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 Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?

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Eric Pederson



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Join date : 2011-12-22

PostSubject: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:00 am

The body and interior of my new to me Buick Roadmaster is as clean as you'll find, however the engine has about a 1/4" of grime build up . I'm tempted to take my pressure washer to it. Or is that a huge mistake since I'll get some of the electronics under the hood wet and damaged? Obviously I'd avoid directly spraying the distributor and other sensitive parts.
What is the wisdom of this list?
Thanks in advance,
Eric Pederson
Fort Ransom, ND
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Olds Weighty Eight

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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:33 am

For me, keeping the engine clean is a normal part of vehicle ownership. A pressure washer on the engine, however, is not a good idea. Too many opportunities to damage things or get water into components where it doesn't belong.

I prefer using Simple Green and a garden hose while others like using products such as Gunk cleaner. Either way, don't use the pressure washer and when using the hose, don't spray it directly on the distributor, harness connectors, etc. as you mentioned.
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:37 am

Grime prevents rust. I don't like rust. So I leave it.
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:17 am

Be gentile with a pressure washer if you're going to use one, but I don't think it's usually necessary. I use diluted simple green on a warm engine, hose it down (garden hose), and then coat it with silicone spray, let it sit a while, and another quick rinse to dull the shiny silicone. Seams obvious, but make sure all the fluid caps and vacuum hoses are present, and tight before blasting the engine compartment with water.

If your car won't run well after hosing down the engine, then you have some maintenance work to do.

Mike
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Krzdimond
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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:14 pm

This is what I have done for YEARS and on countless years and makes...

Use a pressure washer with the 40* tip at a little more than an arms length away (the closer to the nozzle you are, the higher the pressure) and wash off the loose dirt, spray an all purpose cleaner (I get the stuff you HAVE to dilute, or it'll eat your skin off) all over the engine compartment and let it sit until it STARTS to dry... but don't let it dry.... and spray it off again. Scrub those stubborn spots. Run engine to dry. Spray water based dressing (silicone collects dust and dirt) and wipe off with a microfiber.

For those that tell you that water will damage your engine.... ask them what they do when it rains?

Drive in the rain, then open the hood.... THAT IS WHERE THE DIRT COMES FROM.

Again, I use a pressure washer more for water conservation/management than I do for pressure

AS ALWAYS: YMMV and use this advice at you own risk Very Happy
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:26 pm

I don't do this stuff professionally, your mileage might vary, don't be stupid, if your car blows up after you did this then I don't know you and we never had this conversation. This post never existed and you didn't read it. scratch

Now that you've been warned...

I've not had any problem from power washing the 4.3L V6 engine in my S10...and it still looks new (though being a mostly aluminum engine, rust wouldn't be an issue). I do take care to stay away from the intake (as many of us know, water in there might prove instantly fatal) and distributor (which isn't sealed). I always wash it as close to cold as I can (so that thermal shock doesn't crack or destroy something) and drive it until the engine is fully warmed up to drive out moisture.

Sometimes right after starting it, the serpentine belt will slip a bit, but it straightens out within seconds. I've never had so much as the check engine light come on, and it's so much nicer to work on a clean engine. It also helps with knowing if something has suddenly sprouted a leak.

I did power wash the L05 engine on my wagon when I bought it and had no problems but no major improvement either. I believe it may need a more thorough treatment with a brush and Simple Green. I don't know if I am that dedicated.
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buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:58 am

Krzdimond wrote:
spray an all purpose cleaner (I get the stuff you HAVE to dilute, or it'll eat your skin off)

My son recently put me on to a product called "Totally Awsome". The name sounds like snake oil, but it's pretty incredible stuff, yet perfectly safe for skin contact. I think it's orange-oil based. I used it to clean the accumulation of old 2-stroke oil sludge off a 50-odd year old outboard and the paint looked factory-fresh. Got it at the local dollar store -- might be worth a try.
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Eric Pederson



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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:32 pm

OK, despite the warnings not to, I went ahead and used my pressure washer, albeit rather conservatively. Got the engine compartment fairly clean, but there will have to be some hand work. The valve covers have an oil film that did not want to come off.
After the wash, the Roadmaster started fine. Drove it a few miles and everything appears to be in working order, at least for now.
Eric Pederson
Fort Ransom, ND
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:45 pm

Brake fluid cuts built up grime pretty well with the side bonus that it makes the plastic bits shiny like amorall. I found this out on accident when I dropped the bottle and dumped it on the motor....
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Krzdimond
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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:02 pm

brake fluid also eats paint....
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:38 pm

good to know, lol
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:58 am

I soak every thing is castrol super clean and spray nine,. motor should be hot for best results, hose it off while its running,. that will give you an indication of how your plug wires are,..

Nick
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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom of Cleaning the Engine?   Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:07 pm

phantom 309 wrote:
I soak every thing is castrol super clean and spray nine,. motor should be hot for best results, hose it off while its running,. that will give you an indication of how your plug wires are,..

Nick

If you happen to have a pacemaker,you may want to avoid this method! lol!
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