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Old 12-22-2012, 06:59 AM   #1
my06wrx
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Default Detailing under the hood

I have a 06 wrx, and I want to get it real nice under the hood, including hoses and electrical. Anyone have any tips on cleaning up the tougher parts?
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #2
scooby4u
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Get a heavy duty degreaser spray. I work at a dealership and we have this pink degreaser stuff and all you do is spray it on and let it soak. Spray it off and its like new and shiny with no residue. Try something like simple green first and make sure your engine bay is warmed up.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
jojo69
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have you searched online at all?
It all depends on how dirty it is and what cleaning products you have.
An all purpose degreaser like that green stuff spray for caked stuff or Dawn soap is safe and do a good job (yes with a little elbow grease) at cleaning without damaging hoses and parts (Avoid water on your electrical parts). There are also many peeps who swear by scrubbing bubbles... i've never tried, so i can't attest or deny.
I'll use old MF towels and old toothbrush to get in the crannies.
For detailing touches, I have been very surprised as how well tire cleaner will shine up the hoses, and if you want a more subtle/less bright shine, ONR works great for me.

If you are worried, try a small hose and see how whatever cleaning products you have works and if you are satisfied, do the rest of the bay.

That should get you started without having to buy any other products. Again, do searches on detailing sites or google to get even more info! And Have fun!! post pics!
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
dsn112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooby4u View Post
Get a heavy duty degreaser spray. I work at a dealership and we have this pink degreaser stuff and all you do is spray it on and let it soak. Spray it off and its like new and shiny with no residue. Try something like simple green first and make sure your engine bay is warmed up.
You want your engine cold for an engine detail.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
S1CkWrx
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^^ it doesn't matter. just be mindful of how you spray the hose. don't be going to town on the engine stand back a bit and mist your engine bay, spray the degreaser, use all sorts of brushes to get wherever you want..... then rinse it GENTLY, apply silicone dressing of preference
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
dsn112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1CkWrx View Post
^^ it doesn't matter. just be mindful of how you spray the hose. don't be going to town on the engine stand back a bit and mist your engine bay, spray the degreaser, use all sorts of brushes to get wherever you want..... then rinse it GENTLY, apply silicone dressing of preference
Direct quote from autogeek:
First you should remember that you never detail a hot engine. The best time to detail your engine is in the morning when it has been sitting all night. If you throw cold water on a hot engine then you run a much higher risk of causing damage. You definitely want to make sure the engine is cool before you start work. Some detailers recommend warming the engine to loosen build-up but it should only be slightly warm. If its too warm, the degreaser will dry and spot engine surface.

You can get it spotless cold, warming it up is unnecessary, and could cause more damage the it's worth. If you aren't a pro why risk it?
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Degreaser is the best to clean it first I have used all kinds of degreasers try all work the same then after I use chemical guys back to black an it makes everything look brand new
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsn112 View Post
Direct quote from autogeek:
First you should remember that you never detail a hot engine. The best time to detail your engine is in the morning when it has been sitting all night. If you throw cold water on a hot engine then you run a much higher risk of causing damage. You definitely want to make sure the engine is cool before you start work. Some detailers recommend warming the engine to loosen build-up but it should only be slightly warm. If its too warm, the degreaser will dry and spot engine surface.

You can get it spotless cold, warming it up is unnecessary, and could cause more damage the it's worth. If you aren't a pro why risk it?

Or better yet, use hot water!!! Instead of a hot engine....... People at dealerships just douse the hot engines all the time..... smoke coming off everywhere. I typically do not like that.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
bjcarter2
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I've used Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner several times and it works very well for a dirty but not greasy engine bay. If you have to degrease, get something like Simple Green or a citrus-based degreaser and a brush. I use a long-bristled wheel/tire brush not the short loop stiffy kind.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
Rob Grim 02 bugeye
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Water based degreaser and high gloss dressing thats what all the dealerships use.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:09 PM   #11
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P21 from detailers domain...and a boars head brush. Done and done!
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:58 AM   #12
Never gone
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Meguiars APC is some of the best stuff I ave used. That's definitely a product you'll see more professionals using over something like simple green. Try it and thank me later.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:19 AM   #13
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Other cars may be different but you can wash WRX/STI engine while cold or hot doesn't make a difference at all. No covering or prepping anything just don't spray your alternator. Did it more that 50 times with no problems.

