How you feel about clean (and cleaning) your car engines??? Your best methods.

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$50 site donor 2023
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
1,873
Location
South East USA
Not only O.C.D. oil change delusional. I also suffer from being a neat freak (my wife of 45 years is mostly responsible for that) but I was always obsessed with washing and waxing cars inside and out. Made money doing it for older folks in high school among all the other ideas I came up with to make money if I could not get a steady job. So.... I recall in the 70s and early 80s before all the engine compartments were filled with electronics like today, lots of folks would think nothing of spraying down their engines with everything from oven cleaner to degreasers to 409 etc... and then hose them down. I am not so sure that is the best idea today.
Anyone has any safe techniques you have learned for today's modern engines. I even have a small steam cleaner I am hesitant to use without covering all the electronics with aluminum foils or plastic. Anyone wants to share your successful techniques that you follow these days or products?
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,285
Location
Southern Illinois
I've sprayed a lot of engine / engine bay's off at the car wash. I spray them down with Dawn mixture in a spray bottle. While it's soaking, I wrap the alternator with a big rag. I then spray everything off taking care not to be close to connections, fuse boxes or ECU's. Change to rinse and done. Never had a problem. I go for a short drive and then hit everything with air hose at home. I don't spray any shiny stuff on anything afterwards. If you keep it clean, it's not hard to keep clean!!!
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$50 site donor 2023
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
1,873
Location
South East USA
Yeah, my cars are immaculate yet wife parks in gravel parking lot at work and they both get all sandy and dusty under the hood lately, so I want to do something before they get too bad. Not grease and gunk. It is a lot easier to control if u stay on top and don't let them get too bad.
I was hoping for a current tech (dealership techs today are my favorite mechanics) (y) to share what they do these days on the job.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,764
Location
Texas, USA
I put a Target bag over the alternator, and hit everything with the foam cannon, let it soak a while, and rinse with the pressure washer. Green nozzle, kept away from the delicate connections. Blow the water off with the blower, and use a nozzle on the compressor to make sure the coil packs get dry. Never had a problem in 37 years.
I used to use strong degreasers on engines before they started adding so much plastic. Not any more.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2002
Messages
9,049
Location
MI
I try to just wipe it down with a damp microfiber, if you have a clean engine it doesnt take much to keep it that way. If its really dirty a spray bottle with simple green aviation (harmless to aluminum), soft brush and mist it away then wipe dry.
A few years ago I had some conversations with Simple Green techs. and they told me that their PRO HD formula (Home Depot) is the same as their Aviation Formula, just dyed different. This info can be verified on their faq page under the subject of "Aluminum".

 
Last edited:

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$50 site donor 2023
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
1,873
Location
South East USA
A few years ago I had some conversations with Simple Green techs. and they told me that their PRO HD formula (Home Depot) is the same as their Aviation Formula, just dyed different. This info can be verified on their faq page under the subject of "Aluminum".
Read that Simple Green is not real harsh. I know it works as I used it on lots of grunge and oil clean ups when I was doing boat motor repairs a while back even though it feels like only yesterday sometimes. We had one we ordered when I was working in a chemical plant called Super Citrus that was great too at cleaning everything without eating into the paints or finishes.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
1,332
Location
Alberta
I try not to wash under the hood too often, 2-3 times a year. I use the carwash, but stay back several feet and make it quick. A quick wipe down with some old towels, and it looks great. No problems so far.
 
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
657
I've had really good luck with Gunk engine degreaser. I'm just careful not spray directly on the electronics. If you want a little shine A light fogging of WD40 and wipe works good.

262618BE-9FD7-4202-950D-F36EA9C28FE5.jpeg
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
29,474
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
I use car wash soap and a brush (Simple Green HD if needed), and go to town on my engine bays. Rinse off with a sprayer attached to a garden hose, then spray all over with a good spray wax. Rinse again and blow dry with a leaf blower. Never a single problem.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
5,559
Location
N.C.
I try to just wipe it down with a damp microfiber, if you have a clean engine it doesnt take much to keep it that way. If its really dirty a spray bottle with simple green aviation (harmless to aluminum), soft brush and mist it away then wipe dry.
^ Exactly what I do. (y)
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
3,072
Location
South Carolina
My daily drivers, I just spray the engine bay in HPL Ultra Muscle, let it sit 5 minutes, and then hit it with the pressure washer.

My track car gets the clean microfiber treatment with spot cleaning and polishing with Pledge.
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$50 site donor 2023
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
1,873
Location
South East USA
Go to the car wash with a can of Gunk and spray about a quarter can all over. Wait a few minutes and then blast off with the high pressure wand. Modern electronics are pretty well sealed but obviously don't aim the wand directly at modules or connectors. Once you get home and after it dries, apply dressing of choice.

View attachment 92364

View attachment 92365

View attachment 92366
View attachment 92367
View attachment 92368
sweet. that is what I used to do. Just have not really had to clean the engines in the last two cars until recently since they parking in a gravel parking lot. Those engines looks nice. I know Griot's garage sells all sorts of detailing products but don't think they are really needed unless detailing a show car or high end. Even then maybe not.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
5,260
Location
Kansas (316)
I try to just wipe it down with a damp microfiber, if you have a clean engine it doesnt take much to keep it that way. If its really dirty a spray bottle with simple green aviation (harmless to aluminum), soft brush and mist it away then wipe dry.
I do about the same but use a cheap paint brush and get some warm sudsy solution and wipe down with a towel and a bit of water based detail spray
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
12,480
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Sorry, no time for OCD, but I find it looks good enough if I keep the following items clean:

Battery
Coolant tank
Air filter box
Top of engine cover
Top of Fuse box
Brake reservoir
Coolant hose to rad
Power steering cap

I use undiluted Simple Green in a spray bottle but transfer it from a one gallon jug. That’s it.
 
Top