5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (2022)

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (1)About the Author: Hi! I'm Chris Hunt, and I wrote this article. The information presented is my opinion based on personal experience and online research. It doesn't constitute advice, professional or otherwise. Furthermore, I don't guarantee the quality or finish of any of the products showcased. According to the Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policy posted on the website, you acknowledge abiding by them when using the site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases (without additional cost or expense to you).

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5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (2)Reviewed by an Emergency Services Professional: James*, a trained firefighter, reviewed this article.

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (3)

We Chose: Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs Extinguisher

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (4)Check Price on Amazon

Our pick for the best fire extinguishers for cars is the Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs Extinguisher. This one comes at a mid-price point (but the quality is high, in our opinion). We decided on an ABC-rated 2.5 Lbs extinguisher with a vehicle bracket to meet our personal needs and fit snugly in our car. Importantly, it’s DOT (transport department) compliant [1].

We selected the Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs extinguisher for our car. However, choosing it for our pick of the best fire extinguishers for cars took some time. This selection was difficult because there were so many inferior quality so-called “vehicle fire extinguishers” on the market. So we had to do a lot of digging around for an extinguisher that met our personal preferences for a car extinguisher.

Our Selection Criteria

We wanted to find an extinguisher that was small enough to fit discretely in our car. Therefore, the best size should be around 14 inches long and 2.5 Lbs of substance. It will allow it to fit snugly under a seat or in the trunk.

It has to include a vehicle mount in the delivery to quickly and easily secure it in the car.

The extinguisher must have a metal valve and pin. There is a long history of faulty extinguishers due to plastic mechanisms, so we needed to avoid plastic as much as possible.

Lastly, we like an easily visible pressure gauge in a fire extinguisher to quickly assess if it still has a charge.

For our full selection criteria and things considered, jump to the discussion at the bottom of this article.

You’d think that these criteria would be easy to find – it wasn’t. But at the end of the day, we’re happy with this pick, and I’m glad we shopped around so much before making our choice.

We want to share our other picks for the best fire extinguishers for cars that meet our personal preferences for a vehicle fire extinguisher.

The best fire extinguishers for cars are:

  • First Alert FE10GR Car and Marine Fire Extinguisher
  • H3R Performance HalGuard HG100C Clean Agent Extinguisher
  • Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs Extinguisher with Vehicle Bracket
  • Victory 2.5 Lbs Extinguisher with Vehicle Bracket

Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars

ImageTitleDry Chemical Net WeightClassClick to EditOur RatingPrimeBuy
5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (5)TopTopH3R Performance HalGuard HG100C (Clean Agent Extinguisher)1.4 LbsBCBest for sports cars. It does not use the regular dry chemical substance. Instead it uses a clean agent called Halotron designed to be non-corrosive to minimize damage to the vehicle.8/10PrimeCheck Price on Amazon
Top5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (6)TopTopAmerex B417T (with Vehicle Bracket)2.5 LbsABCThis is an extinguisher from a respected brand that meets all our expectations. It comes with a regular vehicle bracket.7/10PrimeCheck Price on Amazon
5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (7)TopTopFirst Alert AUTO5>1 LbsBCAffordable alternative to the Buckeye. This model is promoted as being designed for cars.8/10PrimeCheck Price on Amazon
5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (8)TopTopVictory Fire Extinguisher (with Vehicle Bracket)2.5 LbsABCWhile this one does tick all our boxes in terms of specifications, it's not a brand we know too well which is why we didn't end up going with it.7/10PrimeCheck Price on Amazon

Related Post: Best Fire Extinguishers for RVs and Campers

1. First Alert AUTO5 Car and Marine Fire Extinguisher

Quick Review: The first Alert AUTO5 is a popular small extinguisher with a simple valve and pin system for rapid discharge.

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (9)

The drawing card of this extinguisher is its simple pin and trigger system. It’s relatively lightweight, which adds to the sense that this is the fire extinguisher for someone who wants easy-to-use.

This extinguisher comes with the amount you can place in the car. However, we worry that it may require some holes to find a decent space to be mounted. As always, follow the correct mounting instructions provided in the instruction booklet.

The product diameters are 14.1 inches by 4.5 inches – so it’ll fit snugly in most vehicles.

