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Cleaning under the hood

453 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  onefastwagon
I was told that i could bring my car to the carwash, leave it running, pop the hood, and powerwash underneath it. Would this harm anything? or was i told the right information, please help me out i dont wanna mess anything up but i want it to be nice and clean =D
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I don't see what it'd hurt, except
a.)you have a filter that goes to the engine, and as far as I know, WATER IS NOT GOOD FOR INTERNALS
and b.) plug wires, plugs themselves, battery connections, do you really wanna soak all these electrical connections? They should be ok, unless there's enough water to bridge the current anywhere, and that would probably be bad...not sure though....

Why don't you talk to the guy that gave you this info, and have him do it first?
he told me hes done it to his car and someone elses, he says if you keep it running the electronics, etc. are not harmed
BAD idea.. Cold water on a hot engine block WILL break it.

The best way to clean under the hood is to start with a cool engine, cover your electronics and filter, spray a good quality de-greaser / engine cleaner on, (gunk makes a good one, buy several cans and use liberally.) Let it soak into the crap, heavy deposits might require a little brushing / scraping or at the very least another shot of degreaser once you rinse the engine.

Let the degreaser / cleaner soak in and penetrate the crap. Then hose off.. Try NOT to soak any of the electronic components and MAKE SURE your alternator is covered during this.

Degreaser / cleaner will clean the oil out of bearings. Its not uncommon for your idler pulley to go bad if you degrease it. (thats cause you washed the grease out with the cleaner.) The same thing WILL happen to your alternator and thats one expensive part to replace.

Other than that, its just common sense to keep the degreaser / cleaner away from things like the air filter or open intake.

Engine running? NO. Off and cool. (Doesn't have to be ice cold, but should be cool enough to rest your hand on without being burned.)

Who told you that you could hose down a running engine with a hot block? Some F'ed up ricer who wants you to destroy your car ? Or just some prick that wants your business when things go bad?

Dave T. - 1987 Cavalier RS/SS Wagon - 384,000 Mi - Long Island, NY
"Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, and John Ritter.. Rest well and thank you."
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Ya,you should never do it when it's hot,could cause real problems.Let your buddy do it all he wants,cuz it's not to smart.
Yeah I was kinda iffy about taking a hose to my engine. But it's cool as long as you follow the above tips. I did it on a saturday morning after it sat all night so heat was definitly not an issue. I covered the alt. with a plastic bag then soaked the entire engine down with simple green and used a nylon brush were needed. When that was done I just rinsed off with a hose on more of a mist than a direct spray. Then repeated the process one more time. Looks 10 times better than it did before, but still not show quality clean...yet.
Use a really good cleaner and blast away when it's warm. Not hot, not cold. Warm and you'll get the best results. Not running either. Once you get done start it to dry. If it don't start, let it dry awhile, it will. Have fun.
or goto a carwash, with a powerwand thing, put it on engine cleaner... yeah... that works. it's hot water and stuff so cracking aint an issue... and i've never had a problem with electrical connections, and i hose down the altenator when it's cold on the driveway with a hose and have no probs. so yeah, have fun
listen to onefastwagon, this guy knows his shit.
My suggestion is to cover the alternator and try not to directly spray electronics.. Although its like russian roulette. click click boom.

Sometimes it works out, other times you lose. Unfortunatly losing in this case means that you blow a good chunk of change on an alternator and the down time to R&R it.

Dave T. - 1987 Cavalier RS/SS Wagon - 384,000 Mi - Long Island, NY
"Will race for food."
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