I had our vans transmission rebuilt and then the acccumulator piston cap failed. It is my belief that fluid then hit the catalytic converter, caught fire and led to the loss of our vehicle. Can anyone support that transmission fluid will burst into flames when contacting somthing that hot? Thanks.

Transmission fluid has a flash point of about 450 F…yes it is flammable.

Thank you for that info. The guy at the shop said it was impossible.

Catalytic Converters can get very hot, 700-900 degrees is not impossible, which will flash transmission fluid. Did the vehicle burn up completely?

A friend of mine was rebuilding cars in his shop. Some transmission fluid had spilled on the floor and he accidentally flipped a cigarette butt into the fluid. It caught fire and he threw what he thought was water on the flames–it turned out to be solvent to clean parts. He lost his whole shop. That was 40 years ago, but the flammability of transmission fluid hasn’t changed.

At the risk of sounding anal, Transmission fluid is not flammable, its a combustible liquid. Flammable liquids or gasses have a flash point below 100?F. If you are planning a court fight, you need to get the terminology correct.

Terminology aside, yes it can lead to a fire.

Engine oil can also catch on fire as well as trans fluid.
Converters get very hot and many cars have burnt to the ground after parking them on deeper grass.
Without going into details, several people were killed when a converter caught the carpet in a car on fire. The driver was 16 years old, went into a panic, and hit a bridge abutment, killing both her and a relative in the front seat.
So yes, they get hot enough to ignite just about anything.

All of the damage was contained to the engine compartment. That was enough to total the van.

Excellent point. We are working on gathering all we can if it comes to that.