Engine detailing?

fishguy1123

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
310
Ok, I've always worried about what cleaners, pressure washing, hose washing etc.. are ok to do to clean the engine compartment. Can anyone give me the do's and dont's on this? Thanks
 

tbuckalew14

Member
Nov 20, 2011
380
fishguy1123 said:
Ok, I've always worried about what cleaners, pressure washing, hose washing etc.. are ok to do to clean the engine compartment. Can anyone give me the do's and dont's on this? Thanks

I cover any electricals(alternator etc) or anything that you may be concerned about(exposed air filter) with tin foil. Spray it with engine degreaser and let it sit. Then come back 15 minutes later and scrub(if needed)or spray off with a garden hose. I usually use the shower setting. Be sure to remove the tin foil after that. Then you can either dry it by running the motor, or grab a shop vac and suck up the water. After it's dry I go back with some plastics detailing spray(I use some cheapo turtle wax brand).

Just be careful of overspray from the degreaser getting on the painted fenders...it could ruin your paint. I like to wash my truck after doing the engine.
 

fishguy1123

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
310
So, does that include pcm, fuse box, etc...? All the normal elect connetors are ok?
 

STLtrailbSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,617
I barely use water, Simple Green and some elbow grease and then hit it with Rubber dressing.
 

tbuckalew14

Member
Nov 20, 2011
380
fishguy1123 said:
So, does that include pcm, fuse box, etc...? All the normal elect connetors are ok?

I cover the PCM and alternator and my air filter. That's it. Can't hurt to cover the fuse box(probably a smart idea actually), but i've never had any issues leaving it uncovered.
 

fr34kout

Member
Jan 6, 2012
662
Honestly any detailing place will cover the air filter (if it's exposed, ours is pretty well protected) and then spray degreaser followed by a power wash. Pretty much as long as you're not shooting water directly into your spark plugs, you're fine. One of my friends is going through an automotive program and someone asked if they could get the alternator wet. With the car running he dumped his whole glass of water on the alt and said yea.

I prefer to just wipe down everything afterwards and not put any kind of dressing, it tends to attract dust. Drying it keeps it clean longer, although I'll dress if if I'm going to a car show.
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,422
Delmarva
How to Detail Your Engine Bay – Detailed Image

This is the procedure that I follow, the only difference is I use "regular" cleaning stuff from autozone or whatever. I only cover up the alt.

The results:

DSCN5196.jpg
 

northcreek

Member
Jan 15, 2012
3,338
WNY
If you want your under hood aluminum parts to look new get some "bleach white" spray it on and let it sit for a few minutes(times vary),it's made for tires but,is great for this and lots of other stuff too.Mike.
ps I'm not a salesman for the stuff but,I did stay in a Holiday Inn..:wink:
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
your pcm connector has rubber gaskets on the connectors so water aint gonna hurt it
 

Irishboy02

Member
Apr 1, 2012
222
I dont have any pictures to prove my stuff. I use engine bright. Let it foam up and sit so it starts to drip. Hose it off and watch it shine. Then, take WD-40 and spray down all your plastic, wipe with a white terry cloth or those red shop raps and your good to go. Itl clean and leave a shine, plus it doubles as a protectant against sun and dust. In the event you overspray, theres nothing to worry becuase itl just grease up any connection, keep hoses soft and prevents dry rotting. Give it a try. Believe it or not alot of detail shops prefer it over big names. Youl see
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
I make it simple. Remove the engine cover, spray generously with the cheapest walmart engine degreaser, let it sit then go to town with the pressure washer. I avoid the electric stuff and the major plastic stuff and cover nothing and that's it. After it's dry, I take some Mothers back to black and go over all the plastic stuff. One time on my 10 year old (1997), absolutley perfect condition Bonneville SSEi that I babied like a family member, I tried using some of that engine degreaser spray/dressing all in one product that was supposed to be so fantastic. Man I was pissed when it turned the plastic and especially the nice engine cover chalky white. It was all I could do to make it look acceptable when I sold the car. I didn't know about Back to Black then.
 

fishguy1123

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
310
Thank everyone! I'm gonna give it a shot soon. I feel better now that I have a few different opinions.
 

n0kfb

Member
Dec 8, 2011
104
I've cleaned engines on a few of my cars over the years, and it does result in a nice clean easier to work on engine bay. But it can cause problems. In my case (not a trailvoy...), I had degreaser work its way into the weep hole on a water pump. Several weeks later I was changing a bad water pump. I've had the same thing happen to starter motors, alternators and idler pulleys.

Bottom line - It is probably worth it to clean your engine, but there may be unintended consequences.

-- Dan Meyer :steer:
 

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