I use:
pressure washer
autozone pink degreaser

and that's it , no special brushes or other useless stuff besides ONE thing .....

Armorall cleaning dash wipes,yup, use it on all hoses,plastic parts under the hood. It makes dry plastics and hoses look like new and it's cheap,plus you use it for interior too. After that engine bay looks like new.

Some will probably say that Armorall is this and that, I don't care. Go and spend 100$ on your special engine cleaning product because it's special lol
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:48 AM   #14
Kean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1CkWrx View Post
^^ it doesn't matter. just be mindful of how you spray the hose. don't be going to town on the engine stand back a bit and mist your engine bay, spray the degreaser, use all sorts of brushes to get wherever you want..... then rinse it GENTLY, apply silicone dressing of preference
Aside from the obvious reason some suggest not spraying down a hot engine (i.e. shock/stress on some materials of the engine/engine compartment), there is also your cleaner(s) to think about. Many cleaning products will simply flash-off too rapidly to allow any sort of dwell time on a hot surface. Besides limiting their effectiveness it can also lead to staining and/or other issues with the product drying on certain finishes.

btw, "silicone" is found in many products and materials. There are also several types of silicones including your typical DMS and PDMS found in many dressings (solvent based vs. water based). .....the former is usually the one most recommended due to its typically friendlier interaction with various plastics, vinyl, rubber, etc.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:06 AM   #15
Kean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manys View Post
Other cars may be different but you can wash WRX/STI engine while cold or hot doesn't make a difference at all. No covering or prepping anything just don't spray your alternator. Did it more that 50 times with no problems.

I use:
pressure washer
autozone pink degreaser

and that's it , no special brushes or other useless stuff besides ONE thing .....

Armorall cleaning dash wipes,yup, use it on all hoses,plastic parts under the hood. It makes dry plastics and hoses look like new and it's cheap,plus you use it for interior too. After that engine bay looks like new.

Some will probably say that Armorall is this and that, I don't care. Go and spend 100$ on your special engine cleaning product because it's special lol
Personally, I find brushes quite useful and necessary to help clean hard to reach areas and agitate stubborn grime. ....far from useless IMO/IME.

Also, you don't need to spend "$100" on "special" products for an effective solution. The Meguiars APC and APC+ mentioned by Never Gone is a good example. A one gallon jug will set you back just $15. Considering it's maximum suggested dilution is a 4:1 ratio, one container will make a lot of product. I use both of those products for various cleaning tasks adjusting the dilution appropriately. As far as brushes, some mine that I use I have found while roaming the cleaning supply aisles of local retail stores, home improvement centers, etc. ....and they were relatively inexpensive.

In regard to dressings, sprayable types can be much cheaper in the long run and IMO/IME much more effective than wipes. Misting the product onto surfaces can help get into nook and crannies that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach with wipes (avoiding belts or other sensitive areas of course). A follow-up with product dampened towel can help knock down the shine in some cases, even out the finish, etc.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:46 AM   #16
my06wrx
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So I was thinking about this at the grocery story yesterday, and picked up some Grease Lightning, i just remember how awesome that stuff works on household stuff. Will it be safe and effective on the engine? If not ill just keep it for around the house cleaning.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:10 AM   #17
Kean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my06wrx View Post
So I was thinking about this at the grocery story yesterday, and picked up some Grease Lightning, i just remember how awesome that stuff works on household stuff. Will it be safe and effective on the engine? If not ill just keep it for around the house cleaning.
I would suggest reading the directions and visiting the website for more information about the product first. I will say that just having read the MSDS for this product that I wouldn't use it for this purpose. It has a pH of ~13 and is corrosive. Its also suggested you avoid contact with skin and inhalation.

