View Full Version : Best method for cleaning engine?

05-23-2003, 12:49 PM
How do you do it and what do you use?

I'm worried about getting water down in the spark plug covers so I'm real wary about doing it, but the front cover is starting to look grungy.

I was thinking about some sort of degreaser (citrus degreaser) and then giving it a light hose bath. Should I cover the spark plug covers with something (like you would cover the distributor). Should the car be running when I rinse? I guess what I need is a method to the madness. TIA. :D

05-23-2003, 11:32 PM
What I usually do is make sure the engine is cool, wet it down with water(don't saturate it), then I spray some Simple Green everywhere and let it sit for a few minute. Then I use a toothbrush to scrub everywhere and rinse it off. Get some compressed air(or a leaf blower) and blow the water off and out of the crevices. I usually follow this up with some sort of dress up shine for the hoses and black stuff under there. Works for me, though I'm sure someone else has a better way. Good luck, hope this helps. :thumbsup:

05-24-2003, 07:39 AM
Go to your local Honda motorcycle store and buy some Hondabrite. (S-100 cleaner) This stuff is great. Spray it on the cool engine, let it sit for a minuet and rinse off.


06-16-2003, 10:48 PM
If you don't wanna use the leaf blower...use the BLOW end of a shop-vac.

I've had good luck with degreaser and a pressure washer or a hose. Just cover any electrical stuff you don't want to get wet. I also use a protectant after cleaning mine up.

06-17-2003, 06:48 PM
I have used the citris cleaner from GUNK, let the motor get warm from driving around. Take the car to a do it yourselve car wash, pop the hood and spray the cleaner on the motor while running. With the heat from the motor it helps loosen up the grime pretty good, give it 10min it should start smoking a bit from the running engine. Then power wash the motor, there should be no need for scrubbing...and at all times do not shut the engine off while rinsing. After the wash let the car run also rev it up a bit this helps dry the motor off. When that is done dry off the areas that are still wet with a rag. The motor should look great:cool: After that I like to apply WD40 spray to the black hoses to accent the engine bay.

Good luck!:thumbsup:

06-17-2003, 08:06 PM
make sure the engine is hot enough so when u put water on it, it will crack the block. and power wash any electronics too... lol... jk

06-17-2003, 10:58 PM
speedfreak beat me to it....I wouldn't advise people to clean the engine when it's "warm".

06-18-2003, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by tydlwavs
speedfreak beat me to it....I wouldn't advise people to clean the engine when it's "warm".

Looks like I'm third in line on this one. Yeah make sure the engine is COOL when you clean it.

06-18-2003, 01:22 PM
Well what can I say....thats what I have done in the past with all my cars, from new to old. Even the directions on the can advises you to spray the formula on a warm engine. Never once had a problem cracking a block or hurting any electronics. Hey...don't worry about, I will continue to wash my motor my way and you guys can do whatever.(lol) It's funny how you can crack a block by washing the top half of the motor? You guys got me on that one!:rolleyes:

06-18-2003, 01:25 PM
LOL, my car was warm this weekend when I took the hose to it. Sprayed on engine degreaser, hosed it off, then followed with some CD2 Engine Detailer. Damn thing looks like new. :cool:

06-18-2003, 03:23 PM
Hey Spiffy668, I am glad everything worked out for you. How's your block and electronics;)
Happy motoring:D

06-18-2003, 07:43 PM
some people have different definitons of warm... by spraying the hose on the motor , where does the water go? down...... and if the motor is a little tooo hot and the water is a little too cold then what happens?

06-19-2003, 02:40 PM
I can't believe what you are saying? Maybe I shouldn't drive my car in the rain becauce I don't want to get my motor wet from underneath...that cold water might crack my block...

07-18-2003, 09:19 AM
One thing I will not use, that is Gunk Engine Brite. That stuff works great, the only thing is it is petroleum based...your ride will smell like a refinery for a week and you won't be able to drink ground water for 50 years.

I use Simple Green and I think it is works good. Only thing is, don't let the overspray get on your fenders because it will remove the wax (grease) from them.

04-14-2004, 07:19 AM
For starters, a hot aluminum block will not crack if it gets cold water on it, but it will warp a bit. However, cast iron will if the water is cold enough and the egine is at running temperature. Water splashing up onto the motor from underneath does not usually make it to the top of the motor (that section that sits under the intake plenum). When spraying onto the top of the motor, water will find its way to that location. One sure kill method to crack a block is to put cold water into the radiator while the engine is hot. There are many degreasers out there that do not require a warm or hot engine to clean the grime off. I prefer just using cold water on a cold engine, large paint brush and detergent (car wash, or mild soap) to clean it, then use the blower from my shop vack to push off all the water off the motor. With the egnine cold, the chemicals do not get etched onto the painted surfaces and the aluminum parts to not get dull either. Besides that, the motor only gets dirty from road dust. If you have alot of oil deposits on the motor, find out what is leaking first before you wind up dumping water into the block instead of on it.

05-02-2004, 11:32 AM
Just this weekend I cleanded the motor and everything under the hood. I first wet the motor down (it was still on the warm side but I could rest my hand on it without having to remove it because it was too hot). Then I sprayed liberal amounts of "Greesed lightning" cleaner on small areas at a time, then brushed the area with a 2" trim paint brush (helps to get into small areas) then washed off each section before continuing to another. Of course I got out my trusty shop vac/blower :crazy: to push all the water of and out of the motor. :love: now the motor is nice and clean and looks fresh from the factory. I even did the same thing to the underside of the hood. One thing for sure, do not use high pressure wash, otherwise you may get water in places you do not want it (like the block by way of the rubber fittings around the breather and PVC valve).