Another significant aspect of this rechargeable extinguisher is its very extended 10-year warranty. James explains:

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (10)James Says: “Most commercial US-made extinguishers (Amerex, Ansul, Badger) are warrantied for six years because NFPA regulations require a 6-year tear-down inspection. However, the First Alert rechargeable extinguishers are unique and warranted for 10 or 12 years.”

But there are some downsides to getting this extinguisher, too.

The First Alert FE10GR holds sodium bicarbonate BC dry chemical and does not have an “A” rating like others on this list. You may prefer an “ABC” rated extinguisher. As James notes, ABC extinguishers have some benefits over and above BC-rated extinguishers for cars:

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (11)James Says: “If you open the hood of a new vehicle, you’ll see a large expanse of plastic components. Many modern vehicles are plastic, resin-infused fiberglass, foam upholstery derived from petroleum, and other highly flammable solid materials. A traditional “vehicle” extinguisher rated BC only will be ineffective for those fires; many people have switched to a class ABC extinguisher in their vehicles for this reason.”

But while ABC extinguishers are more versatile, some people still prefer a BC-rated extinguisher for their car. This preference is because BC-rated extinguishers are easier to clean up and can cause less corrosive damage to your engine:

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (12)James Says: “A bicarbonate extinguisher rated class B: C will be easier to clean up after use on an engine. However, it may not put out other fires besides burning fuel. An ABC extinguisher will be more versatile but is more likely to damage or destroy engine components through direct action or corrosion if not thoroughly cleaned up. But, again, it’s a matter of personal preference.”

Again, we’d like to emphasize that there may be rules about which type you need in your industry or local jurisdiction. Therefore, you’ll need to find your situation’s recommended (or even required) extinguisher type.

Why This Extinguisher:

  • Affordable: Comparable to others on the list, it comes at a lower price. Quality-wise, this one meets our standards.
  • Simple Pin Mechanism: We like the simplicity of this one’s pin mechanism.
  • Small & Comes with Mount: It measures 14.1 inches by 4.5 inches. It can mount under a seat for big trucks; otherwise, it might be best to put it in the trunk.
  • Easy to Read Pressure Gauge: The pressure gauge is obvious and color-coded. This feature helps users know when it’s time to recharge or buy a new one.

Keep in Mind:

  • Warranty and Returns: The 10-year guarantee is excellent… but returns and shipping can be a hassle when working with pressurized canisters.
  • Mount: It might be a hassle to mount and may require some drilling by a trained professional.

2. H3R Performance HalGuard HG100C Clean Agent Extinguisher

Quick Review: This one is for sports car enthusiasts. It uses a clean agent called Halotron designed to be non-corrosive to minimize damage to your car.

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (13)

This fire extinguisher intrigues us. It uses a non-corrosive ‘clean agent’ substance that is non-corrosive.

Many sports car enthusiasts prefer this non-corrosive substance to protect their car from collateral damage.

The substance is called halotron. In the 90s, they almost always used Halon 1211 in ABC fire extinguishers. However, scientists discovered that Halon 1211 was devastating for the Ozone layer. So the industry switched to a dry chemical substance called mono ammonium phosphate. Unfortunately, this substance is more corrosive when sprayed onto metals.

But the aviation industry needed a solution that was non-corrosive to their airplanes, so they went to halotron.

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H3R produces UL-certified halotron extinguishers for the everyday consumer market. They’re the go-to extinguisher brand for sports car enthusiasts today.

Unfortunately, there is usually a higher cost for these halotron extinguishers. Furthermore, they’re not as effective pound for pound. As James notes:

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (14)James Says: “Clean agent extinguishers have become popular in auto racing due to their lack of residue or damage after use. However, they are costly to buy and recharge and much less effective than dry chemicals, pound for pound. For example, to get a 1-A 10-BC rating, you’d need 11 pounds of Halotron agent vs. only 2 1/2 lbs of ABC dry chemical.”

But H3R does position itself as a premium brand. The chrome finish on this extinguisher is stylish and goes well with chrome finishes on some cars.

It’s only 10 inches high and 3.6 inches wide so it could fit nicely in many cars.

