Power Washing the Engine?! Are you CRAZY?!

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Thread: Power Washing the Engine?! Are you CRAZY?!

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    Veteran Member rxvcgiii's Avatar
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    Default Power Washing the Engine?! Are you CRAZY?!

    Okay... I'm not really the most car savvy person, but using a power washer to clean my engine just sounds pretty crazy. My friend is trying to persuade me that it's alright... but something about taking a power washer (or any type of water) and shooting it under the hood just doesn't seem right.

    Can I do this? Have any of you done this? Is there anything I need to cover in order to do this? Is my friend just trying to screw up my Tundra? Can I just use a regular hose?

    I keep my engine pretty clean but I recently went offroading in the mud and find that cleaning with a power washer would be pretty convenient... but can it be done?
    Armada 176 AR5s Skis, Look P12 Jib Bindings, Rossignol Bandit B1 Boots, Scott Poles... in the bed of a 2000 V8 Tundra 2x4 Access Cab with:
    JBA Titanium Coated Headers, Stone Mountain Racing Y-Pipe, Flowmaster 50 Exhuast, Teamwest Sway-A-Way Coilovers, Camburg Upper Control Arms, Wheeler's Add-A-Leafs, AEM Brute Force Intake, MB Quarts, US Acoustics Amp, Bazooka Tube, Lots of Dynamat, A.R.E. LSII Tonneau Cover, Sir Michaels Rollpan, Bushwacker Flares, Shaved BSM, Billet Grilles, Mickey Thompson Classic Locks, 305/70/16 Pro-Comp X-Terrains, Lots of little things here and there. Future Projects: Color-Coded White Rear Bumper and Tailgate handle, Revalve SAWs, Deaver 11 Leaf Packs, Bilstein 5100 Rear Shocks.
    All this info repeated here!

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    Vu
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    I done this to my t-100 i had back in the day and had no problems. I too went off-roading in the mud and the engine bay was dirty. So I went to a DIY carwash and put some quarters in and started blasting the engine. I didnt cover anything. It may be smart to but I didn't care. Also when I sold the T-100, I came back to the DIY carwash and washed the whole inside of the car. Vinyl bench seat and no carpet led me to the easy decision. I blasted water on everything in sight.
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    Veteran Member TRDKEAU's Avatar
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    keep you truck running. a better solution for regular maintenence would be steam.

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    I used to do it on my Tacoma all the time (every 2 or 3 months) without a problem. The Tundra only has 1500 miles on it so I have not done it yet but plan to. Just keep the wand at a little distance and if you are near an elec. area work around it (fuse block for example) and I only use water (dont use wax or the soap - onnly thing that I would use is reg. engine cleaner YOU bring and spray on for greese).
    Good luck

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    I Use Soap and Water and a garden hose. I dry with compressed air. While you will not get water into your engine, there are alot of plastic components like fuse box covers, sensors, etc. that may not handle the pressure of a pressure cleaner.

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    Power washing under the hood is not a good idea. A soft soapy sponge rinsed off with a garden hose is the way to go if you want to clean your engine. I have been involved with the Automotive Powertrain business for over 15 yrs supplying underhood parts, and nowhere do our specifications from the OEM's call out "Power Washing". We do a BUNCH of what is called "Water Spray" testing....by which the components must pass the "Water Intrusion" test.

    Power Washing is a whole different ball game ! ! Pressures often times are in the THOUSANDS of PSI, and water does NOT compress so it moves seals and enters spaces it shouldn't.

    In some instances, one must wash aggressively to remove built-up "grime" from the engine.....say on an older vehicle or one which has had a leakage problem. If you are in this situation, then care must be taken to shield the throttle body, alternator, MAF, Fuel Rail, Injectors, and any other vulnerable components.

