Surprise cause of billowing smoke from Aussie driver's engine

Aussie snakes are known to hitchhike on the odd car or caravan. Sadly, this one was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A woman driving to the shops was in for the shock of her life when "plumes of smoke" started coming out from her car's engine – with the cause of the billowing ash far from what you'd expect.

The Aussie was close to a mechanic's shop and parked outside before running in to tell them something was very wrong with her car. "Every mechanic in the place rushes to my car, armed with fire extinguishers," she said in a post online.

After putting out the fire and noticing a "weird" smell, the mechanics soon found the source of the smoke — a "poor little" snake who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

WIRES Snake catcher, Kenny Damaschke, told Yahoo News Australia that while it's uncommon, finding snakes in car engines does happen. "I attend such a scenario at least once a season, I just went to one the other day," he said.

Left image a 'shaky' photo of the mechanics looking at the smoking engine. Right image of the deceases snake after being found.
After putting out the fire and inspecting the car (left), mechanics found the 'poor' snake that had been killed by the hot engine (right). Source: Reddit / -SailorMoon-

Many online were sympathetic over the snake's unfortunate death at the hands of the car's engine, saying it was a "nasty way to go".

Do you have a story about an Aussie animal you've found? Contact reporter Laura Koefoed at

Snakes look for warm, dry crevices

Snakes are good at finding their way into small, tight "nooks and crannies," especially when they're trying to find a safe space to hold out during bad weather, Kenny told Yahoo. "They seek out warm, dry spaces and an engine bay of a car creates those ideal conditions — it's no different to a rocky crevice or between boulders".

If a person finds a snake in their car or car engine, the best thing to do is contact the local wildlife or snake rescue, like WIRES. Kenny admits that catching snakes that are in car engines is the most "difficult" rescue to do, especially if the snake is venomous, because of access restrictions.

All Aussie snakes are protected and play an "important" role in our ecosystem. It is an offence to intentionally harm one — though in this scenario, it was obviously accidental.

Using cooking flour for snakes in cars

One method snake catchers can use when there is a snake in a car and they're waiting for it to come out involves the use of flour.

It works best when the car is parked in a garage or a similar location and the catcher or car owner makes a ring of flour around the vehicle. When you come back to the car later, there will hopefully be a track left by the snake, which means it's moved out and away from the car.

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