Why This Extinguisher:

  • Non-Corrosive: Unlike regular extinguishers, this one uses an aviation-grade substance designed to be gentle on vehicles.
  • Designed explicitly for Cars: H3R had cars in mind when they created this extinguisher, unlike other extinguishers on this list. The chrome finish and fat, short shape are more intuitive for vehicles.
  • Small: At just 10 inches long, this is one of the smallest extinguishers on this list.
  • Sleek: We love the chrome finish.

Keep in Mind:

  • Not as Effective as Dry Chemicals: While it’s still UL certified, H3R notes halotron extinguishers are ‘good’ against Class B and C fires. On the other hand, dry chemical substances are ‘excellent.’
  • The Price: These halotron extinguishers are premium extinguishers for sports cars, so they come at a premium price.

3. Amerex B417T 2.5 Lbs Extinguisher with Vehicle Bracket

Quick Review: This could be a good choice for a jeep or truck with roll bars. The mount is designed explicitly for roll bars.

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (15)

This fire extinguisher is from one of our favorite brands; plus, it comes with a quality vehicle bracket. The extinguisher has the critical key specifications that we look for in an extinguisher for a car:

  • A-B-C certified for liquid and electrical fires.
  • 10-second discharge time.
  • 2.5 Lbs. of substance.

All the specs that tick our boxes!

Something that does jump out is the dimensions of this one are a few inches larger than most. It measures 15.5 inches by 5.75 inches. It might not be the best for fitting under a seat at these dimensions but would fit fine on most roll bars.

It’s worth noting that this fire extinguisher is our top pick as a US CoastGuard Approved fire extinguisher for boats.

Lastly, Amerex is a trusted and respected brand in the fire extinguisher space (our chosen garage extinguisher is an Amerex).

Why This Extinguisher:

  • Comes with Vehicle Bracket: The Amerex B417T usually comes with a vehicle bracket. Check with your supplier before purchasing.
  • Quality Brand: Amerex is one of the most trusted brands in the fire safety industry.
  • Easy-to-Read Pressure Gauge: In our opinion, the gauge on this one is high quality.

Keep in Mind:

  • It’s Long: At 15.5 inches, it’s longer than most extinguishers on this list. This longitude might be an issue for storing under some seats on smaller vehicles.

4. Victory 2.5 Lbs Extinguisher with Vehicle Bracket

Quick Review: An essential UL-certified ABC fire extinguisher comes with a vehicle mount.

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (16)Check Price on Amazon

This extinguisher ticks all our minimum standards for our circumstances, so it makes a list. It’s a 2.5 Lbs extinguisher, so it’s in the smaller range for extinguishers. We think this is good for a car because a car won’t have all that much space for storing an extinguisher. It’s rated for ABC and electrical fires.

We like the simple gauge with a red and green zone for knowing if the extinguisher is well charged.

However, we did have a few concerns, so we didn’t go with this one. Mainly, we’re pretty familiar with fire safety products, and Victory isn’t a brand we know (and therefore, it’s not a brand we trust yet).

In addition, if we’re going to buy an extinguisher that’s not a top brand (Amerex, First Alert, Kidde), shouldn’t you pay less? We don’t think the price point is low enough on this one for us to give it a shot at this point.

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Why This Extinguisher:

  • ABC Rated: It deals with the most common fires, including liquid and electronic fires.
  • Small: At 2.5 Lbs, it’ll be compact enough to fit in most cars.
  • Vehicle Mount: Comes with a vehicle mount for strapping it to a car.

Keep in Mind:

  • Not a Well-Known Brand: We steered clear of this one because it’s not a top brand. We don’t think the price point justifies getting a less known brand when we can get a familiar one for a similar price.

Buyers Guide: What to Look for in a Fire Extinguisher for your Car

Quick Overview: When buying a car fire extinguisher, consider: its weight and size (2.5Lb is best), UL certification, Fire Class, discharge time, metal valve and pin components, vehicle mount, DOT approval, and warranty.

Light Weight

Fire extinguishers come in roughly three sizes: 2.5 Lbs, 5 Lbs, and 10 Lbs. Each size has its pros and cons.

A 10 Lb extinguisher is excellent in a garage or workshop where we want a big extinguisher. But they’re cumbersome, which can get in the way when we need to be agile. This feature is particularly true in a scenario where we may have to get to (or away from) a fire.

