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Old 06-02-2007, 04:45 PM   #1
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Default Washing your engine at the car wash?

Do any of you clean your car engines at the coin operated car washes just by spraying water in it. The other day I saw a guy with a 92-99 LeSabre wash his engine. Of the course the 3800 made me think of BC, but I wonder does this damage your engine in the long run?


Follow up question if it'* ok to do:
Clean with soapy water then rinse or just plain water?
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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I don't know about long term, I have always been worried about spraying cold water on a hot engine or hot exhaust manifolds and making them crack. I am sure the chances of cracking the block or heads is pretty slim, but the manifolds I am not sure.

What I always do is cover up my air filter ( if it is exposed at all ) then leave my hood open to cool the engine off some while I wash the rest of the car. Then I use the degreaser ( when available ) or high pressure soap. when finished, I rinse with clean water, then shut the hood, and rinse the hood, fenders, and windshield off again because crap from under the hood often flies up on those spots.


Not sure if this is the GREATEST thing to do, but I do it..... I am sure someone else will chime in also
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:28 PM   #3
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I've never used high pressure on my engine. I suppose if you were careful about your air filter/alternator/sensors it would be ok, but I would just use the slow stream of water from it and not squeeze the trigger for the full pressure.

I know many engine degreasers you buy in stores require the engine to be cool when you use them, then rinse very thoroughly. IIRC I've seen one where the can said you could spray it on a warm engine. I'm not sure about the degreasers at the DIY carwashes.

I clean my engine at home with a slow stream of water from the hose and a toothbrush. I can get things cleaner that way.
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:29 PM   #4
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I share the same concerns as crash93ssei about hot manifolds etc. Having said this, I've been doing this for years and (knock on wood) never had any problems at all. It'* obviously not a great idea to spray water directly into alternators and such.

This doesn't represent "Best Practice" because there is a possibility of damage, so I wouldn't tell someone to just go ahead. I'm only offering my personal experience but it'* a risk you must decide on yourself.
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:31 PM   #5
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I feel the same also as you guys.

I always wash mine Cold. with just the Garden hose. i just the stuff int he purple bottle at Advance auto, i for get the name of it
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:32 PM   #6
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I feel the same as you guys which is why I asked this question. For some reason to me spraying water on the engine feels like pouring water in a toaster to wash out the crumbs
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:35 PM   #7
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There'* nothing wrong with spraying water on an engine, it'* just the high pressure that isn't very good.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:41 PM   #8
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Where I live there is a by-law against washing vehicles in driveways, streets and back alleys. If we use any soap or chemical there is a fine attached because they don't want these agents entering the storm sewers. This drainage goes directly into our rivers and bypasses the sewage treatment plant. The car wash is our only possibility short of using clear water alone.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnie94ssei
There'* nothing wrong with spraying water on an engine, it'* just the high pressure that isn't very good.
ok I understand, well that LeSabre owner had his hose at a high pressure and didn't cover nothing up I see problems in his future
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:49 PM   #10
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DDALDER:

Wow, that stinks. I mean it'* good they're making sure chemicals don't get washed down drains, but it stinks you basically have to pay to really wash your car instead of using the driveway.
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