    Also, after washing, take a quick drive, (just a few miles), to "flash-off" the water which is remaining on the engine. My Tundra is approaching 3ys old and 40,000 miles. I wash my engine and compartment twice a year to remove dust, mud, salt, etc. and it looks very good, and using the "low pressure" method has not caused any problems. The key is not to let it "build up" !


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    add spark plugs to that list, high-pressure water will penetrate the seal. i do use the power washer, but i stand FAR back from the engine and don't spray directly, but over the engine so it effectively rains on everything. this is because at one point i did get too close, and wound up with moisture around the coils.

    -s

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    Default been done but i wouldnt to my tundra

    i used to do this to my silverado all the time - so my point is....................
    you can do it...but its not a good idea for reasons already mentioned.
    with that said ill tell you when i was a 16 yr. old kid working at a wholesale auto auction we would wash/detail up to 500 cars a day ! we would pressure wash all engines but only while they were running - simple green spray then pressure wash and after they would dry we would spray paint them to look new , i know , i know but i was doing my job. well we never had one problem doing this - sometimes you had to cause the crap/dirt build up was so heavy.
    i would never do this to my tundra - i belive a garden hose and some simple green is all you need.
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    First of all, after a good day of mudding in the truck, good luck trying to get the engine bay clean even with a pressure washer. You are going to have to hand wash everything to get it clean. As far as using a pressure washer, I've used it many times with out any problems. A local dealership does it all the time and hasn't had a problem with one vehicle as far as I know of. The only thing I recommend is using the spray instead of the stream. On my pressure washer there are different settings and only use the stream setting on the under-carriage.

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    simple green, liberally distubuted over the engine compartment, plus a power washer and indirect flow, was enough to clean the compartment at least three times i can think of, where the engine compartment was the same uniform brown as the outside of the truck.

    -sean

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    "some people will call you stupid but its worth a try because i know i also want one more inch."--SouthernTundraSC


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    Yep...works great...but keep the pressure down to a min.

    Kevin
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    10 responses overnight! Nice! Thanks everybody for your input! I think I'm just gonna use the regular garden hose and hose everything down and maybe just use the pressure washer on the sidewalls and the underbody. K... now it's time for a good 5 hour inside and out washin'
    Armada 176 AR5s Skis, Look P12 Jib Bindings, Rossignol Bandit B1 Boots, Scott Poles... in the bed of a 2000 V8 Tundra 2x4 Access Cab with:
    JBA Titanium Coated Headers, Stone Mountain Racing Y-Pipe, Flowmaster 50 Exhuast, Teamwest Sway-A-Way Coilovers, Camburg Upper Control Arms, Wheeler's Add-A-Leafs, AEM Brute Force Intake, MB Quarts, US Acoustics Amp, Bazooka Tube, Lots of Dynamat, A.R.E. LSII Tonneau Cover, Sir Michaels Rollpan, Bushwacker Flares, Shaved BSM, Billet Grilles, Mickey Thompson Classic Locks, 305/70/16 Pro-Comp X-Terrains, Lots of little things here and there. Future Projects: Color-Coded White Rear Bumper and Tailgate handle, Revalve SAWs, Deaver 11 Leaf Packs, Bilstein 5100 Rear Shocks.
    All this info repeated here!

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    Don't overlook what was posted about using Simple Green first. It really makes a big difference.
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    Junior Member Tundranized's Avatar
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    Simple Green is simply amazing when it comes to cleaning anything. I've used it on motorhomes, campers, awnings, patio furniture, engine bays, etc. I would just liberally spray the motor down and then hose it off using your garden hose with an adjustable spary nozzle.

    Brian
    2000 Tundra 4x4 (Gone and forgotten)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundranized
    Simple Green is simply amazing when it comes to cleaning anything. I've used it on motorhomes, campers, awnings, patio furniture, engine bays, etc. I would just liberally spray the motor down and then hose it off using your garden hose with an adjustable spary nozzle.

    Brian

    Don't let simple green dry though. As it is if you don't rinse enough it will leave a white haze.

    alan

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