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Show & Shine Detailing, washing, waxing, paint care, wax, etc.

Can I spray my engine bay down at the car wash?

This is a discussion on Can I spray my engine bay down at the car wash? within the Show & Shine forums, part of the Specific Technical Discussion category; I have dirt inside my engine bay resting on stuff. When I had my old integra, I sprayed that thing ...

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Old 04-10-2011, 05:06 PM   #1
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Can I spray my engine bay down at the car wash?

I have dirt inside my engine bay resting on stuff.

When I had my old integra, I sprayed that thing down all the time, but the Cobalt looks way more computerized and has an exposed ECU just sitting right there.

There's sensors everywhere and it looks like I can mess some stuff up by spraying it down. Is this true?

Anyway can I spray engine cleaner at the car wash on my engine then rinse it off with high pressure?

If not, what can I do?

If so, should I leave the engine running during the cleaning or is it supposed to be off?
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:07 PM   #2
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sub'd. but i believe everything will be fine as long as your spraying from further back and not staynig in one spot to long
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:08 PM   #3
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You should be fine.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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I've sprayed mine down before but I don't do it regularly. After winter I'll use degreaser and or black magic engine bay detailer and scrub my engine bay off then rinse it with a hose. I leave the car running while I do it. I've never had a problem with it. Just BE SURE to cover ur intake filter or u may have a problem lol
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:11 PM   #5
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I do it all the time. Just dont get right up on the electronics and make sure you let the engine heat up afterwards to dry the engine bay out.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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Leave it running and don't go nuts with the high pressure right on the electrical stuff.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #7
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i just use a air compressor and try to keep it as clean as i can.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #8
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Oh and if u have a garden hose, use that. U don't need a pressure washer IMO. It will prolly take a half hour to a hour depending how detailed u wanna get. Hope that helps
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:35 PM   #9
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u'll be fine.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:44 PM   #10
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It'll be fine, just make sure you cover up your hid relays! They cannot get wet or they will get ruined.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vahdyx View Post
I have dirt inside my engine bay resting on stuff.

When I had my old integra, I sprayed that thing down all the time, but the Cobalt looks way more computerized and has an exposed ECU just sitting right there.

There's sensors everywhere and it looks like I can mess some stuff up by spraying it down. Is this true?

Anyway can I spray engine cleaner at the car wash on my engine then rinse it off with high pressure?

If not, what can I do?

If so, should I leave the engine running during the cleaning or is it supposed to be off?
Easy with water pressure...I put TIN FOIL (which is easy to form around things) over the alternator and major sensors that show exposed wires. Also around coils.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:01 PM   #12
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Yeah, I do it frequently. Just try avoid any obvious electrical components (ie: ECU)
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #13
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You're fine, just make sure you don't knock connections loose with the pressure washer haha.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:39 PM   #14
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cover you air filter if exposed

cover your alternator and anything major, possibly your fuse box if exposed aswell as your pcm
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronn View Post
Easy with water pressure...I put TIN FOIL (which is easy to form around things) over the alternator and major sensors that show exposed wires. Also around coils.

tin foil kinda defeats the purpose since electrical current can still be carried through, kinda seems worse. dont use pressure just garden hose and degreaser with car running.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:41 PM   #16
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not sure why you guys are worried about things getting wet, it's not like you can't drive your car through puddles haha.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:44 PM   #17
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I wash mine ones it starts looking dusty and i have not had a problem.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denlou View Post
not sure why you guys are worried about things getting wet, it's not like you can't drive your car through puddles haha.
a puddle doesnt usually make it directly on top of your motor... thats why hes asking.

Like everyone has stated, you will be fine. Cover up sensitive stuff and youre good to go.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:10 PM   #19
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im a detailer and i do it all the time, as long as you keep it running you wont have a problem. just spray degreaser or all purpose cleaner on it first to help with the cleaning.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobaltsssc760 View Post
tin foil kinda defeats the purpose since electrical current can still be carried through, kinda seems worse. dont use pressure just garden hose and degreaser with car running.
since electrical current can still be carried through

You gotta be kidding!
First the foil does a good job of shielding the water and is easy to mold around small areas.
Second..HOW is electrical current going to be passed (shorted) to the foil when the wires are INSULATED, let alone being *hot* when car is turned off. Hell, many people spray the engine bay with the battery terminals and bare wire exposed!

Here read this:
http://www.autopia.org/forum/guide-d...tml#post812302

You must cover all sensors, the distributor, spark plug openings and any electrical devices that have the potential for water accumulation (which could cause a short). You're only trying to prevent the majority of the water from getting in; it does not need to be watertight. The engine environment should already be waterproof.

Aluminum foil is an excellent wrap to protect engine components. This works for spray-cleaning, painting and washing. The aluminum foil is easily molded around parts to keep them masked. Since the foil fits tightly, it doesn't hamper your view or make it hard to get into tight spots. It's faster and cheaper to use than tape and fits around odd shapes better than rags or paper


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:48 AM   #21
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your not going to **** anything up by spraying water on it, but to an extent if your pressure washing right on something like your coil packs, then some water might get in, but spraying your alternator is fine
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:44 AM   #22
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you need to watch out getting water along the ignition coil line... i made that mistake the water went down into my motor though the spark plugs i had a serious issue trying to start it, and i realize that the water had gone under the cover plate and was sitting in the the hole for the coil. my suggestion to you is if you do wash your engine make sure you car is at an angle where the water will drain towards the trans so it does not puddle in your coil pack line other than that all you should be fine all the connectors in the car have a rubber seal in them to keep water out just make sure you give the engine bay time to dry
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:25 PM   #23
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Oh this thread is full of fail haha...

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by denlou; 04-11-2011 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:14 AM   #24
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NO, Do not spray your engine down with high pressure water. And definately don't do it with any "Engine Cleaner" crap. The water causes the seals and o rings on the Camshaft Actuator Solenoids to fail which in turn will cause electrical issues from the electric connection on top of the solenoid actuator. I just had to replace mine and they weren't covered under the 8 year / 80,000 mile emissions warranty because "I washed my engine"

The parts were 50 bucks each and took like 10 minutes to replace them after they went bad. I can show you photos of the bad solenoids and how water damaged them I guess..
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:15 AM   #25
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you can always use blue tape and a garbage bag lol works fine too and cheap and easy
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:15 AM
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