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anyone ever have their Jeep struck by lightning? Unfortunately last night my Jeep took a hit and now it won’t turn on. I ran it perfectly fine hours prior to the storm. There’s a hole in the street right under my engine and pieces of asphalt inside my engine. Anything I should know, look for, or do? I’ve never heard of this happening to a vehicle. I figured it’s grounded because of the tires. Could someone be electrocuted while driving in their Jeep?
 

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I'll save the long engineering dialog, but basically call your insurance use the check to get a new jeep.

And no, getting electrocuted should not happen. Not because you are grounded (you ain't) but because of the vehicle acts as a cage and the shock goes around you. Now maybe if you were topless and your head was the highest point, but then you'd have a better chance at back to back Megabucks wins.
 

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Why would I have to get a new Jeep? It’s not like there’s NO power. Battery still turns on, it sounds like it wants to crank over but won’t, and I JUST replaced the PCM 3 weeks ago bought from advanced auto. Could it be the computer again? I’m going to check the fuses today.
But please maybe explain why YOU think to total my Jeep? Doesn’t make much sense to me cause I doubt I’ll get that much for my Jeep.
 

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Act of nature, your insurance should cover. That being said, so you replace the PCM, then what, you find out that the lightning bolt superheated the block and it cracked water jacket?

Before you start tossing parts, talk to your adjuster, talk to your trusted mechanic. You could be looking at just the PCM, or every single electronic part and block.
 

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Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
 

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Thank you patofnaud for your input. I’m gonna let the insurance figure this out too. I just replaced the ECU or PCM, whatever, maybe 2-3 weeks ago. So I’m really hoping it’s not that, AGAIN.
 

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Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
Folks asking for pics are NOT stupid comments and 'pics or it didn't happen' is a very common phrase.... nobody insulted you and there is no need for you to lash out....

You described something that they thought they'd like to see.....

Btw, to see asphault inside your engine would require taking it apart and/ or using a bore scope .... I assume that you mean your engine COMPARTMENT.....
 

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Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
Its a joke internet tough guy and its ellwood city pa thank you very much and it sounds like all your electric components are fried at least it happened to a nice guy like you
 

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Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
Folks asking for pics are NOT stupid comments and 'pics or it didn't happen' is a very common phrase.... nobody insulted you and there is no need for you to lash out....

You described something that they thought they'd like to see.....

Btw, to see asphault inside your engine would require taking it apart and/ or using a bore scope .... I assume that you mean your engine COMPARTMENT.....
well said
 

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@Kokomo63 dude the internals of your electric system (based on your account) could be really screwed up and cooked to a crisp. As you start to fix one area it becomes a popcorn trail of issues. Insurance will probably want to fix it... cheaper and then you have electrical gremlins for the life of ownership. A bolt to make a hole and have asphalt shrapnel in your engine --- i d fight tooth and nail to get a check from insurance. Totally odd SITU but I guess anything is possible- though kind of surprised nothing caught on fire from what you say, as an asphalt hole is pretty insane.

That being said, got a pic? :D good luck.
 

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Well, Mr. KoKo, I can tell you this if it helps to convince you any. I spent my entire career working on and repairing vehicles for a living. Lightning struck vehicles are a very rare thing indeed. I personally was responsible for checking out and attempting repair for only three cars over the course of 30 plus years. ALL 3 were totaled. I guarantee your new PCM is fried, along with your radio, alternator, everything that's electronic is toast. You likely will find that at least one of your tires is ruined as well as the associated wheel bearings and who knows what else. That's the thing, you don't know and you keep putting parts on trying to repair it and it goes on and on and on. It's totaled.
 

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Thank you Kangler, that's what I was implying in my initial response.

To the base post, any large metallic thing in the path of a lightning bolt 99.9 times out of 100 will pass AROUND said object on its way to the ground causing 0 damage. Like a Faraday cage. (ref: https://science.howstuffworks.com/faraday-cage.htm )

This is why you do not get electrocuted in a plane flying through a storm, and why a car is a good place to be in a storm.

But if for some reason the bolt passes THROUGH an object, things melt, things superheat and explode (like water does in trees).

If in fact your bolt when THROUGH your vehicle, instead of AROUND like 99.9% of the time, then anything along its path has been compromised. And that could be obvious stuff like ECM/PCM/Radio,,, but could also be things like bearings that superheated, or wiring harnesses that melted enough to work today, but not tomorrow.

If your insurance says, sorry we don't cover lightning, you still want to get a friendly mechanic you can trust to start looking at it. You may be able to save it, but you want to get a feel for how deep a hole you will have to dig to get it back to life.

What you do not want to do is, pay $500 for an PCM,,, oops that didn't fix it, sorry no returns on electronic parts,,,, here try a new coil,, opps sorry that didn't fix it,,, oh we got it running but there is a weird squeal from rod #4 that sounds like the bearing is shot,,,,,, see where I am going? Have some due diligence put into the assessment and assume you are taking a rebuild/PCM and then decide if you want to keep going.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks so much for all the helpful advice! My radio and lights still all work, it just won’t turn over. I can’t hear/feel the fuel pump turn on.
What I feel like I’ll be doing is purchasing another vehicle and working on this Jeep over time. It’s my first one and kinda want to keep it, sentimental value I guess you could say.
As far as you picture ppl that want to see it, I meant nothing by my response. I simply felt like I didn’t need to prove anything to anybody. Maybe toughen up a lil since I’m obviously a “tough guy” lol and not be so sensitive when some tells you no. But to quiet all the drama here’s your pictures of holes in the street and in my engine COMPARTMENT. Lol apologies for not being specific! Hahaha
Thanks for all the good advice and comments from the few that posted.
 

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You should be able to work something out with your insurance company so that you can keep it. Just know what you are getting into.
 

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A few months ago we had a guy killed by lightning while riding his motorcycle down I-95 just south of Daytona. Don't think you are safe if you are topless in your jeep with your hands or legs hanging out. On another note my neighbors boat was struck buy lightning last year. Very expensive Boston Whaler and the insurance company totaled it. Hope you had insurance.
 

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I tend to agree with the advice to talk to your mechanic and insurance man. The lightning bolt could have gone over or thru your jeep in a number of ways. It could have followed a clear focused path thru various parts of the vehicle to ground, or it could have dispersed over the skin of the vehicle to ground. Not sure which happened here. But we are talking about mega voltage here and even relatively low voltage thru just one part of the electrical system could have essentially fried all electrical components. Vehicles are not built to absorb and shed a lightning strike like aircraft are. I have seen this happen before in a storm. The bolt dispersed over the skin of the vehicle and because the tires were wet it used them to go to ground. No one was hurt but the vehicle sustained severe electrical damage nonetheless. Take those other commenters advice and talk to your insurance man after talking to a good mechanic. You may be in for a long and expensive future here with electrical components that keep failing. Just consider yourself darn lucky to have walked away and go buy a lottery ticket soon.
 

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Heh heh heh - as an electrical and electronics professional, and a former soldier with knowledge of EMP, I know what I'd be doing. Unfortunately, it seems parts of the conversation became contentious. Rather that get involved, I wish you the greatest success, and I'll keep my thoughts to myself.

GOOD LUCK SIR.
 
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