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Old 05-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
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Washing engine bay

I know you're not suppose to power wash, but I'm going to a car show this weekend and want my bay looking good. Anyone have tips or how they do it?
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
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I'd like to know as well, I went to a DIY coin carwash before and just sprayed the engine 'cleaner' and didn't seem to do any damage, but then again didn't really clean anything.

Of course you can always spend hours Armorall'ing everything...
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Yeah, I've read some stuff on line about using a bucket and some simple green an a brush, then a light mister or steam cleaner. I'm just curious who's done it and got a good clean. I want more than wiping the top, I want to get in there all nice and deep like.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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I simply use the engine cleaner at the coin car wash place
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
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I simply use the engine cleaner at the coin car wash place
Haha, I'm glad I'm not alone... Can't wait for the professional guy to come in and tear our heads off saying we're doing it all wrong...
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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And power wash it? I understand most electronics and spark plugs are pretty well hidden, but what about what isn't seen or isn't covered and your CAI?

---------- Post added at 08:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:17 PM ----------

(Pretty well hidden for our cars, I mean) powerwashed my German girlies car and it misfired like a mother****er. Main reason I'm hesitant.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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And power wash it? I understand most electronics and spark plugs are pretty well hidden, but what about what isn't seen or isn't covered and your CAI?

---------- Post added at 08:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:17 PM ----------

(Pretty well hidden for our cars, I mean) powerwashed my German girlies car and it misfired like a mother****er. Main reason I'm hesitant.
I cover my CAI with double bags and my fuse box
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
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Double bags? I have a super hydrophobic prefilter for my CAI but I am still worried. Plus I've heard your engine should be running while you clean it. So really a prefilter is the only option, not sealed bags...
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:49 PM   #9
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Double bags? I have a super hydrophobic prefilter for my CAI but I am still worried. Plus I've heard your engine should be running while you clean it. So really a prefilter is the only option, not sealed bags...
Mines off when I do it
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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You take your filter off or the whole CAI and put the air box back on?
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:55 PM   #11
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You take your filter off or the whole CAI and put the air box back on?
No I meant the engine is off haha I cover the filter in double bags and my fuse box
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #12
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Oh ****, my bad. I was way off on that one. Hmmm... You spray your own degreaser/rust remover?
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
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Never washed my cars engine in the two years that ive ha it haha
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #14
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Never popped your hood at a show? I don't think newer cars will suffer performance issues from not cleaning, I just wanna show these Germans what a clean American engine with bells and whistles looks like...
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:16 PM   #15
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Never popped your hood at a show? I don't think newer cars will suffer performance issues from not cleaning, I just wanna show these Germans what a clean American engine with bells and whistles looks like...
Yea i have haha but it doesnt bother me much. One of these days im planning on steam cleaning my cherokees and mustangs engine
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #16
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Know anyone who's steam cleaned? That's something I hear about a lot, not sure where or how to do it...
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #17
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Know anyone who's steam cleaned? That's something I hear about a lot, not sure where or how to do it...
No haha. Just trial and error haha. I think you get a steam cleaner like a for clothes and just steam and area then clean with a rag
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:23 PM   #18
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Makes sense...
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:23 PM   #19
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Had a customer come in who's engine had just been steam cleaned and holy **** that thing looked good. I'm gonna be getting that done soon
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:25 PM   #20
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Can you buy one and do it yourself? Or is that professional industrial equipment?
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:26 PM   #21
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Can you buy one and do it yourself? Or is that professional industrial equipment?
You probably can buy one but I'm not sure on how cost effective and useful of a purchase it would be.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:51 PM   #22
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You probably can buy one but I'm not sure on how cost effective and useful of a purchase it would be.
Sorry off topic: Rosco! Clear your inbox so I can message you. You wanna drive up Glendora mountain road sometime?
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #23
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This is how I've been doing it for years


Step 1. Make sure the engine is ice cold before starting.

You want it cool since there is a slight possibility that you can crack the engine block by throwing cold water on it.

Step 2. Cover fuse box, battery, distributor cap, air intake, and I cover the alternator as well. Plastic bags work well

Step 3. I spray the entire bay with simple green and then lightly brush with a soft brush or old rag.

Step 4. Lightly rinse, I hold the hose at an angle off to the side, keeping the nozzle on the lowest setting.

Step 5. Pull off plastic bags a little water might get onto those areas , but just wipe it up, and you'll be fine.

