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Engine Bay Cleaning. Hot or Cold?

View Poll Results: Engine Bay Cleaning
Engine Hot (Running) 37 8.06%
Engine Warm (Not Running) 118 25.71%
Engine Cold 215 46.84%
Dolphins! 89 19.39%
Voters: 459. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-08-2011, 03:51 AM   #1
Kelson [OP] Kelson is offline
My Truck is Cuter than Yours
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Engine Bay Cleaning. Hot or Cold?

After reading countless posts on how to clean my engine bay, I'm still at odds on whether to run my engine while cleaning it, have it semi warm, or completley cold. I would have thought introducing the pretty hot block to semi cold water wouldn't be too good for the engine, but idk. so..poll?
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:02 AM   #2
the Nightman cometh!
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Unfortunately I don't have "the" answer, but I play it safe. I think the average car wash water temperature is not cold enough to crack an engine block, but hot metal can be cracked from cold.

Also to add, engines these days are better equipped to handle one extreme to the next, not like yester-year. You are probably safe after a brief cool down, but again, I will play safe and not chance it (hence I have a dirty engine).
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
REALLY!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjew18 View Post
but hot metal can be cracked from cold.

Also to add, engines these days are better equipped to handle one extreme to the next, not like yester-year. You are probably safe after a brief cool down, but again, I will play safe and not chance it (hence I have a dirty engine).
I Def agree. To be on the safe side I would let the engine bay cool down and then just use hot water.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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Engine cool. Do not do it on a hot engine as you can crack hot metal. Start the engine once you're done to dry it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #5
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Engine cool you have to remember we are still dealing with aluminum heads and a cast block! Doing while hot is an possible way of warping or cracking the heads.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:18 AM   #7
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Cold engine. you could crack your manifold if you spray cold water on a hot engine.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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Cold. The only thing that should be hot if you can do it is the water but most of us don't have $6000 for a heated pressure washer.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:35 AM   #11
Street glide or die
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I have used hot and cold method. The engine cleaner I bought said run the truck for 15 min at idle and then apply, rinse thoroughly, then crank and idle for 15 minutes so its dry. Worked great made my engine in my 97 dak look allot better. But on the tacoma I used cold, with a product called simple green and hosed it down. Got most of the mud but still dirty. I don't have a pressure washer so I guess I am sol.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:06 AM   #12
...
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Cold!
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:06 PM   #13
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I think it doesn't really matter, its like driving your car in a mean rain or going through a DEEP puddle your engine gets it all the time especially if its lifted. IMO
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:17 AM   #14
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Cold engine. Don't use a degreaser like Gunk, just use SHOUT. Yes, I mean the same shit that you use on stains for your clothes before you wash them. Spray the engine bay with SHOUT, let it stand for 5 minutes, then hose off, start engine and let run for 15 minutes. It works great and supposed to be easier on your rubber components than using GUNK degreaser.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:26 PM   #15
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A question for you...

When you drive through a water crossing, or a deep puddle on the highway, water enteres your engine bay. It's more volume than a pressure washer and hose. What do you think is happening to the engine?
Rust is happening, that and a possibility of killing your alternator or getting water in your electrical connections. You would need to apply very cold water to a hot manifold to get it to crack. The engine block is not a problem since it's extreme heat is carried through the exhaust.
Wash it as you please. Add dielectric grease to all your electrical connections as a precaution.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillynwv View Post
Cold engine. Don't use a degreaser like Gunk, just use SHOUT. Yes, I mean the same shit that you use on stains for your clothes before you wash them. Spray the engine bay with SHOUT, let it stand for 5 minutes, then hose off, start engine and let run for 15 minutes. It works great and supposed to be easier on your rubber components than using GUNK degreaser.
X2 on the degreasers i always use simple green and my pressure sprayer just watch the electronics.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:32 PM   #17
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Simple green works well, but etches aluminum.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
Simple green works well, but etches aluminum.
I beg to differ never had it etch aluminum once always used it on all of my motocross bikes as well with full aluminum frames. Now if you use a product like mean green or purple power that stuff will stain aluminum.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprocketdog View Post
I beg to differ never had it etch aluminum once always used it on all of my motocross bikes as well with full aluminum frames. Now if you use a product like mean green or purple power that stuff will stain aluminum.
Used it on my pontoon boat. Your aluminum must have been coated/protected. It etched the hell out of mine.
The simple green bottle used to say "not recommended for use on aluminum." Not anymore...
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
Used it on my pontoon boat. Your aluminum must have been coated/protected. It etched the hell out of mine.
The simple green bottle used to say "not recommended for use on aluminum." Not anymore...
One my spray bottle an gallon refills it say the following (* Note: Do not use on instrument panels, unfinished wood, leather, suede, opals or pearls.). Dont know what simple green you are using. I have been using SG for atleast 16 years with out a hitch. Might be because you are using it on a boat which sees alot of different elements such as various waters and acid rain due to outside exposer. Might have various effects if you also have hard water as well when washing, like I said I am not trying to sell anyone on the product but I have well water and never had any issues with SG.
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