Engine Bay Sparkle
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This is a discussion on Engine Bay Sparkle within the Detailing Forum forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; My new used 04's engine bay is filthy. My previous car I just used simple green and water, b/c it ...

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    Engine Bay Sparkle

    My new used 04's engine bay is filthy. My previous car I just used simple green and water, b/c it never got to this point. I'm considering going to one of those do it yourself car wash places and using the engine cleaning option. What would you all recommend??

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    You did the right thing by buying a car with a dirty engine bay. Never buy a car with a clean engine bay.

    I'd not worry about it. Wipe down what you can reach with a cloth once in a while and let nature take its course. This if far preferable IMO to using a washer on a modern motor with electronics etc.
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    I fully disagree, anyone that takes care of their car's bay takes car of the car in it's entirety..... But could be that the weather here is a bit different...
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzr2874
    I fully disagree, anyone that takes care of their car's bay takes car of the car in it's entirety..... But could be that the weather here is a bit different...
    I'm meticulous with the maintenance of my vehicle, but I never clean the engine bay. Hell, I hardly even wash the car unless I get tree sap or something that'll eat the paint (dirt, pollen, etc. all go away when it rains) - I give it one, maybe two good details/year. The only thing I do is I spray the wheels off once/week with a hose to make sure brake dust doesn't get caked onto them.
    Last edited by EJ257; 09-24-2009 at 04:52 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    You did the right thing by buying a car with a dirty engine bay. Never buy a car with a clean engine bay.
    ....curious. Why do you say that?

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    Personally, I've never had any issues with hosing down the engines on both our '08 Forester and my '03 WRX (or any of my vehicles over the past 25 years for that matter). Most of the sensitive areas/components in your bay are water resistant and are generally protected by design, gaskets, etc. If your intake is stock, there is really nothing to worry about in that respect. Just use a little common sense when rinsing (i.e. don't shoot a strong stream of water into sensitive looking areas, etc.). In my case, the nozzle I have has a variety of selections. I find the "shower" setting provides enough pressure and volume to rinse away any soap/cleaner while keeping the risk low for water seeping into areas I don’t want it to go. ....keep in mind however that vehicle age, particular layouts, modifications, etc. may be factors in whether or not you decide to cover certain areas. Also, there is nothing wrong with taking extra precautions. If you feel the need to do so, then don’t hesitate to cover the sensitive areas.

    Below are a couple shots of my '03. I typically wash with Meguiars APC+ (diluted 4:1) and use a variety of detail brushes I have on hand to agitate/scrub (soft nylon & boars hair). After a final rinse with DI (deionized) water I will typically use a leaf blower or compressed air (again, using a little common sense & caution) to help chase off some of the water from the areas I will be treating. My last step is to dress the plastics, hoses and rubber trim pieces. ....typically with something like 303. Here are a couple of shots of my '03 (original owner with 90k+ miles):


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kean View Post
    ....curious. Why do you say that?
    Consider what the process of cleaning an engine bay removes. If I'm buying a car, I want to see all the juice, smears, and smudge coming out of the motor, gearbox, axles, connections, hoses, etc.

    Your engine bays look terrific. I'd not buy that car.
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    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Consider what the process of cleaning an engine bay removes. If I'm buying a car, I want to see all the juice, smears, and smudge coming out of the motor, gearbox, axles, connections, hoses, etc.

    Your engine bays look terrific. I'd not buy that car.
    I disagree wholeheartedly Dan (it's sticking... even though I'm the only one!)

    Someone that maintains their whole car, engine bay, paint, windows, interior, fluids, tires, and other maintenance issues... that's a car I want.

    I looked at a car recently with a torn steering wheel, severe rub-burns from a roof rack, and a shotty interior... and it had a disgusting engine bay.

    I decided to take it for a quick spin anyways to decide if I liked the model of car.... and the transmission was shot... at 30k miles.
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    My car was bought new with less than 10 mi on the odometer. It has been maintained using only authentic Subaru parts and expendables, according to the manufacturer's schedule. I have every service receipt and every part receipt since new, and I have every part I've removed from the car (we're talking oil filters, air filters, clamps, sump and gearbox crush washers, and so on). I have written proof of all maintenance, all inspections, and all recalls or TSBs in chronological order.

    My engine bay is dirty. There are no fluid leaks, and it is obvious.
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    My car was bought new with less than 10 mi on the odometer. It has been maintained using only authentic Subaru parts and expendables, according to the manufacturer's schedule. I have every service receipt and every part receipt since new, and I have every part I've removed from the car (we're talking oil filters, air filters, clamps, sump and gearbox crush washers, and so on). I have written proof of all maintenance, all inspections, and all recalls or TSBs in chronological order.

    My engine bay is dirty. There are no fluid leaks, and it is obvious.
    I want my next used car to be previously owned by you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DUB View Post
    I want my next used car to be previously owned by you.
    Thanks. I reason that the car wasn't free and it was designed by people that build cars for a living, a lot of them, so I may as well do as they say and use the parts they designated. I tend to drive my cars until they disintegrate frankly, but if/when I do sell the Impreza, the next owner will get a binder of receipts plus two shoeboxes (and counting...) of old authentic Subaru parts removed from the car during maintenance. I'm by no means saying I'm normal or balanced, and I know for sure many, many owners are just as meticulous but go a step further and have a sparkling engine bay. My trouble is I can't tell those owners apart from owners with a fluid leak (even one they don't know about themselves) when inspecting a used car's engine bay.

    I'm really quite ill now that I think of it...
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    My engine bay is dirty. There are no fluid leaks, and it is obvious.
    If I clean my engine bay once a month (which is a liberal estimate), that means I'm under the hood observing any possible leaks, deposits, rusting, corrosion...

    My reasoning is, if it's spotless (which it truly is)... then the first sign of a leak will be easily noticed. If the engine bay is dirty, then the first sign of the leak will be missed... and I'll have to wait until the dirt, and grime build up.

    Maybe I'm flawed in my thinking, but ever since I was in charge of the maintenance and repair of trucks in the desert... I've felt that way. My guys had their engine bays and undercarriages clean as a whistle (weekly hard cleaning, and daily quick clean), and the first sign of a leaking U joint, leaking radiator, or oil leak was pretty obviously noticed.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I think your thinking is correct and I think it works great. The problem with buying a used car with a clean engine bay though is that you only see the bay once, when it's been cleaned, and I'd rather see it before then.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I think your thinking is correct and I think it works great. The problem with buying a used car with a clean engine bay though is that you only see the bay once, when it's been cleaned, and I'd rather see it before then.
    That is a VERY good point...
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    Solution: only buy new cars?

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