Step 6: Dry the bay with towels or forced air dryer (a leaf lower will work as long as the tube is clean)

At this point you have 2 options leave it alone, or dress it up to your liking! I like to use SprayWay instant shine it looks great, and it doesn't attract dust.

And maybe its just me, but I usually do the engine first when detailing a car, it's not mandatory, but I don't love the job enough to go back and clean the overspray
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:58 AM   #24
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Good and detailed info, man. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. I have a question though. There is a car was in town that has a setting to spray hot water, not boiling, but uncomfortable to the touch, if I use that setting, should I still let my car sit for an hour or so and cool?
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:35 AM   #25
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I'd like to know as well, I went to a DIY coin carwash before and just sprayed the engine 'cleaner' and didn't seem to do any damage, but then again didn't really clean anything.

Of course you can always spend hours Armorall'ing everything...
Not a good idea, since Armor All is a bit greasy. That's going to make it trap the dirt your trying to clean off an engine bay.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:47 AM   #26
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My question is this: how is your engine compartment getting dirty to the point that it requires a pressure wash? Is it due to snow and salts put down during the winter months? If this is the case, then it explains why so many garage their ride during the winter months. I live in Florida and drive year round with my Mustang. I have 45K on it, and the engine compartment is clean. I simply use two towels; the first is used to dry the outside of my vehicles after a wash; it's made specifically to dry and minimize scratching the surface, the other I use (wet) to wipe down the engine compartment after every wash. I also use my shop vac with its brush attachment to clean off any loose dust/dirt that settles in the engine compartment. This has worked for me for years, and my engines and compartments have always looked clean.

I'm very weary about spraying water in a late model vehicle these days. Too many connectors and sensitive electronics/sensors that could get water in them and affect their operation.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:57 AM   #27
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Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom cleaner and rinse lightly if it is that dirty.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:50 AM   #28
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Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom cleaner and rinse lightly if it is that dirty.
+1. Siber Expres Told me about this way a year or so ago. Works great. The only thing you have to do is 'low shine' Armorall the rubber hoses and your engine bay will look like new again.

Don't use high pressure water on your engine. Just saying...........
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:55 AM   #29
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Well, I live in Germany and we have winter about nine months out the year. Also, they don't use salt, the Germans use some chemical **** and it dries a real nasty chalk color. I wash and wax my car at least once or twice a week because of the overspray. And my engine isn't greasy or rusty or anything, just has that chemical stuff all over it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #30
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My question is this: how is your engine compartment getting dirty to the point that it requires a pressure wash? Is it due to snow and salts put down during the winter months? If this is the case, then it explains why so many garage their ride during the winter months. I live in Florida and drive year round with my Mustang. I have 45K on it, and the engine compartment is clean. I simply use two towels; the first is used to dry the outside of my vehicles after a wash; it's made specifically to dry and minimize scratching the surface, the other I use (wet) to wipe down the engine compartment after every wash. I also use my shop vac with its brush attachment to clean off any loose dust/dirt that settles in the engine compartment. This has worked for me for years, and my engines and compartments have always looked clean.

I'm very weary about spraying water in a late model vehicle these days. Too many connectors and sensitive electronics/sensors that could get water in them and affect their operation.
I live in a dessert and there is constant dirt storms lol
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:27 AM   #31
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99ford gave great advice and i made a thread yesterday you can check it out everyone who responded gave good advice on mine and can give you an idea on what products to use because i am in the same boat as you im hesitant to use water
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #32
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Quote:
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Good and detailed info, man. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. I have a question though. There is a car was in town that has a setting to spray hot water, not boiling, but uncomfortable to the touch, if I use that setting, should I still let my car sit for an hour or so and cool?
No problem

As Bucko said the thing with pressure washing is it can force water into sensitive areas.

But if its real bad and the water is hot you can probably get away with it. I just don't like the idea of pressure washing the engine bay.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:00 AM   #33
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Everything is pretty well sealed so that shouldn't be a problem I like to double bag and wrap visible connections
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:12 PM   #34
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Yeah, I'll just be using the pressure washer without pressing the button so it barely shoots out and keep it at a distance. Everyone who posted tips on this thread, thank you all a while lot. I'll snap some photos at the show and let you guys/gals see how I did. Thanks again everyone. Love this forum and its members.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #35
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I work at Lithia Ford and our detail department steam cleans the engines of paying customers. I clean my car's engine once very two weeks for the last 8 months and hasn't had any issues. As far as the CAI is concerned just take off the filter and you're fine.
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