A 5 Lb extinguisher strikes a nice balance between discharge time (20 seconds is standard for a five-pounder) and weight. So we like the idea of a 5-pound extinguisher in the kitchen. But it’s usually too big to fit into a car discretely.

So we go for the 2.5 Lb fire extinguisher for cars because it is small enough to fit in our car. A 2.5 Lb extinguisher is usually around 14 – 15 inches long and 5 inches wide.

UL Certification

The Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is an independent certification company that many governments use as a benchmark for assessing the quality of products. For example, many states in the United States require that any fire extinguisher sold in those states have a UL certification. So it’s pretty essential to have one.

UL provides certifications for fire extinguishers using a number and letter symbol such as 5-B: C. When used by a trained professional, the extinguisher can handle Class B and C fires and cover a 5-square-foot fire.

UL certifications often test extinguishers against hot and cold conditions while in storage. For example, several extinguishers on this list are storable up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But, again, check each extinguisher for the specific details on this.

Fire Rating

ABC fire extinguishers are the most common fire extinguishers for daily use. Each letter symbolizes a specific class of fire.

Class A fires have everyday combustibles as their fuel. This fuel includes paper, plastic, and wood.

Class B fires have liquids and gases as their fuel. In this category, you may include gasoline and oils that you would find in a car. Car fires are commonly Class B fires, so any car fire extinguisher must have Class B compatibility.

Class C fires are fires that involve electrically charged materials. For example, a car fire may charge electrically if the fire consists of a car battery. It’s therefore crucial that a car fire extinguisher be Class C compatible.

So, when looking for a car fire extinguisher, Class B and C compatibility is essential. However, some people in some jurisdictions may be required to have a Class A compatible extinguisher. So, an ABC fire extinguisher is usually a good fit (see the requirements specific to your needs).

Discharge Time – 9 or 10 Seconds is Standard

A larger extinguisher will have a longer discharge time. But for a 2.5 Lb extinguisher such as those on this list, we expect a discharge time of 9 or 10 seconds. This short time means there are just 9 seconds to put out the fire. Then, of course, if we feel we are in danger, we remove ourselves from the vicinity of the fire and call emergency services immediately.

Metal Valve and Pin

Some fire extinguishers still use plastic valves, pins, and discharge mechanisms. Some popular extinguishers on the market today that advertise as ‘car fire extinguishers’ still have plastic parts. We try to avoid these models! Unfortunately, they often fail or break before us, putting us in a tight spot when we need our extinguisher to work every time!

Furthermore, James likes getting an extinguisher with suitable tight valves that don’t rattle:

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (17)James Says: “The buyer of a small extinguisher would be well advised to seek out a unit where the metal valve handles don’t rattle when shaken. Of course, some brands are worse than others in this respect. Still, manufacturing tolerances sometimes vary, and one example could feel tight while the next one rattles.”

Furthermore, James notes that plastic brackets and aluminum cylinders are unsuitable for vehicle fire extinguishers. This recommendation is due to the variations in temperatures inside cars:

5 Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars & Trucks (2022) - FFG (18)James Says: “Vehicle extinguishers can endure subzero colds in winter and high temperatures in a closed car in summer. But, in addition, they are subjected to vibration and get banged around a lot.

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So forget about the cheaper consumer-grade extinguishers with aluminum cylinders and plastic brackets. They simply can’t stand up to units with steel shells and metal brackets (Amerex, Ansul, Badger, etc.).”

Vehicle Mount

We wanted to buy an extinguisher with a vehicle mount. But we’re cautious that a vehicle mount may still require some tools and skills to secure it to the vehicle. For example, some users might need to drill holes in certain vehicles to bolt the mount to the car. You must follow the instruction manual or require professional assistance for these cases.

Extinguisher Compound

Most ABC-rated extinguishers contain a dry chemical compound called mono ammonium phosphate.

The only exception on our list is the H3R extinguisher, which uses halotron as its compound. Halotron is an aviation-grade extinguisher that is non-corrosive and softer on a car’s metals. Nonetheless, it is not quite as effective at extinguishing fires as dry chemical compounds.


