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Cool Water/hot engine, Damage??

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Old 12-11-2007, 04:58 PM   #1
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Cool Water/hot engine, Damage??

Kind of curious here. We just had some good snow and my Tacama was filthy as a result with all sorts of dirt/ice in the wheel wells. Drove it to one of those self serve car washes with the high pressure spray hoses and washed my wheel wells spraying straight in. Looking in the front wheel wells, I noticed that the engine block as well as other engine parts are exposed and I must have sprayed in them.
Can the cool water from the high pressure hose damage the hot engine parts or crack the hot block?
You would think that there is no issue in light of off-roaders that do high water crossings, or is that somehow different?
Look forward to your responses. Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrier View Post
Kind of curious here. We just had some good snow and my Tacama was filthy as a result with all sorts of dirt/ice in the wheel wells. Drove it to one of those self serve car washes with the high pressure spray hoses and washed my wheel wells spraying straight in. Looking in the front wheel wells, I noticed that the engine block as well as other engine parts are exposed and I must have sprayed in them.
Can the cool water from the high pressure hose damage the hot engine parts or crack the hot block?
You would think that there is no issue in light of off-roaders that do high water crossings, or is that somehow different?
Look forward to your responses. Thanks.
glad you brought this up!! i say if you are going thru standing water, 4 or 5 feet deep, then yes...it will do damage. as far as washing a warmed up truck with a high pressure hose...dont even worry an ounce about it. think of it like this........when it rains(even pours cats and dogs)...where does some of the water go? you guessed it...........right up into the engine compartment. and there are rarely any problems from that even...maybe a squeaky set of brakes once in a blue moon, but thats it. basically,what im saying, is that you are good to go!!!
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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Quick bursts shouldn't hurt anything, but if the water is really cold and the engine block is really hot you might get localized "shock cooling" if you sustain water pressure on one spot. It can cause damage to the motor. Aluminum gets rid of heat quickly.

Take a glass and put it on the stove in some hot water and boil it......then drop it into some ice water. You'll get the idea.

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Old 12-11-2007, 07:04 PM   #4
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i had a friend in high school went to the car wash lifted the hood and cleaned the engin he ended up cracking the head on his camero
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2003greenbean View Post
i had a friend in high school went to the car wash lifted the hood and cleaned the engin he ended up cracking the head on his camero

yeah.....thats not a good idea at all, lifting the hood and trying to wash a hot engine. a normal wash with "pressure washer"...such as at a carwash isnt gonna hurt anything though.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:18 PM   #6
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A quick spray on a hot engine will only make the water evaporate. Like others said, popping the hood and hitting a hot engine with a prolonged blast is another thing.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:37 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:38 AM   #8
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I treat my engine like a muscle. after i get done working it out hard i pack the engine compartment with about 20 large bags of ice.

DISCLAIMER: I dont really do this. Dont do this. if you do this you're an idiot and deserve what happens
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy4Life View Post
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!
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy4Life View Post
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.

Toy4Life, do you let your engine cool down before applying the water, and is the water normal temperature or is it heated?
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Terrier View Post
Toy4Life, do you let your engine cool down before applying the water, and is the water normal temperature or is it heated?
Water is normal temp. Car wash is 10 min. from home. Sometimes I wash outside before engine, but I've also just dove right in under the hood. I've never heard of it causing problems and always figured if the water from wheeling was ok, then so was the carwash.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:53 PM   #12
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Toy4Life, thanks for your prompt response. Does your engine have a cast iron or aluminum block? I think, but am not sure, that the recent (2005+) V6 has an aluminum block while the 4 cyl. 2.7 has a cast iron block.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:12 PM   #13
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I think it's aluminum
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy4Life View Post
I think it's aluminum
we have aluminum block?!!? that sucks, is that common in new cars? The BMW 750 uses (or at least use to use) aluminum blocks to save weight. But the problem was if they overheated one really good time the block cracked and needed to be replaced (which is really expensive for a BMW 12cyl) I dont like the idea of aluminum.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ndcouch View Post
we have aluminum block?!!? that sucks, is that common in new cars? The BMW 750 uses (or at least use to use) aluminum blocks to save weight. But the problem was if they overheated one really good time the block cracked and needed to be replaced (which is really expensive for a BMW 12cyl) I dont like the idea of aluminum.
I believe a good deal of newer cars are using aluminum blocks for fuel economy (saves weight as you said). But I believe they either are using higher grade aluminum or the engines are designed better to run cooler, or maybe both. I don't hear of this being a problem any longer. But I would still use caution. The Pinto was natorious for overheating and cracking (showing my age). I just wouldn't recommend hitting your warm-hot engine with a steady stream of cool water. And if you start to overheat, shut it down ASAP. Just my thoughts. I'm sure someone else will log in eventually with more technical data
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:31 AM   #16
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Yeah, even my TDI (diesel engines get hotter than gas), I washed without cool down. Ooops. Well, I will have to stop that practice.

I never really had a problem. Of course those were Subaru, Honda, VW (TDI), and Toyota.
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