Best and safest way to wash engine/engine compartment? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Detailing & Appearance Discuss washing, waxing and detailing information as well as interior/exterior cosmetic modifications. This includes neons, body, cosmetic wheels, etc. Even under the hood detailing.

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Old 01-06-2007, 10:52 AM   #1
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Default Best and safest way to wash engine/engine compartment?

I just had a different engine put in and there'* antifreeze and other junk everywhere in the engine compartment. I can smell the antifreeze from the engine compartment when i turn on the heater. What is the best and safest way to wash the engine and engine compartment down so as not to damage any of the electricals? Would a power washer at the car wash work?
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:09 AM   #2
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Don't use a power wash under hood. Too risky with electrical components.

Spray the warm engine down with some Simple Green and then use a brush to get all the tough spots. Wash away gently using a garden hose without any attachment on the end of the hose. Talking low pressure.

Bill is the expert on making his go anywhere, anytime engine sparkle like it was just off the assembly line.

....I don't get mine dirty so I have never really done this to this engine. Hand wiping only.
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:33 PM   #3
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there are mixed opinions on this...weather to cover electronics or not, but when i did mine though i had a couple cans of engine degreaser (i had some major engine grease build up) and then went back with dish soap and a garden hose....hope that helps
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:44 PM   #4
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I personally never cover anything other than my K&N filter. But I've taken great care in the past to make sure all my electrical connections that are exposed are in good shape and have dielectric grease in them. I have never had a water induced issue after washing.

Do you know how wet your engine gets on the freeway in a rainstorm?
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:09 PM   #5
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There is no contraindication to powerwashing the engine bay. My dad owned a detail shop for 20 years and we did it all the time. I still do it all the time. I hate a dirty engine bay. It shows how good you really take care of your car. The problem is getting the electrical wet. We never blew a fuse or anything like that though. Like Will said, as long as you have some water protection on the coil and other exposed electrical it isn't a problem. Water gets in there all the time in a rain storm. We even use oven cleaner on the grease and oil to get it off the best. Works like a charm as long as the engine isn't hot. Another thing is that I wash with the engine running so that the heat will evaporate all the water around the electrical almost instantly anyway so It doesn't really have a chance to sit there. Finally just stay away from the coil and other plugs and you won't have a problem. Washing is one of the best things you can do for the engine as it gets all that dust out of there and extends the life of your filter too.
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:02 PM   #6
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some belt dressing is always good to have right after. sometimes you will get belt squeal from the water.
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:44 AM   #7
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I never worried too much about spraying it at the carwash, but I always let things cool off with the hood open while I washed the rest of the car a little, let the exhaust cool off a little. I worry about cracks from the sudden cold shock.

Then while things are drying a little underhood (usually idling) I finish washng the rest of the car.
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:47 AM   #8
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If the engine ever does get wet, use a compressor to blow away and dry all the water.
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:50 AM   #9
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Just DO not use Castrol Super clean

It Eats plastic stuff as Boosty and i found out on my Engine cover
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:52 AM   #10
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i have used oven cleaner in the past and it worked pretty good.. but that was on a a RWD V8 that was covered in oil.... heated the motor up, sprayed the motor and drove it bout 15 minutes to the pawer washer and it shined after that....
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