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Pressure washer OK to clean engine?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Capt Pie, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Nov 9, 2010 at 9:43 PM
    #1
    Capt Pie

    Capt Pie [OP] Active Member

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    Hey hey,

    so my engine is caked in mud and dirt, and was curious if it is OK to pressure wash the top of the engine. Some cars its ok, others, it isn't.

    Anything to be aware of? good idea, bad idea?
     
  2. Nov 9, 2010 at 9:44 PM
    #2
    CopDoctor

    CopDoctor Well-Known Member

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    don't hold the trigger down, just spray it off with the water that comes out naturally. stay clear of any loose wiring and the battery area, but i've sprayed mine down plenty of times with no problems.
     
  3. Nov 9, 2010 at 9:46 PM
    #3
    travis9287

    travis9287 Roll Tide!

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    Yeah it should be fine. i normally throw something over the Alternator and battery and go at it.
     
  4. Nov 9, 2010 at 9:47 PM
    #4
    Capt Pie

    Capt Pie [OP] Active Member

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    Great! Thanks for the quick replies. Will remove the battery anyway and cover the alt.
     
  5. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM
    #5
    CopDoctor

    CopDoctor Well-Known Member

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    why? do you cover your alt when it rains?
     
  6. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:12 PM
    #6
    CopDoctor

    CopDoctor Well-Known Member

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    the only thing to be worried about is the force ripping shit apart, other than that you're fine.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:13 PM
    #7
    I Liquid I

    I Liquid I Well-Known Member

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    They invented something called the hood of a car some time ago...
     
  8. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:15 PM
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    CopDoctor

    CopDoctor Well-Known Member

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    they also invented the grill so air and thus water can freely enter the area under said hood....go drive through a rainstorm. if your engine is dry i'll give you my tacoma.
     
  9. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:15 PM
    #9
    rbeezy

    rbeezy Well-Known Member

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    LOL :facepalm:
     
  10. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM
    #10
    rab89

    rab89 Well-Known Member

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    the alternator is behind a fan, and a radiator, I've never seen mine wet from driving through a storm...

    OP, I'm with the other guys, cover your alternator. The detail shop at work covers it when they wash the motor.
     
  11. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:45 PM
    #11
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't worry about the alt getting wet. Its near the bottom of the engine so its going to have water splashing on it non stop from the road when it rains. The only problem you may run into is pushing dirt into the alternator, which could cause it to stop working.

    As far as a pressure washer goes, I just have a small gas powered one (2k psi), which when I adjust the nozzle for the widest stream, its actually at a pressure I feel comfortable with thats more of a mist rinse at the distance I use it. I'm not into huge detailing, etc, but do like to wash off some of the mud if I hit some puddles on the trail. End up just letting something like simple green (bad for aluminum if left on for extended periods) sit for a bit and give it a very good rinse. Works good enough to make me happy.

    I'm really not sure how much it matters, but I do the cleaning on a cold engine and allow it to air dry before I move it back into the garage. I'm pretty sure it doesn't really matter much, but cleaner will dry a lot quicker on a hot engine, not really giving it time to do its job and also makes rinsing a lot more difficult.
     
  12. Nov 9, 2010 at 10:54 PM
    #12
    gobias

    gobias as in Gobias some coffee

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    While it's not necessary to cover your alternator, as an on and off auto detailer, I cover them. Cover the battery too.

    If you really want it cleaned and not worry about it, pay a reputable detailing shop to steam clean your engine bay.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM
    #13
    shampoop

    shampoop Well-Known Member

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    most businesses that use pressure washers for cleaning engine bays use pretty low pressure, but very hot water. That seems to be the trick.
     
  14. Nov 9, 2010 at 11:09 PM
    #14
    Capt Pie

    Capt Pie [OP] Active Member

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    The replies are greatly appreciated. I'm not really looking to detail my engine bay, I just want to be able to see what the actual color of my hoses and belts are :) A good, clean engine and bay can't hurt anything, I just want to make sure I don't damage anything with the water.

    I have enough info at this point, thanks for all the help.
     
  15. Nov 9, 2010 at 11:12 PM
    #15
    BakoTruck

    BakoTruck Well-Known Member

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    X2! I would also suggest making sure the fuse box is closed and or anything else electrical.

    All of these guys up above keep talking about how it does/doesn't matter to cover up the alternator.
    It probably doesn't matter, but just cover it. Won't hurt anything to cover it, who the hell cares? Cover it and move on. lol
     
  16. Feb 4, 2011 at 1:00 PM
    #16
    Manwithoutaplan

    Manwithoutaplan the full Monty

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    when cleaning the engine can, should you have the engine running or not running?
     
  17. Feb 4, 2011 at 1:11 PM
    #17
    juddcunningham

    juddcunningham Well-Known Member

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    well alright i have spent all day waterproofing my engine compartment went drove through a rain storm still dry not a sprinkle of water now where do i pick up my new tacoma
     
  18. Feb 4, 2011 at 1:25 PM
    #18
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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    I lost track thousands of dollars ago.

    I detailed cars for 5 years and it's fine to wash your engine just avoid the electrical components. And we always kept the car running wile washing and never had a problem.
     
  19. Feb 4, 2011 at 1:36 PM
    #19
    Manwithoutaplan

    Manwithoutaplan the full Monty

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    Ok thanks man !!! :)
     
  20. Feb 4, 2011 at 1:38 PM
    #20
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    I have used an eletric pressue washer on mine plenty of times, just try to avoid making direct contact with electrical components.
     
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