Originally Posted by Toy4Life
I don't own a pressure washer. After I go wheelin', I hose out the engine compartment and I don't know how to get to the carwash with a cool engine, excluding towing.
I prefer to just do it at home with a water hose and some WD-40 and degreaser. But with water rationing on/off for the last couple of years I've had to go to a car wash.
Myself, I B-line to the car wash and sit for a short time with the hood open and oil filler cap open to help disempate (spelling) the heat. After about 15 minutes -give or take depending on the heat (distance traveled), I replace the oil filler cap and most car washes spray nozzle will squirt a little stream of water continuously prior to putting in any money. I use that slight slow stream to wet the engine down slowly and can tell how hot the engine still is while at the same time slowly cooling it down.
Then out comes the WD-40 (works great in the engine compartment) and engine degreaser for the heavy spots. After a moment or two I then pay the machine and give it a quick wash off not staying in one location for any length of time removing the "Gunk" and WD-40. After driving home and the engine drys off I spray WD-40 on all the plastic/rubber parts. Really shines everything up and helps protect them - plus makes the next cleanup easier. Only thing about using WD-40 to detail the engine compartment is that it attracts dust (especially if you off road or drive on gravel) but it washes right off.
I've been doing this with my wifes Nissan Sentra since new (1990) and you can still eat off the engine compartment 18 years later!