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Car Care & Detailing
Get detailing answers and tips here

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
zhenkaaaM3
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Clean my engine bay

I have a good powerwasher at work. Would this be safe hosing the whole engine down? What needs to be covered?
Does it need to fully dry to start it?
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:22 PM   #2
SamDoe1
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Just use a hose without any attachment. Using a power washer is asking for it.

You don't need to cover anything up but make sure you're not using any sort of pressure to wash it, not even a hose nozzle.

Way I do it is to soak the engine bay down with degreaser, agitate a little with a brush, hose it down, turn car on and drive around to dry off any remaining water.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
zhenkaaaM3
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Its dusty on top. No grease anywhere

Alternator doesnr need covering?
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Last edited by zhenkaaaM3; 12-14-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:09 PM   #4
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Rofl so this is where you've been hanging out
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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The alternator DOES need covering or when water hits it, it will short out the battery (which is what happened to me). To clean my engine bay I just take a slightly wet rag and do a preliminary wipe down and get some armorall extreme tire gel and use another rag (dry) and wipe everything down again. Sometimes I apply it twice and within 5 minutes it settles down to a really nice shine. It looks even shinier when the engine bay is hot
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
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Powerwash it then drive around for 20min!
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46tknv View Post
I have a good powerwasher at work. Would this be safe hosing the whole engine down? What needs to be covered?
Does it need to fully dry to start it?
I'd just stick with a normal hose, nozzle and buy some P21S Total Auto Wash. Use saran wrap with rubber bands to cover the alternator & any electrical connections that are visible. Spray the P21S all over the place, wait a couple minutes, then rinse with the hose and say goodbye to any dirt/grime/oil/etc. that's in your engine bay. Finally, use some 303 Aerospace Protectant to dress-up all the black plastic in the bay.

I'll get around to ordering more P21S sometime, so I'll show you before/after pics when I'm done.

Edit: Actually, the more I look around in our engine bay makes me not even want to use a hose, even on a low setting. Apply whatever degreaser/cleaner (careful what you use - some aren't safe for rubber hoses) to the affected area, then use a wet microfiber towel to wipe it off. Dry with another microfiber towel.

Last edited by Zardoz33; 12-21-2012 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:41 AM   #8
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Pics of engine bay, it will make it easier to assess what is really needed.

If it is just dust on the top use quick detailer and a rag.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:00 AM   #9
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Avoid the [I cleaned engine and now it won't start] scenario by covering electrical / electronic and various other parts prior to using any cleaning products, sprays or water. If you’re unsure either protect with a covering and /or use WD-40 water repellent

The most important electrical components are sealed to be ‘water resistant’ or splash proof to resist water ingress that is to say against low pressure, water splashing upwards from the road that is encountered in the course of daily driving conditions, despite their coverings they are not ‘waterproof’. Rain or water splashed up into the engine is at very low pressure, very different from a pressurised hose or steam

“Engine Bay Detailing” - http://www.autopia.org/forum/autopia...ml#post1448628


I hope the information in these articles is of some help to you. If you have any further questions please let me know
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by E46tknv View Post
I have a good powerwasher at work. Would this be safe hosing the whole engine down? What needs to be covered? Does it need to fully dry to start it?
I circled in red what I think, in my noob BMW owner's opinion you should cover when machine washing the engine bay. I probably missed some areas, so seasoned e46'ers can point them out.

I have all rubber weather stripping, disa, icv, throttle body, maf, cabin filter housing, engine covers, upper/lower intake boots and airbox off the car already because I'm doing maintenance....so, electrical connections to some of those parts are not circled. Plus, it's easier cleaning the weather stripping and engine covers when they're removed anyway.

I did a quick once-over by hand with a 91% isopropyl alcohol & water mixture on everything except for plastic/rubber parts & hoses just so you can actually see what the parts are. The bay was 10x dirtier before & was driving me nuts to look at, but I'm not going to bother doing a proper job right now. Way too lazy lately.





Hope that helped somewhat. Good luck.

Last edited by Zardoz33; 12-27-2012 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Zardoz33 View Post
I circled in red what I think, in my noob BMW owner's opinion you should cover when machine washing the engine bay. I probably missed some areas, so seasoned e46'ers can point them out.
At least half of those items circled will not be a problem.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by John in VA View Post
At least half of those items circled will not be a problem.
I wouldnt think so either.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by John in VA View Post
At least half of those items circled will not be a problem.
Depends how meticulous you want to be. Also, if you're a power washer noob or not, how strong of a degreaser you're using, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by E46tknv View Post
I wouldnt think so either.
lol Hey man you asked....but you're welcome anyway.

Last edited by Zardoz33; 12-27-2012 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:41 PM   #14
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After being a detailer at a BMW dealership for longer than I'd like to admit, it is fairly safe to rinse a motor. I've never had an issue with mine or any of the hundreds I've done at the dealership, using the same process time and again.

-Cover engine with water-based degreaser/APC (I like Ardex Green Stuff Plus)
-Let sit 5 minutes, but do not let dry
-Rinse with a hose with a nozzle, generously.
-Dry with compressed air via blow gun
-Apply dressing of choice.

Here are the results of that process on my 112k mile 330ci.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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cover the alternator with a plastic shopping bag and wash away. Myself and several of my friends have had problems getting them wet. takes 2 sec to cover.....
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #16
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Tin Foil FTW! It's so easy to cover parts with tin foil so I go a little crazy sometimes, better safe than sorry!
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:19 PM   #17
Rudy540
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack01GC View Post
After being a detailer at a BMW dealership for longer than I'd like to admit, it is fairly safe to rinse a motor. I've never had an issue with mine or any of the hundreds I've done at the dealership, using the same process time and again.

-Cover engine with water-based degreaser/APC (I like Ardex Green Stuff Plus)
-Let sit 5 minutes, but do not let dry
-Rinse with a hose with a nozzle, generously.
-Dry with compressed air via blow gun
-Apply dressing of choice.

Here are the results of that process on my 112k mile 330ci.
I wish my engine stayed that clean, but unfortunately none of ours do, do you recommend covering anything?
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack01GC View Post
After being a detailer at a BMW dealership for longer than I'd like to admit, it is fairly safe to rinse a motor. I've never had an issue with mine or any of the hundreds I've done at the dealership, using the same process time and again.

-Cover engine with water-based degreaser/APC (I like Ardex Green Stuff Plus)
-Let sit 5 minutes, but do not let dry
-Rinse with a hose with a nozzle, generously.
-Dry with compressed air via blow gun
-Apply dressing of choice.

Here are the results of that process on my 112k mile 330ci.
I wish my engine stayed that clean, but unfortunately none of ours do, do you recommend covering anything?
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #19
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what are recommended engine dressing?

TIA

Last edited by mikeetastic; 01-24-2013 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:02 PM   #20
Zardoz33
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Originally Posted by mikeetastic View Post
what are recommended engine dressing?

TIA
It depends on what kind of look you want. Some people like a "wet" look. I don't prefer that, so I go with 303 Aerospace Protectant.
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