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      08-31-2012, 09:52 PM   #1
E92LNGCGY
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Washing the engine bay??

Is it harmful to wash the engine bay using a pressure washer? I have always been told this is a big no no.
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      08-31-2012, 10:06 PM   #2
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Is it harmful to wash the engine bay using a pressure washer? I have always been told this is a big no no.
I would concur with that. Don't do it
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      08-31-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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You can do it by hand but don't use a pressure washer. The under bonnet seals are not made to withstand high pressure.
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      09-01-2012, 12:44 AM   #4
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Would a garden hose be acceptable?
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      09-01-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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I've wet mine with a gentle spray and then cleaned it up with a towel. Figure that can't be so much different than what gets in there when driving through a heavy rain storm.
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      09-01-2012, 06:16 AM   #6
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Would a garden hose be acceptable?
I don't know but I do. A little bit of garden hose in the engine compartment when I wash it and no problem.
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      09-01-2012, 07:37 AM   #7
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Its not a bad idea to cover the alternator with a plastic bag also.
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      09-01-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. Engine bay is starting to get a little dirty.
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      09-01-2012, 01:12 PM   #9
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I have washed my car engines for 45 years with a pressure washer and never had a problem. Take it for what it is worth and I will continue to do it.
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      09-01-2012, 07:04 PM   #10
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What a coincidence. I just got an offer in the mail for an engine-bay cleaner. Apparently it comes in regular formula (which I'm guessing is a spray) and foam formula.
I had no idea this existed but I might give it a shot.
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      09-02-2012, 07:51 AM   #11
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I cover the visible plugs and elctric leads with regular shrink film from the kitchen, spray on a good-quality engine cleaner (I use Autoglym but I'm sure Zaino got it as well). Then I use my pressure washer set at low pressure and use it from a little distance. After that I use a soft brush to loosen dirt in the tight spots. One more careful treatment with the pressure washer and a gentle drying with an old cotton towel. Once or twice a year I also give all the plastic covers and panels a spray with plastic & rubber care spray and leave to dry.

I have been doing it this way with 4 cars over the last 5 years. Never had a problem but sure do have a clean engine bay most of the time
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      09-02-2012, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92LNGCGY
Is it harmful to wash the engine bay using a pressure washer? I have always been told this is a big no no.
Treat it like you are caring for the interior of your car. Do not needlessly spray water in the engine compartment any more than you would spray water inside in the car on the cluster.

Wet your rag with water and wipe.

Spraying water inside the engine bay does not clean it any better then just spraying water on the exterior. You need to carefully wipe it.

Plus, just spraying water is going to move contaminants from one area to another less protected area.
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      09-03-2012, 12:18 PM   #13
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It's maybe because I am not a native English speaker but I think Autoglym's instructions were quite easy to understand: "Autoglym Engine & Machine Cleaner is a ... ... cleaner for engines, components, wheels and machinery. Simply spray on, brush and hose off to rapidly dissolve oil, grease, grime and traffic film from all surfaces. "

But on the other hand, Zaino recommends not to hose down the engine bay: "I have heard different ways on cleaning the engine compartments, including hosing it down. I personally will never do that. Again, I am not saying my way is the best, but you can see from the pictures I get decent results."

So there you go, even the product vendors seem to disagree on the topic.
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      09-03-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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Water is known to create corrosion on unpainted parts, electrical joints, actuators, valves, motors, starters, carbon brush holders, laminations, winding slots, motor air gaps ....

So be careful using a water wash unless you know what and where you are doing.
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      09-03-2012, 02:04 PM   #15
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I would suggest purchasing Plexus. Its a spray cleaner/polish intended for use on plastics. They typically sell it as a product to take care of motorcycle plastics. Very good stuff and way less chance for connectors, etc. getting water. Pressure washing under the hood is definately a bad idea... you will definately get water in places that aren't supposed to get water.
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      09-04-2012, 12:50 AM   #16
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I use a spray detailer - wipes off easy and cleans the dirt etc from under the hood. The dirt "floats" on the spray and you can safely wipe it off.
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      09-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #17
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For 25 years I have been cleaning my engines with a hose and detergent. Usually when I change oil. Never had a problem on 15+ different cars. I don't cover anything. It's all designed to get wet.

I like a clean engine. It's easier to spot leaks and to work on
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      04-14-2013, 05:25 PM   #18
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I am quite surprised at how dirty the X3 engine bay gets. Mine is 8 months old, just experienced its first Canadian winter, and the engine bay is full of mud everywhere. Even the underside of the hood has mud splattered on it. My previous car, an Acura TL, never had its engine bay get remotely this dirty.

So in my view, not cleaning it once a year, somehow, in some way, isn't really an option.
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      04-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #19
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Agreed, underhood is a bit of a mess but no more than any other car I've owned.

Just don't lift the hood.
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      04-15-2013, 09:07 AM   #20
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but no more than any other car I've owned.
I've only owned 3 cars in my lifetime, so my experience is limited. However my Honda Prelude and Acura TL engine bays were *far* cleaner after 5+ years than my X3's bay is after 8 months. I wonder if Honda auto engineers think about keeping the bay clean but BMW auto engineers don't?

Last edited by ings; 04-15-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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      04-15-2013, 03:30 PM   #21
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I just wash it by hand :P
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      04-15-2013, 07:18 PM   #22
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My accord collected it's fair share of road grime and sand under hood. The buyer actually asked me if I drove a lot gravel back roads.
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I've only owned 3 cars in my lifetime, so my experience is limited. However my Honda Prelude and Acura TL engine bays were *far* cleaner after 5+ years than my X3's bay is after 8 months. I wonder if Honda auto engineers think about keeping the bay clean but BMW auto engineers don't?
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