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Old 04-05-2015, 10:14 PM   #1
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Under the hood clean up

What are the best ways to clean up a dirty engine bay? My car is showing its age a bit under the hood and I'd love to get it shined up a bit. Any tips?


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Old 04-06-2015, 12:11 AM   #2
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I cover the power distribution box and the alternator with plastic bags, and then spray everything down with Simple Green and let it soak for a bit. Then rinse it off with the hose.
You will probably need to repeat the process a few times. I use a brush for the difficult areas.

Sometimes people have issues with the engine not starting, or running rough after washing the engine. This is likely due to water entering the spark plug wells, or possibly, getting the air cleaner wet somehow. If your COP or spark plug boots are in good condition, very little (If any!) moisture should enter the plug wells. Just don't go crazy with the water, especially on top of the engine.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:08 AM   #3
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+1 to all of that above ^

theres a bunch of spots that are hard to clean, like around some bolts. try some compressed air, whether from a can or compressor.
i use a good quality tire shine from time to time to shine up the plastics and rubber hoses and what not. my particular brand is Surf city garage. if you have any rust on the frame, grab some naval jelly or something that converts or removes rust to prime and seal it from getting worse. carefull with some cleaners tho, the paint under the hood isnt clear coated. i havent had a problem with simple green though.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:56 AM   #4
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Sounds like a plan. Have to pick up some cleaner, but should be able to get on it soon! I've got l CAI out right now (waiting on the new one to get here) so I thought it'd be a good time to get in there. Thanks for the advice


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Old 04-06-2015, 07:58 AM   #5
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yea just grab some cheap microfibers. they pick up the dirt and help wipe the grease clean, but i would toss em when done. otherwise, clean em in a bucket and just use them for dirty jobs.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:12 AM   #6
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Under the hood clean up

Simple green, or purple power to clean heavy dirt if needed then Spray the whole engine bay down with wd-40 in a spray bottle not a spray can and wipe it down as much as you can. Try avoid spray it on any chrome or just wipe it down till its cleaned off. This is what I did when I was a detailer and is what I do with my engine bay to make it look flawless. I tried engine cleaners from stores but they all sucked. If you spray the engine off with a water hose open the hood for a day make sure everything is dried before you start it. Blow water out in spark plugs holes, coils, intake, and alternator with an air nozzle.


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Old 04-06-2015, 09:34 PM   #7
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In my experience in detailing engine bays I avoid taking a hose to it. I use some degreasers with a few different brushes and microfiber towels and take a little at a time starting at the front of the engine down into the radiator. Then work my way back. I remove the air cleaner and any hoses associated with it and take my time as I meticulously clean the hard to reach areas. This whole process takes a few days but it the safest approach in my opinion.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:07 AM   #8
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Yea, I wouldn't feel comfortable hosing it down. But maybe spraying warm water from a spray bottle in certain areas where water wont hurt. around all the electricals, better to be safe and just take time.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:57 AM   #9
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The engine isn't made of sugar!
They get wet every time that you drive in the rain.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:10 PM   #10
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well of course they do, but not a waterfall from above, or at a high pressure. just some splash from underneath and up front, and some vapor, and a little splash from the sides for the hood.
Either way, I have heard of plenty of people pressure washing it without any problems, but equal number of people who tried it and had all sorts of issues. engine getting wet wont kill your engine, but water in some of the wrong places, shorting out an old wire, or getting behind an old seal, can cause some headaches.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:05 PM   #11
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Ik at my detail shop we used strong degreaser and softly hosed it down and let it sit out in the sun for a day.


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Old 04-07-2015, 04:33 PM   #12
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Looks good Speed
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:34 PM   #13
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There are instructions in the Owners Manual, in the maintenance and care section, regarding how to clean the engine compartment and which parts to avoid getting wet.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:46 PM   #14
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However you clean it make sure you have the fuse box either covered or clean it separately...


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Old 04-09-2015, 11:40 AM   #15
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mine just came from a detail shop, they made it look like new, but I don't know what all they do to it.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:53 AM   #16
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all this talk about cleaning under the hood makes me want to shine mine up again soon.
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Steeda Exhaust, C&L plenum, BBK Throttle Body, Steeda Underdrive, Steeda short throw, unknown stage clutch. Rear main leak. Compressor seal leak. Steeda lower control arms. good tires.
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