: Pressure washing your engine bay?



gtm245
03-05-04, 10:44 PM
Do any of you guys ever use a pressure washer and some good soap/degreaser to clean your engine bay. Mine is getting really dirty, greasy, ect... and I don't want to hand scrub it because it would take about two years and wouldn't work as good as the pressure washer I have. Is there any harm to using a pressure washer? What important components should I cover up with ziplock bags or saran wrap? Any thoughts on how I should go about doing this? I don't want to do any damage, but I really like the look of a nice clean engine bay and I would like to do this myself with my pressure washer.

STS002
03-11-04, 03:05 AM
:hmm: Yeah I have been wondering the same thing. I have a 95 STS that could use a good wash under the hood. I have heard mixed stories on how to do this.

Night Wolf
03-11-04, 08:04 PM
get Purple Power and spary it all over the enigne etc... let it sit for a few minutes, then get the pressure washer and wash it all down, on greese areas, get the tip of the nozzle close....

... the enigne will look like new....

509Rider
03-11-04, 11:03 PM
In my experience, I am a detailer, have pressure washed 1,000s of engines, only cars I have had problems with were ford trucks with the distributer in front of the motor water always gets in them, and an audi, it threw a check engine light, I would use castrol superclean dilute it 2 to 1 and keep it off your paint for any extended time, cleans real good.

99Zee28
03-11-04, 11:35 PM
I was told by several mechanics to NEVER Pressure wash your engine. Actually a couple of days ago I was at a Cadillac Repair Shop called Caddy Corner here in IL. I was having new bushing put on my front sway bar because of a knocking noise coming from the front end. I was talking to one of the guys working there and something about cleaning the engine came up. He said never pressure wash the engine. He says sometime people do that and mess up their TPS. I guess it's sensitive to water. Everything is mostly sealed so if you wash with just a light mist from a garden hose you shouldn't mess up anything. I personally spray some Simple Green on the engine, let it sit a couple of minutes and spray it off. Now my engine was never very dirty but having a dirty engine is better than having an engine that doesn't run! I'd say keep away from the pressure washer. Even if you have a 5% chance of messing something up, is a couple hundred to fix it worth it? Not in my opinion.

Later,
Dave

509Rider
03-12-04, 12:22 AM
Like I said I have done a lot of engines, I worked at a chevy dealer for 4 years and never had a problem with any gm product, sorry just telling the facts.

Night Wolf
03-12-04, 12:33 AM
I sprayed the Cad down quiet a bit of times.... never a single problem, my fathers does the same with all his cars ('99 GTP, '88 Fiero Formula, grandfathers new Grand Marquies)

The ONLY time i ever had a hard time, was when I first got my 1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royale.... my winte car, it has the 3800 V6, I washe ddownt he engine, and when I went to go start it... it just kept turning over and wouldn't fire, I thought for sure something was wrong and the legendary 3800 was gonna let me down, but a few times of priming the fuel pump (letting the key stay in the ON position for a few seconds) must have got fuel to the injectors, becuase she fired right up and ran fine after that.... I may have got water tni he intake somewhere, or something.... but I have since used the pressure washer on the same car a few more times and not a single problem.....

.... Purple Power is the best though, cleans white walls and engine bays like nothing... the 3800 was gressy and dirty and stuff, Purple Power, and the pressure wash cleaned EVERYTHING up.... the engine looks really good... granted the paint is chipped on the valve over, and the while plastic cover has some stains from age and use.... but everything else is really clean....

I heard that the pressure washer *could* damage some of the wires/electronics under the hood.... I never really felt it was dangours enough..not like i hold the tip of the nozzle a foot from everything anyway...... IMO a garden hose just isn't enough pressure to get greese and stuff off....

Ralph
03-12-04, 12:46 AM
Like I said I have done a lot of engines, I worked at a chevy dealer for 4 years and never had a problem with any gm product, sorry just telling the facts.

What about running the engine while spraying? This may prevent the car from staling if the distributer gets soaked.

509Rider
03-12-04, 02:56 AM
The only car or truck I have ever had problems with the distributer was ford truck, I never had one running while cleaning .

inmycadillac
03-13-04, 05:41 AM
Yeah, I need to do this very soon. Thanks for the info lowcos and rick. I was checking my fluids while gassing up today and noticed gravel all over. I live in a rural area and cruise alot of gravel roads. Esp when:drinker , the cops usually don't patrol them. BTW, I have pressure washed engines before also and never had a problem. On my older vehicles I just tied a plastic bag around the dist. and any major wires.

inmycadillac
03-13-04, 05:45 AM
get Purple Power and spary it all over the enigne etc... let it sit for a few minutes, then get the pressure washer and wash it all down, on greese areas, get the tip of the nozzle close....

... the enigne will look like new....
Rick, where can I find Purple Power?

Night Wolf
03-13-04, 12:30 PM
any auto store....Advance Auto, Auto Zone etc.....

....you can get it in a spray bottle, a 1 gal thing or a 2.5 gal thing... it is pretty cheap too.... I would first get the spray bottle, then a 2.5 gal. jug... the contaniors are white and say Purple Power, and the actualy product is purple...... it is a high strength cleaner/dregreeser, and has MANY uses... I only use it for the engine/white walls, but on the back of the containors it has a whole bunch of stuff listed as to what you can use it for, and the mixture to dilute it between water and PP....