Cleaning Car Engine

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UK-RV

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Hi Guys

Here's showing my total lack of mechanical knowledge again......

Whilst cleaning all the Alaskan road dust from the car again, I noticed just how bad the engine compartment is.

There must be a good inch of dust all over the engine.

What is the best way to clean it - can I just use a pressure wash and blast the stuff away, or will that leave things like spark plugs damp etc.

I did think of using the air hose but that would just blow the stuff around.

Thanks for advice.

Paul

PS A word of advice for anyone travelling thru Canada and Alaska, is to make sure the air vents are closed inside the car (even place a cloth to cover the vent up to windshield) as the dust that gets into the car in in fabric of seats is immense.
 

Woody

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Mar 10, 2005
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If there is one of those coin operated car washes near where you are just use their high pressure setting to soap down the engine and then rinse off. Leave the vehicle running while you do this. There should really be no problem with getting the plugs or wires wet if they are in good shape. Keep the water away from the air induct though if you have a carb instead of fuel injection.

Woody
 

Bob Zambenini

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Orange County California
Paul, I just put a plain old water hose to the engine compartment and its comes out very clean. I don't use a pressure system but I have a nozzle on the hose that gives a pretty good spray.

Bob
 

UK-RV

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"Keep the water away from the air induct though if you have a carb instead of fuel injection."

What and what where ?? ???

I did say how limited my tech knowledge is.? ;D

I think I will just be extra careful when I wash it !

Paul
 

blueblood

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Our local Chevrolet garage washes every car that comes in for service and this includes the engine compartment. They do it with pressure washer being extra careful to not hit any fin areas and damaging them.
 

Woody

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UK-RV said:
"Keep the water away from the air induct though if you have a carb instead of fuel injection."

What and what where ?? ???

I did say how limited my tech knowledge is.? ;D

I think I will just be extra careful when I wash it !

Paul

You will see a large diameter flex hose coming off of the air cleaner housing. On most cars it will lead to somewhere just behind the grill. Just keep the spray away from this area to keep from sucking the water up into the engine.


Woody
 

Karl

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I recommend AGAINST using a pressure wash system in the engine compartment. There are relays, connectors, sensors, fuse blocks, and other electrical and electronic stuff in there that could well be damaged by it. Maybe not immediately, but over time you could have some expensive repair bills. Use a hose with a spray nozzle set to a fine spray; not a hard stream, and use a stiff brush to loosen any caked on stuff. For dust that's mixed with grease or oil, get a spray can of Gunk Engine Cleaner, spray it on those areas, let it sit, then rinse off with water. Auto parts stores have both the brush (it's called a parts cleaner brush) and the Gunk.
 

John From Detroit

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I too use either high or medium pressure car wash to clean the engine.  Yes, there are electrical things (Relays, fuse blocks (Well, not in my car, those are elsewhere) connections and such) all of which are designed to take a drenching

Think about this.. When I got home from quartzsite dirt was EVERYWHERE under that hood, I mean EVERYWHERE, On top of the air cleaner (Traditional type, on top of engine) on top of block, on all the pipes, hoses, wires EVERYWHERE

Now,,, If I'd been driving through a rain storm instead of a dessert where do you think the water would be?

Same place  EVERYWHERE

The only thing under my hood senestive to water is the alternator and, as others have pointed out, the air INTAKE, and (There are two by the way) the HOT ENGINE air intake is as someone else described, the COLD ENGINE intake is around the exhaust manafold,  I have never cleaned a truly cold engine but even then, some water entering the air intake (SOME) won't hurt much.  (Don't spray into the intake though) Again, think about driving in rain
 

John From Detroit

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I have looked, and how do you think I know the alternator is water senestive? (I've drenched it many times and every time I get low voltage warnings till it drys out)

Dry is not a word I'd use to describe the inside of the engine compartment after a rain storm
 

Chet18013

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Look at it this way. Every time you drive in the rain, the engine compartment gets wet. True, the heat of the engine evaporates water quickly. The one thing you never want to do is turn the hose on a hot engine. Wash the car in the morning, before you drive it, after it ihas been sitting all night. As the last thing,I always raise the hood and just hose everything down. If 's not coming clean with just a water rinse, I use the same soapy water I wash the car with and then rinse again. Been doing this for years, and the engine compartment always looks like a new car.

Chet18013
 

Karl

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Oh,my - If every time you drove thru the rain the engine got wet, we'd see a whole lot of stalled vehicles on the highways. Don't know of too many people that pull over and park when it rains. If you've got an alternator that craps out whenever it gets damp, maybe you should get a new one or check the tension on the belt(s).
 
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