I've always heard of folks having problems with pressure washing their engine, getting water in to the electricals. Is there another or easier way? Can you spray on some cleaner and then just hose off with a garden hose? Any precautions?
Unless you plan to show the car, don't clean the engine; period. There are too many electrical connections and openings on things like the alternator where water and cleaners can get in and either corrode the inner workings or remove grease necessary to keep the bearings lubricated.
On the flipside, a regular amount of dirt and dust on the exterior of your engine does not detrimentally affect performance. You can always wipe off the plastic covers with mild soap and water-soaked rag, but beyond that...
In short, there's no reason to do that.
I destoryed a $600 alternator on my '89 Subaru by trying to clean the engine.
kylemorg...i'd say keeping the engine bay clean is a good idea...if i didn't do that i would've never noticed the broken clamp on the upper radiator hose and since our temp guage is a dumby guage i could've ran out all the coolant and killed the engine. there's no way i would've noticed that leak of the engine bay was dirty...speaking of which...i should wash my car it's so nasty right now
i just clean it with a damp rag and some brake cleaner. takes longer then steam or other things but it's way safer
Wow...I new it could be problematic to wash the engine bay, but now you guys made me almost paranoid about cleaning it. I noticed Fordfaster had a really clean bay...wonder if he just uses elbow grease too?
i would recommend that you power wash the engine while it is running. and leave running for 20 min after to keep engine heat in and evaporate the remaining water. this is what i have been doing for 7 yrs now at the dealership. in 7 years and 1000's of cars later, never a problem.
Well, I've sprayed the engine bay lightly with a shower via garden hose just to get it damp. I've never aimed a pressure of water into any nook or cranny or at any strange angles. Then I spray degreaser on the surface parts, wipe with rag or tire brush and gently spray again to rinse. If you do this, always wait for the engine and parts to be completely cooled before applying cold water. I also start my car up shortly after I'm done to help the belts dry evenly and correctly and to make sure the car still starts. Also try to point the car on a downward slope, this helps to drain the water. Try and keep any cleaner or water on the parts for as minimum of a time as possible. You can mop up the remaining water that you see with rags.
power washer at work is a 1500 psi. cover the alt, coil pack and cai with a towel or plastic bag to prevent water from entering. with the engine off, spray a degreaser on the engine compartment and wait 5 minutes. start car and and power wash the engine compartment. make sure you are careful of the parts that are covered up. leave running for at least 15 minutes with the hood closed. i also use a product called motor milk. this is the equivalent to tire shine. do not use tire shine on engine compartment. tire shine is flammable. motor milk is non flammable and made for putting the shine back on hoses and such.
also, if you use an engine cleaner, be careful not to get on paint. this may damage the paint. use a mild degreaser. the product i use at work is called blue max. it can be purchaced thru a car brite dealer. this is by far the best remover i have ever used.
i would stay away from garden hoses. they actually drown parts. power washers use air to disperse the water in a not so concetrated stream. hope this helps.
if you have any more questions send a pm. i would be glad to help anyone out.
i also have small detailing company that i do on the side. if anyone needs some work done and live somewhat close, hit me up.
Always cover anything that you do not want to get wet. This includes any and all electrical connections and exposed air filters. I use simple green on a cold engine, garden hosed w/ normal faucet pressure and scrubbed with a tire brush and all sorts of rags. Hose off simple green and towel dry as much as possible, then uncover the covered parts, then start her up, dry more, take for spin around block, turn off, and give her one last once over with a towel. I do this once every 6 months without probs. Read it in a detailing book.
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