In the middle of a 5 star fight with the Morningstar, I hopped into one of my tricked out rides and lead the gang members on an exciting car chase filled with gunfire and vehicular mayhem.

I had just bought the "Damage - Explosions 4" upgrade, which supposedly makes me immune to explosion damage. As my Saint's purple car caught fire, I quickly went to exit the vehicle, but I was too late. The car exploded anyways and I woke up in a hospital, my wallet $500 lighter.

Was it because I was in the process of exiting my car that caused SR3 to glitch, or is car explosion damage a whole different type of damage?

  • 4
    You see, games these days desensitize youth to the potential ramifications of actions that they may make in the real world.
    – Nick T
    Dec 25, 2011 at 4:02

3 Answers 3


I've actually noticed the opposite of the effect Dave describes when playing, which is more in line with what you saw. I had all the invulnerabilities, and I noticed this odd behavior.

If you jump out of a vehicle right before it explodes, you'll die. However, if you're in the vehicle and it explodes, you'll survive. It caused me no end of consternation because when the vehicle catches on fire, my first instinct is to jump out of it. Staying inside keeps me safe, though.

With all the invulnerability upgrades, you can crash a jet directly into the ground at high speed and survive. If you jump out right before it explodes, you'll end up hurt or dead.

I don't know if it's a glitch or a feature, but it's something to be aware of nonetheless.

  • Of course unlike most other games, you'll be perfectly fine if you jump out well before the jet crashes, because you've always got a parachute with you. (I remember this being a problem in GTA: San Andreas. If you were in an aircraft that took too much damage, you had to dive quickly or else splat.) Dec 25, 2011 at 5:01
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    Or you can grab the fall damage invulnerability, and just jump out and go SPLAT on the pavement from whatever height you want, and then get up and walk off as if it's no big thing. My co-op partner arrived at every destination this way, generally creating a nice fireball off in the distance.
    – agent86
    Dec 25, 2011 at 13:27

You cannot purchase invulnerability to the damage caused by being inside a vehicle. Even with immunity to fire, vehicle, and explosions, if you are inside a car when it explodes, you'll be killed. (Standing next to an exploding car will not damage you; it's only being inside that makes you vulnerable.)


I believe the following is correct, but it is largely hypothetical:

The one kind of damage it is impossible to mitigate through upgrades is "physical" damage. This is the damage caused by melee attacks, flying physics objects, etc. While you are driving a vehicle, physical damage cannot injure the player anyway—that damage is applied to the vehicle's health, instead. (Damage caused by a flying player is covered in the "falling" damage category, and vehicles that are still functional assign damage according to the "vehicle collision" damage type, both of which can be eliminated through upgrades.)

What I think is happening is that by pressing the "leave vehicle" button, the game is reassigning physical damage to the player before updating your physical location, and so the exploding vehicle's gyrations are applying physical damage before you can be moved to the comparative safety of the flaming pavement nearby.

The exact game properties may not map perfectly to what I'm describing, but I suspect that it's something along these lines.

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