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How to clean your engine bay properly (without damaging electronics, etc.)

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  • How to clean your engine bay properly (without damaging electronics, etc.)

    Hey, yeah the title explains it all. I wanna clean out my car engine bay but I dont wanna damage anything like electronics especially.
    Thanks

  • #2
    hot soapy & a scourer & be careful. if your clumsy & cant do it carefully plastic shopping bags over electrical, i take my battery out when i do mine at the car wash using low pressure soap squirt. also avoid air intake as that can be worst than electrical if you get water in there.
    "Is it weird this gave me a Rageboner?"

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    • #3
      a bit of water wont hurt your battery

      ive only cleaned a carbed engine so basically no electronics (few relays here an there) used the engine and tyre cleaner on it then high pressure for 10 minutes or so (lots of oil underneath)

      only hard part was starting the car because of all the water around the plugs and dizzy. bit of wd40 fixed that.
      97' Subaru Impreza WRX

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      • #4
        i remember wen i bought one of my utes... the engine bay was flithy...
        and my dad being the idiot he was, used a high pressure water system also known as a gerni.
        needless to say the engine bay was very clean.. but 2 of the spark plugs were fkd...
        sigpic
        Current cars: BMW 320i 2006, Celica ZR 2003, Falcon Ute XL 2004, Nissan Navara 2005, Hyundai Sonata 2003.
        Previous cars: Ford Falcon ute XLS 2005, Saab 93 convrtable turbo 2002, Mercedez C200 2005, Mitsubishi Triton 2001, Mitsubishi Pajero 1996, Falcon Stationwagon 1998, Subaru wagon 1982.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by preno View Post
          a bit of water wont hurt your battery
          If anything, the trick to removing that white crap that builds up on your battery terminals is to pour boiling water on them.

          As long as you don't drown the thing and bridge the terminals, you'll be OK.

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          • #6
            did just give the rex's engine bay a good clean. used the tyre and engine cleaner and then high pressure. worked a treat. didnt ruin any electrics. didnt need to cover anything up. apart from intake. didnt need to take battery out.
            97' Subaru Impreza WRX

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            • #7
              All of the above, plus a bit of compressed air in the dizzy/HT leads to help dry them out. Even if you cover them with plastic, sometimes a little bit of water gets in there.
              R.I.P. Saab Automobile 1947-2011

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              • #8
                First cover any electronics (battery, fuse box, alternator, alarm, distributor/coil packs, spark plug recesses) and the air intake with garbage bags or gladwrap. I've seen people use foil to cover things, just make sure you don't short anything out if you use foil.

                Spray the engine bay with a light degreaser e.g:
                http://www.carcareproducts.com.au/pr...achine_cleaner
                http://www.carcareproducts.com.au/product/mint/apc

                Agitate the degreaser with a brush, particularly where there is greasy oil build up.

                Rinse it off with a hose on the mist setting. You can do this with the engine running but don't block the air intake and make sure anything you cover isn't going to end up with melted garbage bags/gladwrap stuck to it . If the engine starts to sputter/stall then you know you are spraying water where you shouldn't! Leave the car idling for 5-10 minutes, the heat from the engine will help dry it off. Dry any remaining water with a rag. Don't forget to remove any plastic bags!

                If you are uncomfortable using a hose then you can just wipe everything over with a damp rag

                Finish off by dressing the plastics with 303 Aerospace Protectant (matte-satin finish) or Autoglym Rubber and Vinyl Care (satin-glossy finish).

                Don't use a high pressure washer, purely because the high pressure might physically break delicate parts or force water into places it wouldn't get into with a regular hose.
                Last edited by TMM; 22-10-2010, 12:19 PM.

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                • #9
                  i secound for this video cause my best friends car needs a good cleaning under the hood, badly
                  Certified Petrol Head!!!!!

                  Brandon "B_rad" Crager

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                  • #10
                    Cover the distributor
                    Originally posted by djzayas
                    I picked Up a cleen stock as a rock s14 from a old grandma the other week
                    Originally posted by NL_Taylor
                    what did she upgrade to ? a GT-r ?
                    My N14 SSS

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sm1l3y View Post
                      Cover the distributor
                      alot more than that, lol. fuse box, all wiring, ect.
                      Certified Petrol Head!!!!!

                      Brandon "B_rad" Crager

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                      • #12
                        you guys... i have always just hit my gt4 engine with the high pressure, no dramas ( however my car does have a scoop and vents, so perhaps its more water proof ?

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                        • #13
                          my soultion would be to just have marty and mood make a video showing us how to do it
                          sigpic

                          1998 Toyota Camry
                          2005 Audi A4 Cabriolet (mums)

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                          • #14
                            I just use a cloth and soapy water, mind you haven't done anything to clean anything not easily accessible so a full clean may be in order sometime.

                            Originally posted by brianneathery View Post
                            my soultion would be to just have marty and mood make a video showing us how to do it
                            I don't think it would make a whole episode but then again it wouldn't break their bank or take too long either. It would also be highly practical given the lack of a distinctive answer on the forums.... for a quick fix though Rake, Marty or MOOG could just post a list of what they do plus any problems they have heard of on this thread.

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                            • #15
                              Just as a note here guys. DO NOT wash the motor in a Hyundai or a KIA, especially a KIA, they will not run properly every again. I know this as one of the guys i use to work with washed the motor in one and it was stuffed. In saying that. it is fine to wash the motor as long as you don't get the dissy wet, cover it up and its all good, you don't really need to cover the fuse box, just don't spray water on it directly. and if you do get water where you shouldn't just get compressed air onto it, or leave it in the sun to dry off.

                              Most modern engines don't have a problem with being washed, every toyota i serviced had the engine washed and it was all good. If your not comfortable with it, then just don't do it. A bucket with warm water and a wet rag does a good job. best way to clean it if your scared of damaging the electronics.
                              Jay
                              GTAusMotive

                              2008 Honda Civic Type R, Honda Accord Euro CL9
                              1991 Honda Civic Gli, 1977 Honda Civic 2 Speed Hondamatic Auto, Mini-Me Ed Civic

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