If I were going to use it (and thats a big "if") I would definitely wear gloves, probably my respirator and would avoid combining with other chemicals. I would also make sure to rinse treated areas thoroughly with water. ....including run off.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:27 PM   #18
dfw
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Diluted APC+ and a engine dressing of your choice (I recommend 303 Aerospace)
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #19
2002Dubx
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Sorry to sound stupid, but shouldn't some engine parts be covered before doing any kind of hose/spray detailing in the engine bay?
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #20
nexism
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Gotta try it. Desert mud is a pain to get clean
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #21
lowlifeSTI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002Dubx View Post
Sorry to sound stupid, but shouldn't some engine parts be covered before doing any kind of hose/spray detailing in the engine bay?
not necessarily covered but there are a few parts you should be more careful when spraying around. alternator, ECU, intercooler, MAF, exposed air filters and battery.

and you should NOT do it when the engine is warm. cold water on hot metal leads to cracking and warping.

I'm a detailer at a dealership, what we do is spray the entire bay and underside of the hood down with degreaser (off-brand Simple Green), let it sit for a minute, and then we've got a spray gun that hooks up to a water hose and an air hose so it works as a pressure washer, and has a valve on the side to adjust water pressure. using this with medium water pressure I spray off the hood, the cowl, the engine and transmission, then I turn the water pressure down more when I spray the stuff mounted on the firewall and around the engine and the parts I mentioned being careful around above so it's really just a high-pressure mist.

I've done this on literally hundreds of cars and the only problem I've ever had was when I broke a starter wire on an old Ford Focus. I never cover anything.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlifeSTI View Post
not necessarily covered but there are a few parts you should be more careful when spraying around. alternator, ECU, intercooler, MAF, exposed air filters and battery.

and you should NOT do it when the engine is warm. cold water on hot metal leads to cracking and warping.

I'm a detailer at a dealership, what we do is spray the entire bay and underside of the hood down with degreaser (off-brand Simple Green), let it sit for a minute, and then we've got a spray gun that hooks up to a water hose and an air hose so it works as a pressure washer, and has a valve on the side to adjust water pressure. using this with medium water pressure I spray off the hood, the cowl, the engine and transmission, then I turn the water pressure down more when I spray the stuff mounted on the firewall and around the engine and the parts I mentioned being careful around above so it's really just a high-pressure mist.

I've done this on literally hundreds of cars and the only problem I've ever had was when I broke a starter wire on an old Ford Focus. I never cover anything.
But doesn't driving the car in the rain cause some contact with the metal (ie intercooler, maybe a bit of the engine block?)under the hood through the hood scoop?
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:54 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankh21 View Post
But doesn't driving the car in the rain cause some contact with the metal (ie intercooler, maybe a bit of the engine block?)under the hood through the hood scoop?
yes - that's why, like I said, I rinse things like this on lower pressure. everything under the hood is water-resistant to an extent, but water-resistant and waterproof are definitely not the same thing. it's not like rain water will come flooding in the engine bay by the gallon, it's more like a mist at best.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:58 PM   #24
jeffoppido
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I didnt bother reading anything above. Every 7,000-10,000 miles I detail mine. Takes me about 20 mins. Easy step process:

1. buy some sort of engine degreaser spray can crap at Autozone (or equivalent) and check the instructions. I use the one that you can spray on a warm engine..
2. drive to a self-serve car wash thing.. one of those drive in, spray yourself places..
3. follow directions on can. usually a quick rinse, spray on, leave for 15 mins, spray off. HOWEVER what you should do first is shove a rag into your intake. This keeps you from spraying water or chemical up there.. bad news. EVERYTHING else can be sprayed without harming your car.
4. wash the rest of your car (once youre done with the can's instructions). This is important because that stuff is nasty and can strip wax and everything. so be careful.. but even when careful, you'll still get it on your fenders and bumper and such.. AND make sure to use the low pressure version. I usually use the spot-free water, too.. cause i'm paying for it.. why not!

The end. Works great, costs a few bucks, takes 20+ mins, and you're set.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:33 PM   #25
lowlifeSTI
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there's no way it should take 20 minutes, it takes me less than five
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