Can Propane Tanks Explode

Propane tanks often explode when they are exposed to heat or fire. When the explosion occurs, it leaves the life around it dead or severely injured. In summers, when the temperature is reaching its highest it’s fair to get concerned while handling and transporting the propane tank. 

When the temperature becomes unbearable, the car environment gets affected as well. In this brief post, we would discuss whether the hot car environment causes propane tank explosion or not? 

Can propane tanks explode in a hot car?

The appropriate answer to the question “can a propane tank explode in a hot car?” is that the propane tanks do explode in the car if the conditions are ideal for the explosion. We do not get to hear the explosion news every other day probably because we follow the precautions strictly and sometimes because the car temperature remains below the deadliest limit.

Propane tanks just do not explode in cars as shown in the movies

We often see propane tanks exploding the cars in action movies. It does not happen that often, in reality, explosions can occur but it rarely happens. If the propane tanks due to heat, motion, and sunlight do explode in the car, the explosion would not be as dramatic as shown in the movies.

Propane is super explosive but the tanks still do not explode quite often

Propane is transported in special tanks that prevent explosions to a great extent. Propane tanks, despite containing explosive gas, do not explode if they are handled carefully. It rarely happens usually due to carelessness and peak temperature.

As per the estimate, nearly 600 propane tanks explode in the car

As we have mentioned above, car explosions rarely happen. As per the consumer product safety commission, roughly 600 explosions have occurred in 365 days. Most of the explosions occurred because of the faulty propane tank and the peak temperature.

If propane tanks do not normally explode in a hot car, how do the explosions happen?

In a hot car, when the internal pressure becomes too high it makes a way for the propane to vent out. The vented propane then creates an explosive environment. The vented propane and the hot environment are reasons for most explosions. 

In simple words, propane tanks only explode when the temperature gets too high, the propane in the tank starts expanding and it reaches the point that the tank could not hold it further, it explodes.

Direct sunlight is more deadly than a hot car, it can lead to an explosion

We often get advised “propane tanks should not be kept in direct sunlight” or “Never leave the propane tank in direct sunlight for more than 10 minutes”. The reason is most propane tank explosions happen when the tank is left in direct sunlight for a long time. The hot car is just not that hot to cause an explosion, for a propane tank to explode the environment should be the hottest and the tank must be kept for a longer time.

The propane tank would only explode when the temperature reaches a certain height

A temperature below 120 Fahrenheit is safe, it does not cause an explosion. If it reaches above 120 Fahrenheit there are high chances that an explosion will occur. If the car temperature crosses the limit, keeping a propane tank for a long time can cause an explosion. Follow recommendations from near propane services.

But the propane tank should never be left indoors or in the hot car especially in summers

Propane tanks do not usually explode in cars but the heat, sunlight, and motion altogether is not an ideal environment for the propane tank to reside in. If the tank is faulty, it should never be left in the car even for a few minutes. In summers, when the weather is at its peak, the explosion chances increase to a great extent.

There is a way to keep and transport a propane tank in a car

Yes, it’s possible to keep the propane tank safely in the car until it reaches its destination. The experts suggest transporting propane when the temperature is moderate. The position of the propane cylinder would also help in bringing down the chances of explosion. To transport safely, keep the propane tank in a vertical upright position with the help of a stabilizer and a holder. Avoid going on a long journey and carrying propane more than 1000 pounds in hot weather.


Yes, a propane gas tank can explode in the car if it gets to reside in all explode-friendly conditions. The hottest temperature, sunlight, and motion cause the propane gas to explode. Propane tanks rarely get exploded as it is trapped in special tanks. As per the consumer product safety commission, nearly 600 tanks exploded in a year. Tanks placed in direct sunlight explode more than the tanks residing in the hottest car temperatures. If the temperature reaches 120 Fahrenheit, the chances of propane tank explosion increase but it remains below the said temperature the car or the sunlight would not explode.

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