Hosing off engine bay

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by accent, May 14, 2006.

  1. accent

    accent Guest

    I want to clean the engine bay of my 2001 Accent with a garden hose.
    What should I waterproof before doing this?
    accent, May 14, 2006
  2. Nothing. Just spray on whatever cleaner you have then hose it off.
    Afterwards, drive the car until the engine is good and warm to drive off
    any moisture.
    Brian Nystrom, May 14, 2006
  3. accent

    Mike Marlow Guest

    WHAT????? Please Brian - don't do this. A dousing with a garden hose into
    the alternator followed by an immediate startup is just begging for
    problems. As well - such a simple advisory to a person asking this kind of
    question invites other such issues as water introduced into the air intake
    of the engine.

    A better answer would have been that you can indeed hose off an engine
    compartment but be aware there are areas that are sensitive to large amounts
    of water. Large amounts of water are not normally expected in an engine
    compartment. One should take precautions to protect the alternator from
    being deluged by the water. Also ensure not to flood the air intake. Allow
    the compartment to dry before starting the engine.
    Mike Marlow, May 15, 2006

    Give me a break, Mike. What's with all this alarmist nonsense? I hose
    off engines all the time and NEVER have the problems you describe. Any
    water that gets into the alternator drains right out the bottom. You'd
    really have to try hard to get enough water to cause a problem into the
    intake while simply rinsing the engine bay. If you're really worried
    about such silliness, rinse the engine bay with the engine running. Any
    water that hits the alternator will be spun right out and any fine mist
    that gets into the intake will go right through the engine. It's
    completely unnecessary, but maybe it will make you feel better.

    It never ceases to amaze me what some people get worked up about.
    Brian Nystrom, May 15, 2006
  5. accent

    Mike Marlow Guest

    Bullshit Brian. You've never seen me post anything that was alarmist.
    Well then, I guess it amazes me at what some people will do and consider it
    not to be problematic. I too hose my engine compartments but just not quite
    the way you do. Have I seen problems from people blasting them as you
    suggest? Yes.
    Mike Marlow, May 16, 2006
  6. accent

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Yes, hosing down an alternator that isn't spinning and able to sling off
    the water is a very bad idea. Hosing down one that is spinning and able
    to sling of water is just a bad idea. :)

    Matt Whiting, May 16, 2006
  7. Well, you did so this time.
    Who said anything about "blasting"???

    The original question was about "hosing off" the engine bay. As I said,
    I've done so hundreds of times and have NEVER, repeat NEVER had any
    problems with alternators or water in intakes. If an alternator couldn't
    handle a little water, it would never survive in an engine bay. While
    it's true that you don't want to SUBMERGE an alternator, a little spray
    from the outside is no problem.

    The only time I've ever seen ANY problems from rinsing off an engine
    were in cases of degraded spark plug leads or a cracked distributor
    caps. Rinsing an engine while it's running is a good way to diagnose
    moisture related problems such as that.
    Brian Nystrom, May 16, 2006
  8. Sorry Matt, but that's just plain wrong. It's not a problem at all.
    Brian Nystrom, May 16, 2006
  9. accent

    Bob Adkins Guest

    I have had good luck with a pressure washer. I was always careful not to
    blast the distributor, alternator, and harness plugs. I would do it with the
    engine very warm, but not hot. When I could barely hold my hand on the
    hottest part (probably the exhaust manifold) I would start washing.

    Then it happened.

    I washed my Mazda 626 engine, being careful as always.

    Engine wouldn't start. Using an air compressor and paper towels, I carefully
    dried out the distributor and all the plug wires.

    It started, but it ran rough. I ran it a while to heart it up, and left the
    hood open.

    Came back in 3 hours, it started but ran a bit rough. I let it run for about
    10 minutes, and saw smoke. The cat converter was RED HOT. That was
    obviously caused by the miss, as raw fuel from a dead cylinder got into the

    It took me another 2 hours to get it dried out completely, and I'm lucky
    the car didn't burn down.
    Bob Adkins, May 16, 2006
  10. Hyundais don't have distributors anymore. Problem solved.

