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Old 9th September 2019, 12:43 AM
H-M3 H-M3 is offline
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Default Engine clean

Just wondering who cleans the engine bay and how? I am far too scared to wash it but would love to do it as I love the look of spotless engine bay. Tips and suggestions welcome
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Old 9th September 2019, 07:23 AM
MikkiJayne MikkiJayne is offline
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I do, although I usually take the engine out to do it!

I will start off with a degreaser - usually brake cleaner in a pressure-spray bottle. That gets off oil and the black tar-like dirt which accumulates on oil leaks. Soft-tipped paintbrushes or wheel cleaning brushes help to agitate and remove the dirt. I try and avoid plastics with the degreaser - thats just for the engine block and paintwork.

(tip - not sure about D3, but late D2s are not lacquered under the bonnet to save money. Avoid commercial tar and glue remover in this case as it will dissolve the paint too! Stick to naptha-based brake cleaner)

Once the oil is off I'll rinse down with water from a spray bottle which takes off most of the bigger chunks, then use a waterless shampoo, again with a soft brush to agitate the corners or grubby bits. Once this is worked in and had time to sit, rinse again and they dry with a microfibre. Repeat for any stubborn dirt.

Finally, I'll spray with a sealant to give the paintwork a degree of protection against future muck and buff with a microfibre.

For plastics I clean and protect with Autoglym Instant Tyre Dressing (really). Spray it on and work in with a paint brush and then wipe off with a microfibre or blow dry with compressed air. The first step will take the dirt off, then a second application can be buffed with a clean microfibre to leave a nice even surface.

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Old 9th September 2019, 09:47 PM
H-M3 H-M3 is offline
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Thanks MJ! Do you cover any electrics plus I was gonna take the bonnet felt off and clean it.
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Current cars

Audi A8L 4.2TDI Silver 2006 290 tax
Factory options-Phone in armrest now BT. Hybrid DTV. Voice command, Xenon plus (no cornering lights WTF), DRL, Soft closure, auto boot, Folding and tilting side mirrors, Front & rear heated seats, Rear elec blind, 19 alloys, Bose surround, Black leather & alacantra, Paddle shift.

List to do: Redo rear tint, RVC, FL rear lights, FL speedo (bought) 20 alloys. Rear seat entertainment..... Any donations welcome

Seat Ibiza 1.4tdi Eco 2008 Silver (0 Tax)

NO VCDS rely on Marcin & Neeldub
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Old 10th September 2019, 08:05 AM
MikkiJayne MikkiJayne is offline
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No, there's not enough water to need it. Tbh in a D2 you can safely pressure wash the engine bay as long as you avoid directly spraying the ABS block or the air inlet, but I still prefer to do it by hand. I suspect the D3 bay is so crammed there's very little visible paint to clean anyway?

Bonnet felt is a tricky one because the clips break on the D2 if you try to remove them. If it's just grubby then I'll go over it gently with the vacuum cleaner with brush attachment. If its oily then I'll try and get most of the gunge up with a disposable microfibre and brake cleaner, then use a fabric shampoo and soft brush. Problem is once you put shampoo on it you have to do the whole thing otherwise it looks patchy!
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Old 10th September 2019, 09:07 AM
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moltuae moltuae is online now
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I usually just spray degreaser sparingly wherever it's needed (greasiest) then rinse off with a hose or (very occasionally) a pressure-washer. I'm always careful not to aim water at electrical connections and I usually get the engine to temperature before and afterwards to reduce the drying time. After a more thorough wash, I sometimes spray a little water-displacing lubricant (WD-40 or similar) around any connectors that may have gotten a little wet.

I've used degreaser and a hose to clean the engine bay of every car I've owned; never had any problems with anything remotely modern (ie distributorless). I had a couple of cars with 'dizzies' when I first passed my driving test in the late-80s, which would sometimes cough, splutter and even backfire after a thorough engine-bay clean. But once everything had properly dried (which didn't take long if I popped the dizzy cap off and had warmed the engine before-hand) there were no detrimental effects. As long as you're careful not not direct water into any connections or orifices, you shouldn't do any harm with degreaser and a hose. A pressure-washer requires a bit more care of course.
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Old 10th September 2019, 02:44 PM
H-M3 H-M3 is offline
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Thanks guys and gals. My one is not gunkey just over the last years has picked up dirt etc. 100% agree should not use pressure washers, best is those hand held pump sprayers. So would you agree to cover the electrical parts if so which parts? Cheers again.
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Current cars

Audi A8L 4.2TDI Silver 2006 290 tax
Factory options-Phone in armrest now BT. Hybrid DTV. Voice command, Xenon plus (no cornering lights WTF), DRL, Soft closure, auto boot, Folding and tilting side mirrors, Front & rear heated seats, Rear elec blind, 19 alloys, Bose surround, Black leather & alacantra, Paddle shift.

List to do: Redo rear tint, RVC, FL rear lights, FL speedo (bought) 20 alloys. Rear seat entertainment..... Any donations welcome

Seat Ibiza 1.4tdi Eco 2008 Silver (0 Tax)

NO VCDS rely on Marcin & Neeldub
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