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Old 01-03-2011, 13:39   #1 (permalink)
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Washing/Cleaning the engine bay?

Hey there,

I looked in the wash/wax section and found nothing about this. So I guess I'll post it in here. I have an 01 GM. The engine bay is very dirty/dusty from being stored in a bad location. Just using a leaf blower is not working. I need to wash it out with soap and water and then dry it out.

Are there any major no-nos or gotchas on these cars? Are there any super sensitive parts that just flat out die? There are some cars out there that a garden hose in the engine bay is pretty much a disaster. How about these CV/GMs? What needs to be covered for sure? The only thing I see in the Haynes manual is to cover the MAF bad air filter assembly. I'm planning on actually pulling that out and cleaning that by hand.

When I'm done I'll blow dry it with a leaf blower to get the water out of the connectors and alternator windings etc...
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Old 01-03-2011, 13:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Washing/Cleaning the engine bay?

We've cleaned them with a pressure washer and had the engine running. Sometimes the water got in around the spark plug boots ans we had to remove them and blow the holes out with air pressure.
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Old 01-03-2011, 14:53   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Washing/Cleaning the engine bay?

Many , many years ago , when I was on the tools , we used to wash the engine , bulkhead , underneath bonnet , side panels etc . as part of any major service . We did it by hand with a long , thin brush , cloths and paraffin ( kerosene ? ) , which was then hosed off and then dried with air hose / engine heat . Prior to starting , we used to cover electrical items like distributor , alternator , fuse box etc . any vulnerable electrics with plastic bags . Then after road testing , a final check on plug leads and inside dist cap .( in those days ) for moisture before parking outside . If done carefully , with patience , it makes all the difference to car . Many a time we had problems with over zealous use of the hose , mainly with electrics and water to interior of car at times .Nowadays with all the electrics on modern cars , you got to be very careful or you can introduce all sorts of problems .But take your time and prepare car before you start and you should be o.k . Best of luck .
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Old 01-03-2011, 16:37   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Washing/Cleaning the engine bay?

I Should have mentioned, we did it in the summer when it was dry, and we ran the engine quite awhile afterwards. Also as R.S.LOGAN mentioed, be carefull of all electrical connections.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:03   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Washing/Cleaning the engine bay?

DO NOT DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The coil packs on Triton motors do not like water.
The Ford dealerships LOVE seeing people come in with coil pack issues.
The FIRST question the service writer asks is whether the engine was washed recently.
If you ever change the spark plugs in a Triton motor you'll see why they hate water.
The recommended method for cleaning the engine compartment is with steam.
Please, "I" beg you, don't use water.
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Old 11-24-2011, 19:37   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Washing/Cleaning the engine bay?

I find it's easier to hook the hose up to fairly warm water...or hot just not scalding direct from the water heater. Drive the vehicle for five minutes, or go around the block twice to get everything warm. Spray the engine area down with a can of degreaser and let sit for five minutes then rinse with the hot water from the hose. Works great!

Don't worry about the skeptics on using water on the engine. If the engine bay couldn't get wet, it would be better guarded from the elements... as in not having the underbody exposed to the road where you can drive through puddles and soak the engine without even knowing it, not to mention the rad that moisture passes through all the time and gets blown around the engine.

I've washed engines on countless vehicles over the years from Fords, to Mercedes (gas and diesel), various GMs (gas and diesel), and a few Dodge vehicles plus a newer Hyundai that my neighbour bought and drove it to visit his aunt on a dirt road in northern Ontario.

Make sure the wire connections are tight and don't blast anything directly and you won't have any issues.
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