    Regardless, I would never let a rough-running engine run that long for
    any reason, whether I had just rinsed the engine bay or not.
    Brian Nystrom, May 16, 2006
  11. accent

    Matt Whiting Guest

    I say it is. Call up an alternator manufacturer and ask them.

    Matt Whiting, May 16, 2006
  12. accent

    dave Guest

    What i do on all my cars, including my classic 1970 Vette, is cover the
    Distributor/Coil/Alternator with a small plastic bag then spray Simple
    Green detergent on the motor , sidewalls, firewall, radiator, and a/c
    condensor ... let it sit for 1 minute....use a brush to get at any heavy
    deposits, then use a light spray of water from a garden hose. I then
    blow off the water with compressed air , wait another 5 minutes with it
    out in the open air, remove the plastic bags...then fire it up and
    immediately go for a 3 mile drive . Ive never had any problems doing it
    this way.
    dave, May 16, 2006
  13. accent

    Matt Whiting Guest

    That's pretty much what I do, other than using a foamy engine cleaner
    rather than Simple Green. I avoid spraying a heavy jet of water and try
    to avoid electrical parts. It isn't hard if you are careful.

    Matt Whiting, May 17, 2006
  14. accent

    dave Guest

    'That's pretty much what I do, other than using a foamy engine cleaner
    rather than Simple Green. I avoid spraying a heavy jet of water and try
    to avoid electrical parts. It isn't hard if you are careful.
    Matt '

    REPLY: IVe tried Gunk but it tends to leave white streaks behind, so, i
    switched to Simple Green which is not as harsh and leaves no residue.
    If i could find a Degreaser that doesnt leave a residue, id probably
    switch back .
    dave, May 17, 2006
  15. accent

    Matt Whiting Guest

    I haven't had significant problems with the white streaks, but then I
    don't leave the stuff on the recommended 10 or so minutes. It seems to
    streak mainly in areas that dry before you rinse them, and on a warm
    engine (usually also recommended), the stuff can dry quickly. I tend to
    foam it on, wait a minute or two and they flush it off. I repeat a
    couple of times if necessary.

    Matt Whiting, May 17, 2006
  16. I agree with Matt. Multiple applications clean better than longer wait
    times and thorough rinsing eliminates residue. Regular cleaning prevents
    gunk buildup.
    Brian Nystrom, May 18, 2006
  17. accent

    Mike Marlow Guest

    I switched to Purple Cleaner which is available is almost every parts store.
    The stuff really works well to break down grease and it's liquid. As long
    as you don't spray it on a hot engine (which will cause it to dry too fast),
    you don't have the same problems a Gunk.
    Mike Marlow, May 18, 2006
  18. accent

    accent Guest

    Wow. I hope I do not have the same problem. I carefully cleaned around
    the engine under the hood but something must be wet. The car starts
    and idles really rough. The engine knocks on low rpm. The Check Engine
    Light is still blinking. Everything looks dry but I will wait until
    morning before driving again.

    Hope I do not end up with the cleanest piece of junk.
    accent, May 20, 2006
  19. accent

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Did you clean it with the engine warm (not hot!)? I tend to wait 30
    minutes or so (drip water on the exhaust manifold if you can get to it,
    and what the water just evaporates quickly, but doesn't "hiss", then I
    clean the engine. Doing so means you'll have enough residual heat to
    help dry things out pretty well. I personally don't start the engine
    right after washing it. I want things to have time to dry out before
    running it.

    Matt Whiting, May 20, 2006
  20. accent

    accent Guest

    The car sat for about 2 hours then I moved it out of the garage and
    started hosing. If anything the engine was not warm. In hindsight, I
    agree that allowing the parts to dry before driving is a good idea.

    Anyways, I just started the car again. It is starting to sound better
    so things must be drier. The CEL is still blinking. Hope things return
    to normal by morning.
    accent, May 20, 2006
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