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    Thread: cleaning the engine

    1. #1
      Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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      cleaning the engine

      Hey guys

      I see in pics of other engines and the look pretty clean. What do you guys do when it comes to cleaning your engines? Just the good old high pressure water gun at the local car wash or something else?



    2. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
      Just the good old high pressure water gun at the local car wash or something else?
      Modern engines, with a few exceptions like 1st gen Neons, do a pretty good job of keeping the oil on the inside. Without that being a problem, we've been able to keep our engines looking pretty new for 8+ years just by regularly keeping the plant matter and other road debris vacuumed out of the crevices, spot cleaning with a mild detergent, keeping on top of any battery corrosion, and promptly dealing with any fluid spills or leaks. So, I'd say my key tools for this are a shop vac with a good assortment of attachments and some damp rags. This is the vacuum set I use to reach the cracks and small spaces: 8 Piece Micro Vacuum Attachment Kit

      Most of our local DIY car washes have eliminated their engine wands and/or cleaners and I don't like the lack of pressure control with the regular cleaning wands - they tend to blow paint and decals off our older engines. I have an air powered engine cleaning tool, but is just okay for spot cleaning. It's easier on the paint and decals, but would take a looong time to clean a completely gunked up engine bay.

      Our Suburban engine was professionally detailed after 15 years and 200K+ miles. The steam cleaning did a beautiful job, but I would skip the spray they applied after cleaning to give everything that shinny "new" look. We had a minor A/C problem fixed a few months later and the shop still couldn't run a leak test because whatever they used with was still messing with the sensor on their detector. The other caution on sprays in the engine bay is the risk of silicone (Armor All, 3-in-1, etc) contamination of the O2 sensors. Probably not such an issue with the ducting on the Aveo, but something to be aware of - especially before you start cleaning the inside of your filter box.
      Last edited by rodo; 10-24-2011 at 07:07 PM.

    3. #3
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      I usually wash my 09 engine once a month at the local car wash.... haven't had a problem yet....27 months and counting. I keep it running while I spray it .... I am a little old school and can still remember on my older cars I would get moisture in my distribuitor cap and my car wouldn't start

    4. #4
      Junior Member serialize's Avatar
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      I haven't actually washed my engine (water/soap/detergent etc) ..
      But pretty much everytime I change my oil (every 5000km) or do any under the hood maintenance I get a few rags and go over the entire engine and clean it with WD40. It works like a charm and keeps the engine pretty much always looking brand new. Also don't have to worry about getting water and soap all over the place and into spots you can't clean it out from and what not. Less mess too. I have lot's of motorbikes over the years and you pretty much try and keep water off them any chance you can to avoid any rust so pretty much always cleaned my bikes from top to bottom with WD40 also and it always worked beautifully and kept the bikes looking super clean and new.

    5. #5
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      I use an engine degreaser to help loosen up any grime, a brush helps as well. I use a hose and finger method to rinse it off as water pressure could potentially cause damage. I wouldn't recommend spraying water on a hot engine unless the water is hot as you could potentially warp something. The cleaner I use actually recommends having the engine OFF for a period of time and turning it on only to help with drying. After that come the details. Get the bottom of the hood for starters, and use a plastic, vinyl, rubber detailer to help bring back sheen. This will all help the engine look new.

      I did some research in terms or how to do it, this site was helpful and I was happy with my results:

      How to Detail Your Engine Bay – Detailed Image

      There is also other detailing tips on that website.

      2010 Pontiac G3: Rear Lip Spoiler | Aftermarket Power Door Locks | Vinyl Side Stripes | Accented Interior

    6. #6
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      Mine did not turn out well. I cleaned the engine with a pressure washer and applying GUNK engine degreaser. I let the engine running while pressure washing it. Did not cover any electrical components hoping that I'd spray these as less as possible. Nonetheless, after leaving the car wash, the engine would not run smoothly over 2000 rpm, had hard time shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Check engine light came on. I barely made it home. Checked plugs, wire set, and coils and look dry and functional. OBD II reader returned the following 11 codes of which 4 were pending: P1781, P0107, P0336 (and P0336 P for pending), P0341 (and P0341 P for pending), P0342 (and P0342 P for pending), P0405, P0700 (and P0700 P for pending). Later P0700 P disappeared and only the permanent one stayed. I can start the engine, it idles fine but when rpms go up, it starts to not work ok. Any idea where to start with?

    7. #7
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      I got a walmart brand foam engine cleaner and a pressure washer did it. Must check in the am see if its dirty. Happy Fathers day to all the dads out there. Don't forget...

    8. #8
      LXV-SCOOTADRIVE, ON! 2010AveoLT's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by rodo View Post
      Modern engines, with a few exceptions like 1st gen Neons, do a pretty good job of keeping the oil on the inside. Without that being a problem, we've been able to keep our engines looking pretty new for 8+ years just by regularly keeping the plant matter and other road debris vacuumed out of the crevices, spot cleaning with a mild detergent, keeping on top of any battery corrosion, and promptly dealing with any fluid spills or leaks. So, I'd say my key tools for this are a shop vac with a good assortment of attachments and some damp rags. This is the vacuum set I use to reach the cracks and small spaces: 8 Piece Micro Vacuum Attachment Kit

      Most of our local DIY car washes have eliminated their engine wands and/or cleaners and I don't like the lack of pressure control with the regular cleaning wands - they tend to blow paint and decals off our older engines. I have an air powered engine cleaning tool, but is just okay for spot cleaning. It's easier on the paint and decals, but would take a looong time to clean a completely gunked up engine bay.

      Our Suburban engine was professionally detailed after 15 years and 200K+ miles. The steam cleaning did a beautiful job, but I would skip the spray they applied after cleaning to give everything that shinny "new" look. We had a minor A/C problem fixed a few months later and the shop still couldn't run a leak test because whatever they used with was still messing with the sensor on their detector. The other caution on sprays in the engine bay is the risk of silicone (Armor All, 3-in-1, etc) contamination of the O2 sensors. Probably not such an issue with the ducting on the Aveo, but something to be aware of - especially before you start cleaning the inside of your filter box.
      that was not the fault of the engine itself, the Chrysler Engineers failed to put Proper Leak-Proof Gaskets in the thing! as for cleaning the LXV-Scootadrive, I just use that classic Standby: Regular Soap and Water, on a Damp Cloth Towel.

    9. #9
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      This is my process, which I learned from my Mustang Forum buddies...

      1 Bottle of Simple Green
      1 Squirt Bottle
      1 Armoral Protectant Spray
      1 Roll of paper towels

      Run the car till it gets to operating temp. Shut engine off, cover alternator with plastic bag, spray engine with fine mist spray of water, respray with fine mist a 1/2 water 1/2 simple green concentration and then close the hood, but not all the way shut. The steam from the water and the simple green degreases the engine really well. After about 7-10 minutes, check out engine, reapply with a more concentrated mist if it's still greasy and dirty, otherwise, use water and paper towels to wipe off all surfaces. The dirt and grime comes off pretty easily. Next apply the armoral. I just spray the whole engine with a nice midst, but you can also apply it using a paper towel. Either way, wipe it down so you don't get streaks in the coating and viola...


    10. #10
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      spray a hot engine with water??? Engine Detailing, car engine cleaning, engine cleaner, engine detailing how to, how to clean an engine,



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