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Body and Soul Discussion about the chassis and body, paintwork, cabin fittings, air conditioning, etc.

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Question Best way to clean Engine/Engine Bay

Back from trip up North and as normal the Engine/Engine Bay is covered in Bull Dust and a bit of mud. In the the past I have used a method suggested to me of using running water to wash down the Engine/Engine Bay. But I am now concerned about this method.

So, Is there a better method, How do others clean their Engine/Engine Bay.

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Car wash.

Make sure the engine is up to temperature - wash on the way home, not the way out.
Leave the engine running, to ensure it stays warm, to help heat drive out moisture.
Use the engine wash, high pressure soap, rinse. Be careful with the under-bonnet lining - it doesn't like the high pressure.
Leave the engine running while washing the rest of the car - help to dry things out.
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I’m actually the opposite (which is unusual - NJ & I are friends in the real ‘non internet world’ usually have similar thought processes).

I only wash the engine bay when it’s completely cold - I don’t like dousing hot engine components in cold water if I can avoid it).

I never use high pressure - just standard garden tap pressure. I don’t like the inoffensive high pressure water testing the electric’s seals.

I treat grease/oil with an aerosol degreaser (just the cheapest from Supercheap is ok). For general dirt I use CT18 Truck Wash as per the instructions (apply, let dry, them rinse off).

Then I dry everything visible with an old microfibre towel.

Then go for a drive to get everything hot and evaporate the residue moisture. Sometimes I get lazy and this is simply driving to work the following morning.

In my experience, (assuming everything is in good condition) everything under the bonnet can cope with a low pressure garden hose but I still use some common sense.

Given NJ and I use opposite techniques and haven’t had issues, you probably could conclude that either technique is ok.
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I was always told cold water on a hot manifold could crack it. I wash the engine cold, then started it to warm up and dry out.

Geoff
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I spray degreaser over most things, pressure wash it off with soap then rinse. Making sure i keep away from main electrical connections, take it for a drive to dry it off. Spray the motor with tyre foam or tyre shine, polish the main bits. It makes it alot easier next time its dirty and looks like new. Found out that is what the used car dealers do to make it look good.

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I do cold engine. Make a spray of 10% liquid clothes washing soap in a small spray bottle. Soak everything with this then rinse off with garden hose gun on shower setting (no pressure). Then blow dry using leaf blower. Added bonus is that it smells nice!
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Cold engine. I use a bucket of water & old chamois/spong. Gentle flow from garden hose when cold if you must. Don't spray water into electrical components & fittings, air intake, breathers, etc.

If using detergent, use one designed for cars, as household cleaners can be too harsh & may remove rust inhibitors, etc.

Then go for a decent drive to get it nice & warm to dry everything off.
Final wipe over with old damp chamois, rinsing in clean bucket of water frequently.
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If you use a degreaser don't apply it to rotating shafts that may have oil seals, my experience is that some degreasers will shorten the life of the seal e.g water pump, timing cover seals etc.
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Iím with Geopaj. Cold engine, gentle wash (warm water if you like), run after.
Cold water on hot cast metal is generally not a good idea, if it was hot enough and you cool it quick enough you can crack or stress/distort the metal. Not good for seals either, cooling metal causes water to be drawn past seals, ruins boat trailer bearings. Probably unlikely to happen with the amount of water from a pressure washer and frequency of washes, but best practice and all...
High pressure and electrics...not a fan of either.



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Thanks for the replies Guys.

Some food for though there, although I would be inclined to go with the Low Pressure Garden Hose. I am not sure about degreasers though. I think the way to go would be to wash engine when cold, avoid electric components, dry with cloth then start engine and go for a 10 minute drive.

I have large garage compressor, I think it was 185l per minute. Could this be used to air dry after wash. Would the force of the compressor driven air drive water into seals etc.

Thanks
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