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Old 07-27-2009, 12:17 PM   #1
kooklie
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Default Cleaning engine bay

What products or methods do you use to clean your engine bay? Thanks.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:50 PM   #2
silvercookie
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i spray super clean wherever i want to clean, let it sit for a minute, then put the hose on shower or something gentle and hose it down, while the engine is warm
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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Steps I take:
1) start with cold car
2) cover alternator with plastic bag
3) spray engine bay and bottom of hood with water hose (no nozzle)
4) spray hood insulation vigorously with water hose (finger on end of hose)
5) spray engine bay and bottom of hood with Simple Green
6) wet scrub brush with water hose and scrub down engine compartment and around hood insulation with brush (not hood insulation since it doesn't hold up well to a brush for repeated cleanings)
7) rinse everything very well with water hose (no nozzle)
8) dry as good as possible with a clean towel/rag
9) close hood
10) start car and idle until up to temp
11) shut engine off
12) open hood to allow steam out
13) use vinyl spray if desired (I never do)

Last edited by hampster; 07-27-2009 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:40 PM   #4
Kean
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Personally, I've never had any issues with hosing down the engines on both our '08 Forester and my '03 WRX. Most of the sensitive areas/components in your bay are water resistant and are generally protected by design, gaskets, etc. If your intake is stock, there is really nothing to worry about in that respect. Just use a little common sense when rinsing (i.e. don't shoot a strong stream of water into sensitive looking areas, etc.). In my case, the nozzle I have has a variety of selections. I find the "shower" setting provides enough pressure and volume to rinse away any soap/cleaner while keeping the risk low for water seeping into areas I don’t want it to go. ....keep in mind however that vehicle age, particular layouts, modifications, etc. may be factors in whether or not you decide to cover certain areas. Also, there is nothing wrong with taking extra precautions. If you feel the need to do so, then don’t hesitate to cover the sensitive areas.

Below are a couple shots of my '03. I typically wash with Meguiars APC+ (diluted 4:1) and use a variety of detail brushes I have on hand to agitate/scrub (soft nylon & boars hair). After a final rinse I use a leaf blower (again, using a little common sense & caution) to help chase off some of the water followed by a towel to wick up whatever is left (to prevent water spots). My last step is to dress the plastics, hoses and rubber trim pieces. ....typically with 303:

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Old 07-27-2009, 03:42 PM   #5
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that is mad clean, i am jealous.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:56 PM   #6
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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For the last 10 years, I have been using Gunk engine degreaser and follow the directions. Once everything is dry, I mist Armor-All or the like over the entire engine bay. After a drive around the block, pop your hood and it'll look good

I just cleaned the engine bay on the STi yesterday, so I don't have any pictures. Here is another one I've cleaned.

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Old 07-27-2009, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamahaSHO View Post
For the last 10 years, I have been using Gunk engine degreaser and follow the directions. Once everything is dry, I mist Armor-All or the like over the entire engine bay. After a drive around the block, pop your hood and it'll look good

I just cleaned the engine bay on the STi yesterday, so I don't have any pictures. Here is another one I've cleaned.

Isn't armor all too oily for the engine? i mean, it will trap more dust ?
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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when you cars is cooled down, spray the engine bay with water at low pressure don't use to much pressure water can get into some place you dont want to.....then spray any type of engine degreaser you prefer...i use gunk foamy engine bright, wait like 5 mins and then rinse off......if you have a leaf blower or something in that sort get all the water out, then whatever is left over take it with a microfiber towel then just start the engine and warm it up.....i've been doing this for the past 2 years and so far so good!!!!
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:10 PM   #10
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I use orange degreaser stuff then spray it with a hose a couple times a year. In between these times I just use a wet microfiber and wipe everything down, and boy does it look pretty under there

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Old 07-27-2009, 11:13 PM   #11
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I use a small bug sprayer filled with Simple Green and the same soft brush I use on my wheels.

1)Wet the engine down
2)Dowse it with SG
3)Scrub the especially dirty areas with the brush
4)Rinse it off

I used to use Engine Brite, but it smells nasty as it burns off. The SG is not nearly as offensive.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubySal View Post
I use a small bug sprayer filled with Simple Green and the same soft brush I use on my wheels.

