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Hi Guys,

I would like to wash and clean my engine bay for the first time. I have purchased Meguiar's engine degreaser to agitate the dirt/grim and also the Ultimate Black to restore the inner plastic trim pieces to a new and clean look.

So, before I do this I would like to know the following:

1- What are the precautions necessary to do so?

2- Is it safe just to splash water inside the engine without covering none of the electrical?

3- Which important electric component should be covered

For anyone that has done this before, I will very much appreciate your help and knowledge 0:)
 

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If the engine compartment is dusty, I first a use an air compressor to blow away as much of the surface dust as I can. Or to also remove surface dust, one can use a California Duster (or other brand).

I know some who gently splash water in their engine compartment after taking some plastic bags (taping their edges), and cover key electrical parts (including the battery and fuse box, etc) and obvious computer components without any subsequent issues. I personally would never pressure wash, or even pressure-nozzle-wash inside the compartment.

After dust removal if appropriate, I clean my engine compartment a somewhat different way -- not using any water, starting with using microfibers "heavily saturated but not dripping" with the same Meguiar's Engine Degreaser you use, then for the final/second round, lightly spray directly onto different, clean MF's (not onto any engine parts), a detailer (any one will do) for the final wipe down. Nice thing about avoiding any water, is that I do not have the time consuming process of covering things with plastic bags, taping their edges, etc -- and I avoid worrying I missed an electrical/computer part or two.
 

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I haven't washed the engine bay of the 3 yet, but I've done it on all other cars and tractors I've owned.

Never covered electrical stuff. Get them clean, and they won't short out, particularly if you let them sit and dry a bit, maybe 30 minutes.

Any visible dirt should be either blown off as Road Trip suggests or brushed off with an old paint brush.

Ralph
 

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In the old days if I bought a car with a dirty engine, I'd wet it down and sprinkle Tide over it and let it sit. Then spray it off. Now, you can get liquid Tide. I'd spray with it, let sit and the spray off with a hose nozzle. Can also use kerosene: never gasoline. Have also use some engine degreaser stuff. Usually just use water because my engines stay fairly clean. Or that dry paint brush.

Just don't hit the alternator directly with your hose nozzle and certainly not with any kerosene.

Never ever have had a short or electrical problem from spray washing any engine. You will have a problem if you just get a dirty engine (or dirty battery) wet. Get them clean, let dry just a little bit, and they're fine.

Ralph
 

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You can wash your engine compartment as long as you're not trying to get water into the electronics. Be careful with caustic over the counter cleaners; it's better to use a good water-base de-greaser with a medium bristle brush. When you're done you can use a leaf blower to dry it off. Then try something like this for a nice matt finish that repels dust.
 

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Scrubbing bubbles. Seriously, spray a can all over, let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse it off and let the engine run for a while to dry it out. Works like a charm.
 

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I used to use Automotive Simple Green diluted 1:1 with water on my wrx. Did not cover the intercooler, just the air filter (SRI). Soaked for a few minutes. Then re-applied as necessary. Proceed to lightly spray a gentle stream of water taking care not to use high pressure on any components. Let engine idle for a few minutes to warm up the bay. For concerns about electrical components, we drive our cars in rain and or snow (or automatic car wash...ew) and so as long as components are not submerged, it should be fine.
 

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I clean mine ever year. I cover the alternator with a bag and stuff a towel in the intake. I hose the underside of the hood and the engine with a mild stream of water from the hose. APC diluted is sprayed then scrubbed with a tire brush. A final hose down and quick dry with a microfiber towel completes it.
 
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