Cleaning Engine Bay

Tips, tricks, and recommendations for keeping your vehicle looking new
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09vGT
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Cleaning Engine Bay

Postby 09vGT » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:19 am

Are there actually any BENEFITS to keeping the engine bay clean, besides it just looking pretty? I mean, all major components are closed up so being dirty on the outside wouldn't have any effect on how they operated, right? Just curious.

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dont13link
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Re: Cleaning Engine Bay (09vGT)

Postby dont13link » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:16 pm

Excessive dirt building up can work its way into wiring harnesses, eat away at belts, and prematurely clog an air filter. It's not absolutely necessary to keep it super clean, but hosing it off every few months can lead to less under hood maintenance.

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djkeev
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Re: Cleaning Engine Bay (09vGT)

Postby djkeev » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:25 pm

Speaking from the mechanical repair perspective.

When a car comes in clean, shiny and well cared for, MOST (certainly not all) mechanics will take extra care when making a repair for it is obvious that this person respects his machine and wants it to perform properly.

When a mechanic gets into a car kicking empty cups and dirty diapers out of the way (hmmm remember the singer Melanie back in the 70's?? ( I've got a brand new pair of roller skates ).....Dirtiest car EVER!!!) then he pops the hood to reveal an oily, dirty and obviously ignored mess, well.....thats the level of care you will have given to your rolling pig sty!! EWWWW!!! Let me fix this pile of crap quickly and get it out of here.......Take it away!!!!

Dave

(o ! /o) (o)=I=(o)

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vibenvy
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Re: Cleaning Engine Bay (djkeev)

Postby vibenvy » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:07 am

Personally, I don't go all out cleaning my engine, I just wipe it down with the same towel I use to dry the exterior. The towel is damp after drying the exterior so it does a pretty good job of getting everything clean in a matter of a few minutes. Doing this every time I wash the Vibe keeps it clean without having to spend hours cleaning it.

I totally agree with what djkeev says. My co-worker's husband fixes vehicles and he is always disgusted at how so many people's vehicles are so disgusting. Back in 2002-2003 when I had my brand new 02 Sunfire GT, I would literally clean that thing just about ever day. I would take it to a local Speed Shop to have work done on it and the guys that worked there always commented on how nice and clean my car was and how it was so nice to not have to move garbage, etc. out of the way just to work on the car. That was the biggest and best compliment ever. One of the guys even told me I was going to wash and/or wax the paint right off if I kept washing/waxing it so much .

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2009 Steel Blue Metallic Vibe GT - 5-Speed Auto – Garage

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09vGT
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Postby 09vGT » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:14 am

If I go ahead and hose it off, which components do I need to cover? I know not to use high pressure. I figure I should cover the fuse box and battery. Anything else?

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djkeev
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Re: (09vGT)

Postby djkeev » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:40 am

Quote, originally posted by 09vGT »
If I go ahead and hose it off, which components do I need to cover? I know not to use high pressure. I figure I should cover the fuse box and battery. Anything else?

Rain water hits all that under hood stuff at 60, 70, 80 MPH and is rammed into everything. The seals are designed to withstand water. As you mentioned stay away from a pressure washer and simply hose off the area. Use simple green if you need a soap. It gently cleans pretty well.

Dave

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09vGT
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Postby 09vGT » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:26 am

Okay thanks guys. I may go ahead and pop the hood this weekend and clean out from underneath!

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vibenvy
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Re: (09vGT)

Postby vibenvy » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:15 am

Once you get it all cleaned up, use my method to maintain it .
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Whelan
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Re: Cleaning Engine Bay

Postby Whelan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:24 am

1) Cover the terminals of the battery with a ziploc (probably more for piece of mind)
2) Lightly spray down the bay
3) Coat the bay in Simple Green and let it sit
4) Use a soft bristle scrub brush to loosen or remove easy to reach spots
5) Spray down the bay lightly again
6) Air/sun dry and then apply a vinyl/plastic cleaner (Meguiar's #41) or similar interior/dash type cleaner to all plastic, tanks, hoses, covers, etc.
7) lightly apply wax to the edges around the hood and engine bay. This goes a long way to keep water and debri from building up over time, allows a smooth surface for it to flow down the proper drain paths.

This is for a pretty harsh bay, but once this is done it's a pretty simple process that would only include steps 6-7 to keep it maintained. I clean out my bay twice a year (spring/fall) when I am doing my big season checkups just before summer and again before winter.

My Matrix when I got it
Image

and after
Image

Of course the GLI didn't need such work cause it was my first new car, so it should be easier to keep clean.
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2012 GLI Autobahn 6MT

Vaggeto
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Re: Cleaning Engine Bay

Postby Vaggeto » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:43 am

Whelan wrote:1) Cover the terminals of the battery with a ziploc (probably more for piece of mind)
2) Lightly spray down the bay
3) Coat the bay in Simple Green and let it sit
4) Use a soft bristle scrub brush to loosen or remove easy to reach spots
5) Spray down the bay lightly again
6) Air/sun dry and then apply a vinyl/plastic cleaner (Meguiar's #41) or similar interior/dash type cleaner to all plastic, tanks, hoses, covers, etc.
7) lightly apply wax to the edges around the hood and engine bay. This goes a long way to keep water and debri from building up over time, allows a smooth surface for it to flow down the proper drain paths.

This is for a pretty harsh bay, but once this is done it's a pretty simple process that would only include steps 6-7 to keep it maintained. I clean out my bay twice a year (spring/fall) when I am doing my big season checkups just before summer and again before winter.

My Matrix when I got it

and after

Of course the GLI didn't need such work cause it was my first new car, so it should be easier to keep clean.


Just to verify, does anything else need to be covered up like the MAF sensor or fuse box or anything? Are tehre any negatives to use engine cleaner rather than simple green, or both? My engine bay is extremely dirty.

Thanks!
2003 Pontiac Vibe. AWD, Shadow, Monotone. Moons & Tunes. 16" Konig Zero-In wheels. (My Garage)
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trb
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Re: Cleaning Engine Bay

Postby trb » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:33 am

Vaggeto wrote:Just to verify, does anything else need to be covered up like the MAF sensor or fuse box or anything? Are tehre any negatives to use engine cleaner rather than simple green, or both? My engine bay is extremely dirty.

Thanks!


With electronic ignitions and such, most of the parts are sealed and electrical connections have the dielectric grease in them to protect them from moisture. I've never sealed off anything on my Mustang and I have even used the high pressure car wash spray on it at times. It would not hurt, but if you keep the water pressure to the spray from a garden hose and don't point directly at the component openings or connections, it should be just fine.

Simple Green is biodegradable, thus better for the environment than the petroleum based cleaners. It works just as well on most grease, with the possible exception of imbedded grease in bare aluminum or pot metal parts. Those really need a solvent to clean up, but that should not be a problem under the hood too much.
Thomas
the "Mustang Guy"
1987 5.0 LX Mustang
2016 Mustang GT - current daily
2004 Satellite Vibe &
2009 Red Vibe GT -twin's cars
2003 Neptune Vibe GT - prior daily
2010 Red Vibe GT - RIP 6/16/14
2006 Platinum Vibe - son's car


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