Engine bay pressure washing / steaming and foaming question

Mobb

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Right..

I have never done this to any of my cars.. I have always had very mixed views onit..

Its literally a 50/50. Some people tell me its fine if the alternator and other such parts are covered with a plastic bag.. Some tell me its a complete no no..

Some tell me to do it with the engine on using the pressure washer sparingly..

I wash my CLK every 3 -5 days.. Sometimes I do it 5-6 times a month.. The engine bay isn't extremely dirty but there is a level of dirt in there that I know I can get rid of..

I have a pressure washer, snow foam lance and loads of snow foam solution..

So my question is.. What is the true answer to "can I wash my engine bay with a pressure washer" What does everyone think?

I just feel it could be alot cleaner than it is especially compared to the outside which is flawless.
 

Aletank

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Once a year i go over mine with a bucket of hot water with car wash solution in and a rag. Ring the rag out, start in one corner and gradually go over the engine bay.
Have a 2nd bucket of plain hot water and a rag,same again ring it out and just go over the section you just done with the soapy rag.
When finished, go over the black plastic bits and rubber hoses with Autoglym Vinyl & Rubber Care.
It takes about a hour, have a look at my engine bay in my gallery pics.
I wouldn't put a hose or pressure washer near my engine - others would .
 
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carat 3.6

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Hi, I work for myself in a small garage and I steam clean 3 - 5 car engines a week. It is a big help when checking for oil leaks ect, very rarely do I have a problem and that is usaly cured with wd40 and an air line.
 
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Mobb

Mobb

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Thanks for the input...

@carat 3.6 amg - thanks for the info on steam cleaners.. But what about jet washers?

It's just that I'd never forgive myself if I did any damage.. Neither would my wallet.

Anyone else have any info?
 

carat 3.6

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Thanks for the input...

@carat 3.6 amg - thanks for the info on steam cleaners.. But what about jet washers?

It's just that I'd never forgive myself if I did any damage.. Neither would my wallet.

Anyone else have any info?

Same thing, use'es a water jet under pressure to blow must of the buildup away, then steam to realy make it shine. Same as a jet washer, only mine is alot hotter. ;)
 
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Mobb

Mobb

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I've heard that M113 engines are water proof! I just want to be 100% sure before I do it..

Is there any precautions I should take before doing it? I take it snow foam isn't safe?
Any tips?
 

carat 3.6

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Are you planning to do this at home or somewhere else?
Never wash the engine when it is running, older cars you can but on newer models you can upset the engine management system.
 
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Mobb

Mobb

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At home.. So jet wash the engine with some car soap then towel dry? Then turn on the engine? Let it idle for 10 minutes?

It's a 2000 CLK 55
 
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Mobb

Mobb

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I have an old wash mitt that I only use for wheels and sills etc.. Can I use a bucket with some soap and that mitt then rinse with the pressure washer? Or is that to much?
 

carat 3.6

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If you can, spray a de-greaser around the engine bay and let it soak in for a few minutes before you wash it. Another good idea before you start, is to position the car so the sun is on the engine bay to help dry it out quicker. Leave the car for 10 - 15 minutes after you wash the engine before you start it, and should you have any running problems a tin of wd40 is good for spraying into electrical conections.

Hope this is helpfull. :thumb:
 

Will

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To be honest, I'm not sure why you'd need to use a pressure washer or steam cleaner on your CLK55 engine, unless it's had a serious oil leak or similar.

I gave mine a good wipe down by hand when I first got it, it was only dusty really - just use some old microfibre cloths, brushes and some detailing spray. Didn't take all that long either to be honest:

DSC05454.jpg

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The water from a jet wash could get everywhere - inside the headlights, possibly into the wiring/connectors, maybe coils etc. Could lift off some of the original labels/stickers etc.

Not 100% against the idea, but I don't like to see people use jet washers/steam cleaners without good reason personally, even being careful there's always a risk of damage and if there's no need to take that risk, why bother?

IMHO of course :)

Will
 

Simon_M

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I usually spray some degreaser, then go over with a damp cloth and finally use a hose on a fine spray setting.

With the power of a pressure washer, I cannot understand how you would not ruin something. Some seals such as around the cabin filter or air filter are not designed to resist water at 50psi. As mentioned, I would expect you to lose some of the labels and bits and bobs in there. The access caps for the headlights are only a twist and turn.

No.
 

Alex

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^^ What he said. I used steam cleaner once to get rid of all the gunk. Then just a cloth and Megs APC.
 
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Mobb

Mobb

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Wow.. That engine bay looks class!

I'll just go at it with some sprays and cloths.
 

Will

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Thanks :cool:

Just take your time and work through it. I guess detailing to me is 'attention to detail' - work round wiping down the edges/underside of the bonnet, inner wings, around the headlights, various pipes/covers etc. Could just do a bit each time you clean the car, once it's relatively clean it doesn't take long to keep on top of it :)

Will
 

TheJoker

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My £0.02. A month or so back, we detailed my GF's Clio because it was being sold. We spent 4.5h going over it. The door openings, hinges etc, I just wiped down with a bucket of water with some detergent in it and a £1 IKEA white towel (not white anymore).
The engine bay I used a one of; soapy water, castrol greentec or degreaser, then I used either a rag, a dish washing brush or (old) toothbrush to scrub. I also used the hosepipe with one of those "twist open" nozzles. I twisted it open so it barely sprayed a bit of water out. This tiny amount of water is enough to rinse off the muck you've released with the brushes. Naturally I kept it off any electrical components. I finished off by wiping it clean with the aforementioned towel (obviously rinsed clean). Then apply grease/oil/wd40/vinyl-gloss where needed afterwards.
I can tell you the engine bay looked mighty nice when we were done with it. :)
 

MarkP80

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Using a pressure jet in the engine is a big no-no in my opinion. You may not see any immediate effects, but any water in an electronic multiplug and you are looking at a heap of trouble later, once it starts to do its evil work. Modern multiplex car electronics are just too sensitive, with low voltage control signals going all over the place. A bit of water, corrosion in the plug - it may take some time to materialise, but you could find yourself in a position some time later with all sorts of odd faults appearing, spurious fault codes, and a nightmare trying to find the problem.
Stay well clear of steam/pressure jetting, again in my opinion. There's plenty of advice here on cleaning your engine bay without resorting to that.
Cheers,
MarkP
 

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