1)Wet the engine down
2)Dowse it with SG
3)Scrub the especially dirty areas with the brush
4)Rinse it off

I used to use Engine Brite, but it smells nasty as it burns off. The SG is not nearly as offensive.
I was looking at SG but isn't it expensive as hell?

edit: nevermind looking at something completely different
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampster View Post
Steps I take:
1) start with cold car
2) cover alternator with plastic bag
3) spray engine bay and bottom of hood with water hose (no nozzle)
4) spray hood insulation vigorously with water hose (finger on end of hose)
5) spray engine bay and bottom of hood with Simple Green
6) wet scrub brush with water hose and scrub down engine compartment and around hood insulation with brush (not hood insulation since it doesn't hold up well to a brush for repeated cleanings)
7) rinse everything very well with water hose (no nozzle)
8) dry as good as possible with a clean towel/rag
9) close hood
10) start car and idle until up to temp
11) shut engine off
12) open hood to allow steam out
13) use vinyl spray if desired (I never do)
you never mentioned taking the bag back off the alternator.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:02 PM   #14
Desicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamahaSHO View Post
did all that cleaning to make it shine but somehow you missed the water bottle on the front drivers side jk looks very clean though. im happy with mine just being dirt free by spraying a bit of engine degreaser in it and letting it sit for a minute then showering it with some water, its cleaner than 90% of the engines out there and the fumes it makes when the engine is hot will get you high.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:31 PM   #15
kooklie
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Do you guys think I can just use some plastic wrap to cover the parts that I dont want to get wet cause Im out of aluminum foil
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:34 PM   #16
jaypt802
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kooklie View Post
Do you guys think I can just use some plastic wrap to cover the parts that I dont want to get wet cause Im out of aluminum foil
unless you have an aftermarket intake or a blowoff valve you really don't need to cover anything in your engine bay.....just make sure to get the water out somehow like a leaf blower or something that sort

EDIT: if you do have an aftermarket air filter just take a plastic bag(obviously without any holes in it) and cover it up with that
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypt802 View Post
unless you have an aftermarket intake or a blowoff valve you really don't need to cover anything in your engine bay.....just make sure to get the water out somehow like a leaf blower or something that sort
Not true. Especially if a power washer is used. I have several clients that had electrical and other issues from other companies detailing the engine bay. I also have some close friends with similar experiences. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kooklie View Post
Do you guys think I can just use some plastic wrap to cover the parts that I dont want to get wet cause Im out of aluminum foil
.....


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Old 07-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #19
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I personally have never covered anything up on any of my customer's cars and so far I've had no issues. AFAIK most cars nowadays are pretty water resistant as long as you use common sense and keeping a light stream on the hose moving. I've read that one company (Chevy? Correct my if I'm wrong) even puts their alternator at the very bottom of the car, which makes it completely open to any water that gets splashed up from the ground.

As far as my process goes, I presoak the engine bay..spray on Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner Plus diluted 4:1, agitate with a Meguiar's Slide-Lock brush, rinse, then turn on the car and dry using a leaf blower/microfiber. Once the engine bay is completely dry, I top it off with some Chemical Guy's Trim Shine Protectant. Here's a recent xD I did.

Before:





After:



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Old 07-29-2009, 10:00 AM   #20
yamahaSHO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litowrx View Post
Isn't armor all too oily for the engine? i mean, it will trap more dust ?
You're going to get dust no matter what. Armor-All (or the like) will actually hide the dust as it will coat everything and make it look wet (I just sprayed my dirty engine down with it and it looks clean now). I have also found that an engine coated with something (like Armor-All) comes clean easier when you do wash.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Desicus View Post
did all that cleaning to make it shine but somehow you missed the water bottle on the front drivers side jk looks very clean though. im happy with mine just being dirt free by spraying a bit of engine degreaser in it and letting it sit for a minute then showering it with some water, its cleaner than 90% of the engines out there and the fumes it makes when the engine is hot will get you high.

Lol. I was trying to keep the water out of the sun so it would stay cooler and I didn't realize they were taking pictures of it when I went to the restroom.

+1 on the fumes. It take a day or two, but they do leave. I try not to use fresh air when using the AC for that time.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by litowrx View Post
Isn't armor all too oily for the engine? i mean, it will trap more dust ?
....that has been my experience when using "greasy" dressings (especially when allowed to just stand without wiping). Personally, I only apply protectant/dressings to areas that I want the product on (i.e. air filter box, hoses, radiator, seals, etc.). I like 303 for this task because it leaves a nice matte finish (I absolutely abhor the wet/greasy look). I simply apply it to the plastic/rubber bits, let dwell for a minute and then wipe dry.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by kooklie View Post
Do you guys think I can just use some plastic wrap to cover the parts that I dont want to get wet cause Im out of aluminum foil
I covered up my MAF sensor, my battery terminal, my alternator, and my alarm speaker and then brushed it by hand without the hose afterwards.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:23 PM   #23
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I've heard that the alternator is the only part that should be covered, but I've never done it and haven't had any problems. Still, I try to keep it dry as I'm washing to rest of the engine by not spraying it directly just in case.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:25 PM   #24
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:15 PM   #25
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I've used armor all before since I only had a little left... so if you take a crappy old towel or MF, wipe off as much as possible, and let it air dry for a few minutes it leaves a nice shine without being sticky/oily.

I cleaned my engine back in March and with that application of armor all, I still haven't needed to do anything more than quickly wipe off the plastic parts with a towel after washing the car. Still shines up great. No unexpected dust accumulation!
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