The only thing that I use under the hood for cleaning is "Gunk FOAMY Engine Brite" Make sure you get FOAMY Use low water pressure and follow the instructions on the back of the can. I wash and completly detail under the hood a couple of times a year. Doing this gives you a chance to really look things over in detail. You'd be amazed what you'll see when your doing a detailed inspection/cleaning under the hood. wipe it down with a clean towell after to remove as many water spots and stubborn dirt as you can and it'll always look "NEW" the other thing that you can do to really make it look good is to wax all the body color surfaces under there at the same time....It takes time but you'll really like the way it turns out!
I have access to a pressure washer that has the thing where you can put your car wash right in it, spray it on, and rinse it off. Its not one of those steam cleaners that would take the wax right off, it just hooks up to the garden hose. I was thinking of some doing some car detailing on the side, since i really like the way a good car looks just after its been washed and detailed. It would defintely make the job easier, especially when it comes to scrubbing wheels, and scrubbing stuck on bugs. Let me know what you think.
I love using the pressure washer. You've just got to keep an eye on what you're doing. Some pressure washers can go right through the paint. Pour in some Simple Green and it makes cleaning the engine a breeze.
1. Using a pressure will certainly tell you if you have any paint issues by leaving a large bare spot where the problem used to be! So, BE CAREFUL!!! I do not think pressure washers are a good idea!
2. DO NOT! get Simple Green on painted surfaces under the hood or anywhere else for that matter! It will damage your paint! maybe you won't notice it at first and maybe ( If you're like me ) you will. There are products that are designed for the purpose and that will not DAMAGE YOUR VEHICLE IN ANY WAY! Try Gunk FOAMY engine brite under the hood. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CAN! you will be happy with the results!
Ok. I am not usually concerned about under hood cleaning, i like to spray it out while im washing the car. Mainly because my cars are low mileage and dont need it because i keep up with it. While were at it, what would should be protected while spraying under hood?
I've never had any luck with Gunk, It always ends up looking like all I did was spray it with a hose and wasted 3 bucks on a can of nothing.
I agree though Simple Green isn't something you want to get on paint, I only do the simple green thing when I plan on repainting the parts anyway. And pressure washers will find where you need to fix something like peeling paint or rust fast!
The thing with GUNK is you have to be patient enough to wait a few minutes to let it do it's job. I DON'T put it on a warm engine and I usually let it sit for about ten or fifteen minutes before I wash it off. One day soon I'll post a photo of my engine with 154,000 on it and you'll see what I'm saying here.
That's what I do but it just doesn't cut through the grease and junk like I'd like. Maybe I just need to scrub more and acually WASH it instead of just soaping it up and rinsing like the directions say.
Think we can break this off into a seperate discussion from Pressure washers?
To be honest, the vast majority of the crap on the engine and in the engine compartment will come off with water alone. Beyond that, I use either window cleaner, or a general purpose degreaser like simple green. If using simple green or others like it, rinse the engine down first. Then soak the windshield and whole front end of the car. These degreasers don't hurt paint and glass as long as you don't let them DRY on the surfaces. When I use degreasers, I use them on cold engines and only leave them on for maybe 30 seconds or so. Just be sure to be careful with the hose while rinsing, no high pressure streams and avoid direct shots at electrical components.
Admitedly, My engines never get very dirty so I don't have a problem with a lot of grease and crap built up in there. Katshot is absolutly right about the problem being letting the stuff dry on your paint! Most of the time straight water will more than likely do the job as was said. Having said that....I do know that a lot of people are not as anal as we are about engine cleanliness and there doese come a time whan slightly more drastic measures are warranted but I don't think pressure washing under there is the answer. Their is too much stuff under there to damage with high pressure.
I usually start out with a 25 year old engine with quite a bit of caked on crud. If i start out with a clean engine like on a new car I can keep it pretty well clean and shiney. But my hearse I bought is in great mechanical condition but was a little bit dull and the block a little bit greasy and heads were a little bit greasy because I found out yesterday that the valve covers were only finger tight! I agree that ther is alot on a new engine that a pressure washer can damage but on my old caddy and international the only thing I have to worry about is the carb, distributor, and wires and conectors. I alos keep the gun pretty far away so the pressure isn't extreemly high where Im washing unless there is something that just wont come off.