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Posted: 9/10/2004 5:43:24 PM EDT
I'm wasnting to pressure wash the engine in my suburban and was wondering if anyone hear had any experience to share as far as the do's and dont's. Mainly are there any parts I don't want getting wet or want avoid spraying with high pressure, i.e. the distrubuter cap, or air filter box? Any knowledge would help so I don't flood my engine. Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:47:37 PM EDT
Killed my AC Compressor clutch that way. Just try to keep water away from areas like that.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:50:03 PM EDT
I pressure wash all mine and have had no major problems. BUT, you need to make sure that if you have electronics under the hood you do not want to direct the pressure on them also keep the carb/throttle covered. One mistake I did was when I washed the underside and sprayed up the water accumulated inside the distributor body. have fun..........
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:50:43 PM EDT
and don't spray the alternator
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:52:56 PM EDT
Wrap plastic grocery bags around your alternator, distributor, coil, and anything else you don't want to get wet.

You might even double bag it to be safe...then spray away.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:53:49 PM EDT
commercial pressure wash is a bad idea, just use gunk and water hose pressure
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 5:54:54 PM EDT
Be sure to remove the air cleaner and get down in the intake real good. You will gain a net 20 HP
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:00:51 PM EDT
Agree w/ the Gunk and Garden Hose approach. Simple Green works well as it cuts grease really good.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:01:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeAye:
Agree w/ the Gunk and Garden Hose approach. Simple Green works well as it cuts grease really good.

+1 Pressure sprayer can whack vacum lines
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:04:28 PM EDT
I used to use Saran wrap on a cold engine over parts that can be easily moved with one hand.

I don't use a pressure washer anymore on the engine, there really isn't a need for it with all of the good degreasing and cleaning products out there. Depending on the year, there is a lot of electronics in boxes that are marginally waterproofed under the hood. If those get wet, they'll probably short and then you're fucked.

Use a regular garden hose, a good set of degreasers and some elbow grease (no pun intended). Save the power-washer for tearing mud of the bottom when you're done muddin, or for stripping paint off of the house before you repaint.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:08:55 PM EDT
Pay $20 and have a dealership or a detailing shop clean out your engine bay for you. That way if anything is gets messed up, they're liable.

Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:13:43 PM EDT
A good detail man can make it look purdy under there in no time flat with a pressure washer !!
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 6:18:37 PM EDT
I've done this for years without any problems. Get a can of Gunk Engine Degreaser and drive to the car wash. Spray ALL of the Gunk all over the entire engine and let it soak for a few minutes. Use the pressure washer on Rinse to remove the Gunk. Do NOT hold the nozzle of the pressure washer too close to "important" areas such as a distribitor cap (if you have an older car that even has one). You should have no problem getting the alternator wet. They are designed to get wet when driving through wet conditions.

My engine is spotless. Do this 2 or 3 times a year.

Link Posted: 9/11/2004 4:16:58 AM EDT
I have pressured washed the engine and engine compartment of a '99 Grand Am and a '71 Cutlass and only had the one prob mentioned earlier in the thread also the only thing I bagged was the carb...
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 4:50:07 AM EDT
I agree with the guys against pressure washers. I wash all my vehicle engines with Purple Power degreaser from WalMart, about $4 a gallon. Full strength in a spray bottle it cuts through the grime, then I use a garden hose turned on low with a light spray. I stay away from the alternator, wiring plugs and electrical components.

I'm an aircraft mech and just can't stand a dirty engine!
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 9:44:05 AM EDT
Awesome, thanks for all the great advice. And I'll make sure I get down in in the carb. good for those extra ponies.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 9:46:33 AM EDT
Degreaser works fine then just let the hose wash it off and make sure to dry. Makes your engine nice and shiny.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 9:51:46 AM EDT
might also think about doin' it with the engine cold.....

cold water on a hot engine could result in a cracked block- somebody else that knows what you're talkin' about comment on this....
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