There are both rechargeable and non-rechargeable models of fire extinguishers. Rechargeable models can be recharged and reused for the subsequent fire. Often local fire departments offer recharging services, but not always. Therefore, it can be hard sometimes to find somewhere to recharge an extinguisher. Alternatively, users can get a disposable extinguisher that you throw out once discharged.


Most fire extinguishers come with warranties – but we like a 10-year warranty. It backs the extinguisher for its natural lifetime. Unfortunately, you must discard most extinguishers after ten years and buy a new one. (Do check the local requirements in your jurisdiction).

What Causes Car Fires?

Quick Overview: Car fires can happen because of wiring and electrical faults, oil and fluid leaks, car accidents, poor maintenance, and overheating.

Wiring and Electrical Faults

Wires can cause Car fires if they have become frayed or come loose. The exposed raw wire can cause sparks or cross other cables and fire when wires fray. This condition exacerbates both a flexible wire and spilled fluids under the bonnet.

Red flags to look out for are old wiring in older vehicles, poor re-wiring and electrical work, and blown fuses.

Oil and Fluid Leaks

Oils and fluids such as engine oil, gasoline, brake fluid, and transmission oil are highly flammable. When these oils leak, they are likely to leak onto a hot engine that is particularly susceptible to fire.

Oil may leak due to car age, frayed or cracked engine parts, overfilling, and caps not screwed in securely.

Car Accidents

Car accidents often lead to the above situations: electrical faults and oil spills. For example, a crushed car will often lead to significant fluid spills all over the roads. These spills may lead to a fire if an electrical wire or friction sends sparks into the fuels during the accident. These spills are hazardous because gasoline, in particular, is highly flammable.

Poor Maintenance

Poor quality servicing and maintenance can lead to car fires. For example, include a wrongly wired electrical circuit, use of the wrong grade electrical insulation, or poorly installed pieces of machinery. Ensure you use a qualified mechanic when getting maintenance on your car.

Furthermore, non-frequent maintenance and lack of regular servicing may lead to fires. If you don’t service your car regularly, you may not identify minor faults until they lead to failures that could cause fires.


Overheating of a car engine will occur if the cooling system fails. For example, a broken coolant line, broken coolant pump, or cracked radiator, may lead to car overheating. Similarly, the engine will overheat if a car runs low on coolant. Therefore, keeping your eye on the temperature gauge on your dashboard is vital. You must pull over immediately if it indicates that the car is overheating.

How to Prevent a Car Fire

You can prevent the most avoidable car fires through some simple steps.

1. Drive Safely: One of the best ways to prevent a car fire is to avoid car crashes. Driving safely and keeping a distance from other cars can help.

2. Servicing a Car Regularly: Ensuring to take your car to a qualified mechanic for regular services can prevent problems. These services can involve check-ups where the mechanic may identify issues before a fire occurs.

3. Check for Leaks: Sticky oils spilling over an engine or puddles forming under the car can be a red flag. If you spot those, it would be best to get the vehicle checked immediately. These oils may cause danger to everyone.

4. Never Park over Long Dry Grass: The underside of a car can get very hot. When parked over long dry grass, the car’s underside could cause the vehicle to catch fire. This precaution is critical on hot days or when the grass is dried. Grass acts as kindling.

5. Transport Gasoline Safely: It is best not to transport gasoline. You should move it inside a certified container and follow all local laws and regulations when transported. Another thing to consider is to keep the gas out of the passenger compartment.

Final Thoughts

We think the H3R Performance HalGuard HG100C Clean Agent Extinguisher is an exciting pick! We would have considered it if we had a sports car we wanted to protect.

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In selecting a car fire extinguisher, we want a small 2.5-pound extinguisher that can fit in the car snugly.

In addition, it’s best to be UL certified, with a discharge time of 9-10 seconds. It should have an aluminum pin, valve mechanisms, and a visible pressure gauge. Finally, ensure it has a vehicle mount for securing the extinguisher to the car.


* Note: James is an actual person, but we’ve used a pseudonym and stock photo to protect his identity. We do our best to provide accurate information, including consulting with emergency services professionals like James. However, we cannot guarantee the currency, validity, or suitability of the information on the site. See our terms, conditions, and disclaimer for more details.


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