from unknown noises to obvious things like parts of a piston being thrown up through the bonnet.


It is impossible not to find most of these fails funny, the painful attempts to show off that lead to red faced and confused drivers is just too much! But, there is a more serious angle to all of this. When anything in a car is running at the top end of it’s tolerances things can break, go bang and catch fire. As you can see from some of these videos fire is a common result of a burnout fail and very few situations seem to show anyone with a fire extinguisher. Motorsport and any kind of performance motoring has the potential for a fire so we would always recommend having a car fire extinguisher installed in your car. That extra level of safety could make all the difference if the worst were to happen. Once again, we are not suggesting anyone tries a burnout but anyone engaging in any type of motoring fun on the track or elsewhere should consider a fire extinguisher.

Get in touch with us today to discuss what sort of motorsport fire extinguisher would be suitable to your car and your type of motorsport.




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