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Engine Bay Cleaning

1629 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Foxy
What is the most effective way to clean out your inside bay.. someone told me they like wrapped a paperbag around the filter and distributor cap and then went over the whole thing with a hose and toothbrush.. any idea´s?
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id like to know how to clean mine also... its an 88gt (kinda dirty) :-? . lol. from what i understand u need to cover the distributor cap and intake spray some engine degressor on then either use a hose and spray it all over or get a pressure washer and set it on a very very low setting so u dont strip anything you dont want to. is this right? thnx for the help...
take it to a car wash and use the high spray on the engine, you shouldn´t have to cover anything up. It may also find some potential problems that need to be addressed which cause power losses. When me and my brother went and washed off my engine it started to idle rough, and thats after we finally got it started. My coil was bad and rusting out, cost me 75 bucks but the car ran like a dream after we put that on there.
Drive to the car was an hose it down??? Umm yeah make sure your parked there for like 45min to an hour till your block is cold... lol i can just picture some one hosing a hot one. But yeah any ways... All I use is a wire brush, a wet rag, a dry one, a little car soap, and some degreaser if its really bad. And not to talk out my
but i hear mine looks pretty good. :-]
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Nah we drove it to the car wash, parked it, popped the hood and sprayed it down. all it did was steam the water, which isn´t bad. it cleaned the engine bay out and cooled the engine off. it was still 65 degrees in November when we did this so nothing got frozen. ;-)
adam weren´t u taking notes when I took my car to the car wash and cleaned off the engine? lol, just try not to get the spray on anything electrical. It won´t kill it if it does. I did mine when the engine was hot and it steamed a little, but then again I couldn´t see the other wall from how hot the water was and how cold it was outside.
How I wash my Engine bay...
1) Open Hood
2) Spray Engine Shampoo over EVERYTHING
3) Let soak 5 minutes
4) Use high-pressure water to blast off shampoo
5) Admire clean engine
6) Close hood.

Thanx. I think i will give it a try when the weather warms up... is it bad to do it in the winter and have the water freeze over everything?
Usually a car wash will work just fine. But make sure you don´t have to be anywhere right after you wash it. I washed down my engine bay a couple times last summer and the car would barely stay running afterwards. Finnally after I got it home and waited a few hours for everthing to try it ran ok again, but the first time I did this it scared the crap outa me, I mean how would you react if you thought you just ruined your car with water! Try you best not to get any water where the spark plugs go. That area can take a loong time to dry out.
the best stuff i have found to clean engines is GUNK engine degreaser, just spray it on let it sit for a few and spray it off
grab the good old power washer and go nuts, thats how I do it. 3200psi works wonders. just let it dry before starting it...
I used to detail for a Honda dealership. We leave the car running, spray down the engine and underside of the hood with some detergent, use the camel hair brush (foaming brush in most manual carwashes) and scrub the top of the engine a bit.. then just hose off with a modest amount of water. The reason you leave it running is so that you actually clean all sides of every belt and pulley, and if you keep your ears open, you know when you´re drowning something, because the car will sputter. Also, being warm you don´t need to wait for it to dry.. just let it keep running for a while.

YOU WILL NOT CRACK YOUR BLOCK.. that´s just silly, you know how big that block is and how much cool water from the radiator enters the block when the thermostat opens up? You ever seen land rovers with snorkles?? You think those shoddy engines crack? Hell no. Just don´t dedicate yourself to soaking down your exhaust manifold and you shouldn´t have any problems. And yes.. sheild any cone air filters unless you like the idea of your engine ingesting some un-compressable water.. say goodbye to your pistons rods and crank.

PS, some notes on that foaming camel hair brush at the carwash (don´t use the nylon POS brushes, don´t even visit those carwashes) :

  • Soak down your car with soapy water.. no use rinsing it with fresh water right away, you´re paying for every gallon (minute), make it count.
  • Once you´ve gotten the car completely wet, and most importantly, cool, walk over to where that brush is up on the wall and spray it with the pressure washer for a good 10-15 sec to get any sand or dirt the last person left in there.
  • Then run back, throw the switch over to the foam brush. Use the brush in a back and forth motion on the hood windsheild, roof, backlight and trunk, then move to the side windows. Be rough with it, that camel hair won´t hurt the finish. Don´t go below the level of the trim until you´re completely done with the top.
  • After you´ve gotten the sides and the rear, hit the front facia and scrub those bugs off. Now, scrub the hell out of your wheels with the thing.
  • Now that the car looks like a mound of foam, throw the brush back up on the bracket like a good carwash patron and start rinsing with the wax.
  • Go from top rear to front bottom. The car is designed to shed water from front to rear, and you want to rinse in ever nook and cranny (to hell with sheding). Shoot the hell out of the door handles, body panel gaps, mirrors and the wheel wells.
  • If you see any foam towards the rear of the car, move back to that point and move forward again.
  • Once all the foam is gone, keep spraying and moving around until you can see the water beading up all over from the wax.
  • If you´re doing your engine, you´ll want to do so after you´ve scrubbed the wheels, you´ve already left the hood popped and the engine running, right? Just pop her open and scrub the hell out of the underside of the hood, working your way down until you´re scrubbing the top of the radiator... rinse the engine/hood first then move to the back of the car and continue normally.
This should take you 8-10 minutes depending on how fast you can run around the car... which translates to a couple bucks. Whalla, the best 10 minute carwash in the world.
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I have two more little tid bits to add to this.First and most important does not apply to most of us right now,during the summer never blast your car with cold water after it has been sitting in the sun for hours.I have seen people crack their windshield.(ha ha! Idiots)second is many detailers use this stuff called green goo and though I have never found it on the shelf I have found that rain dance spray works wonders both under the hood and on interiors to give your car that just been detailed look.the only problem I have found is that either the goo or spray leave a residue that most don´t even notice but it drives me nuts.It feels slimey to the touch but there´s nothing on your fingers when ya look at em.Oh well I just know alot of dealers use the stuff.
And be very careful not to let the wand get too close to the paint! I took a 5x6 inch section of paint off the bumper of my first car. And had a friend pop a tire because he wanted to make absolutely sure it was clean. It was clean and it was flat too.... Use the brush for scrubbing out stains, not the wand.
Depending on the car wash, I like to just get the car wet, bring my own soap, and then just wash it down with soft sponges and a camel brush. Then I´d just use a light spray to get the soap off and I´m done.

I also use the high end wax, and I´ve noticed that the high pressure spray they have there takes the wax right off, so I´ve been doing "soft" hand washes recently and it really helps the longevity of the wax.

Also, if you´re in the cold, make sure you keep high pressure sprays away from keyholes. The water will push the trapdoor open, then settle down and proceed to freeze the lock completely up. That´s not a ton of fun.

And be very careful not to let the wand get too close to the paint!

[/TD][/TR][/TABLE] Yeah, I knew a guy with a milano red NSX who started tearing paint off the front bumper less than a week after he´d bought it (used). Said he was trying to get a bug off by holding the nozzle an inch away.. paint chips started to fly. HEH.. he was an asshole... but he did give me a ride :)
:) Thanks for all the advice - I don´t ´carwash´ mine, prefer to do it all by hand. We do have GUNK degreaser here in the UK too and it does a pretty good job - just wary of wetting parts that should not be wetted. Knew this site was worth sticking with! ;-)
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