Best way to clean engine bay? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
T1m
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Best way to clean engine bay?

I've been wanting to clean my engine bay for a long time but I'm afraid of getting water/cleaner in sensitive spots. I have an '06 with the 4.7 and would love to know what to cover and what to leave bare. Also would like to know what cleaner you use.

TIA!

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post #2 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 02:30 PM
Vertisce21
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Well...I've always just sprayed the thing out. Make sure the engine is cool. Disconnect the battery. Spray it all out with a hose. Don't get water inside the fuse boxes but the alternator should be fine so long as you let it all dry out completely before you turn it on again. Use engine degreaser if you want.

It has always worked for me. The important part being that you make sure it's entirely dry before you plug the battery back in and start it up.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 04:00 PM
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I may be wrong but I usually start it up right away.....heat everything up and dry it out asap. I don't even disconnect the battery. Plus....for many that would do this at a do it yourself carwash starting it up right afterwards this would be the way they'd have to do it. I give it a spray down with Superclean and let it sit then lightly hit everything with water to rinse it. I don't do it very often mind you.....maybe once every couple of years max.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 04:03 PM
caulk04
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Don't over think it. Spritz a mild degreaser, scrub what you can/want and hose it off. A pressure washer is fine too, just a wide nozzle and keep a bit of distance.

Don't unhook anything, just be mindful.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 05:17 PM
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So far, this thread has been extremely helpful. Do everything and don't do everything at the same time! Good luck!
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 05:36 PM
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I do my 2000 wj and 96 DJ with gunk spray a brush for those stubborn spots and a power washer. Start it up and let it run. Of course I dont put the jets directly on PCM or other plugs and blast away. Gotta use a little common sense when doing it
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 08:36 PM
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My alternator fried ANY time it gets wet 😞. So anytime I wash it I have to cover that and do it very lightly.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-28-2021, 09:35 PM
Vertisce21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeyes001 View Post
My alternator fried ANY time it gets wet 😞. So anytime I wash it I have to cover that and do it very lightly.
That's why you unplug your battery and then make sure to allow the entire thing to air dry before plugging it back in and starting it up.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-29-2021, 10:07 AM
caulk04
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Better yet, disassemble the entire engine bay and clean each part with a variety of small brushes and no liquids whatsoever.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-29-2021, 11:30 AM
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I pretty much did what this guy did, although I did start off high pressure soap spray at a coin wash to get some of the loose crud off before I did the degreaser at home in the driveway:

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post #11 of 13 Old 04-29-2021, 09:26 PM
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I have no problem pressure washing my engine bay and do any time I have the pressure washer out. But I would disagree with some suggestions here. I will ONLY spray it while it is hot and running. For a couple reasons:

1) There are sensitive components. Its not as bad for modern coil on plug systems, but water in a secondary ignition system would be an instant no starter on an engine with a distributor. By having the engine running, IF you get water in a bad spot, it is likely the place you were just hitting with 3k psi of water so you know right where to look to find water where it shouldn't be and you can address it. The heat is also something that will help the water to evaporate out. Get some water down around a coil boot and get a misfire, its going to run for 10+ minutes before it gets hot enough to have any hope of boiling out. But if its already hot and running, you may be in luck. An ignition misfire is a cat killer so you want to run the engine as little as possible on an ignition misfire.

2) Its like steam cleaning! Hot water is WAY better at removing grease and grime from things.

If your not sure what you are spraying, spray it gentle, if you know what it is but you are not sure if its sensitive... be gentle.

Spray away!

There is really not anything I am afraid to hit, but I am careful and keep my distance when spraying the ecm, and the fuse boxes with the front control module. Caps for fluids are a quick gentle pass zone too.

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post #12 of 13 Old 05-04-2021, 05:15 PM
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I always pressure wash all my vehicles engine bays. Easier to find leaks if engine is clean. If they are dirty when I get them, I spray Gunk gel degreaser. I always spray them when hot. I avoid major electrical stuff with direct spray. Then I go for at least a 15 to 20 minute drive to make sure they are hot and dried out. They only time I jad a problem was on my 2001 Ram 2500 with 5.9 gas engine. The coil epoxy was cracked and it wouldn't start. Slapped a new coil on and away I went. My opinion, if you have problems, it probably needed fixed anyway.
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post #13 of 13 Old Today, 04:17 PM
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I wish you had posted a photo of your engine bay to give everyone a sense of just how dirty it actually is.

If your engine bay is really dirty and has not been cleaned in a long while, it would be wise to spend a little money and have it professionally steam cleaned from the top down and the bottom up. Steam cleaning is especially effective at removing heavy greasy buildup. Where I live it's about $150-$250 to get a thorough steam cleaning job done.


On the theory that one can't tell if something is starting to leak if it's already covered with funk, I keep my wife's 1996 ZJ 4.0 I6 spotless under the hood. A product that I found immensely valuable in doing a first-rate job is SuperClean spray. It's amazing at loosening dirty, oil, and grease. It's also caustic stuff and I find causes skin irritation if I get over-spray on my arms and don't notice it quickly to wash it off.

Here in Portland we have several DIY car washes that offer an engine cleaner spray option that works pretty well. I pretreat trouble spots with SuperClean before putting coins in the car wash control and usually get pleasing results. Taking a set of service ramps to the DIY car wash is a big aid in getting the bottom of the engine and the transmission looking good.

Keep the cleaner/spray away from the alternator and ignition system. I once ruined an alternator with SuperClean by not flushing it well after cleaning. For electrical devices like the alternator, etc., use CRC's Brakleen spray solvent (use red can, never the green formulation which strips paint and dissolves plastic) or CRC Lectramotive spray solvent, both are good for degreasing electrical devices like the alternator, etc.
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