Safest way to wash motor

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 12:55
ThreadID: 133619 Views:4192 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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G;day everyone ,
this may sound silly. but in the past I have had trouble with the electrical system after washing the motor in another car ,I have a Toyota workmate 2007 .great little truck , the motor is covered in dust and dirt ,not oil or grease .I would like to wash it with a none acid cleaner .I do have a little pressure cleaner .any advice on this matter would be appreciated ,as I am worried about the electrical system ,
thank you chris
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Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 16:02

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 16:02
Is it petrol or diesel?

AnswerID: 605196

Reply By: Gronk - Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 17:12

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 17:12
I've always only used a hose...and never hose any one spot for too long.

Get a cheap can of CRC and go over plugs, connections etc, and even bath the whole motor in it if you like, then hose off.

Do it when the motor is warm, not hot, then run the motor for 5 mins afterwards to dry it off a bit.
AnswerID: 605197

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 19:16

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 19:16
HI Chris

I use a hand spray bottle with a fine mist with CT18. Let it stand for as long as you can and then the same process again with warm water.

I then use a air compressor to blow all water away and then give it a good chamois and the motor and engine bay looks just like a new car, even though it is 10 years old.


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AnswerID: 605199

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 20:06

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 20:06
I pretty much never wash mine - I figure water and detergent do more harm than a lining of dust. I think I hosed mine with fresh water once in 4 years.
AnswerID: 605200

Reply By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 09:35

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 09:35
Is it petrol or diesel. It makes a difference.

AnswerID: 605206

Follow Up By: chris a - Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 15:32

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 15:32
Petrol mate
FollowupID: 874962

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 15:42

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 15:42
I would be careful where to spray water (no electrics) and follow up letting it dry properly and then spray plugs and leads with WD40 before starting.

But essentially follow the same as for diesel. Spray the whole engine with a can of engine cleaner. and let it sit for a few minutes and then spray with the hose noting what I said at the start of this post.

I usually use some cheap stuff that supercheap sold. I got a bundle - I think it was 8 for $10.

I use a whole can each time. I also use the hose on full and spray everything except the fuse box corner, where I lower the pressure a whole lot before hosing there.

Let it dry and all done.

FollowupID: 874963

Follow Up By: Blown4by - Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 at 21:19

Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 at 21:19
Do not wash the engine when it is warm otherwise you will cause condensation to develop especially between the spark plugs and the rubber sleeve on the plug end of the plug leads. If you blow all the water off with compressed air after washing the engine it may start OK but next morning it will very likely be misfiring on one or more cylinders until such time as the condensation has dried out. Driving the vehicle until the engine is hot will rarely cure this problem as the condensation will reappear overnight just as moisture in the head lamps and other lamps does until the globe is removed and the moisture dried out properly using a hair drier or heat gun. This was a big problem in the bad old days of distributor caps when moisture condensed under the cap. The only way to cure it was to remove the cap and all plug leads from the cap and the spark plugs and blow out with dry compressed air. Better solution is to wash the engine when cold then this problem will not occur unless water gets trapped during the washing process which then vaporises when the engine gets hot only to return when the engine cools down in the more humid night air. In short, wash cold and dry with compressed air before running the engine.
FollowupID: 875079

Reply By: Ozi M - Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 10:18

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 10:18
Mine is a diesel and my mechanic gives it a spray with a degreaser then hits it with a pressure spray set on mist
AnswerID: 605209

Reply By: Hoyks - Thursday, Oct 20, 2016 at 18:19

Thursday, Oct 20, 2016 at 18:19
I have usually use a garden hose (high volume, low pressure), using a pressure washer runs the risk of blowing water past seals, but I have also gotten away with it with no issues, I just don't hold it too close.

I had no electrical issues at all, and with modern diesels there is probably more electrickery than petrols, just not the high voltage stuff.

For best results I also use a garden sprayer loaded up with a colloidal cleaner (CT18 or similar), give it all a good spray, allow to soak for a bit and then wash off. If I was going to play in the mud, then I'd give it a spray with the cleaner 1st, then wash it when I got home.

The engine bays are probably cleaner than the outside.
AnswerID: 605237

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 at 15:35

Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 at 15:35
One option is to take it down to Car Lovers and use their gear. Mine needed the degreaser (yellow) first, then the high pressure soapy water followed by a rinse. No probs with 4.7 L V8 petrol or 2.5L 5 cyl diesel.

I've got an Aldi high pressure washer at home but don't have the ability to capture the toxic crud coming off the engine. My storm water runs into a lagoon and then the Murray.

My mate who knows about these things said to do it with the engine running so you avoid the problem of being unable to start it.
AnswerID: 605339

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 at 19:37

Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 at 19:37
Nice to see someone worries about what they discharge, especially into the Murray.
FollowupID: 875100

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