Engine bay cleanup, what do you cover up?

doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
9,050
4,158
0
AZ
Ride
2009 E93 335i
Getting to the point where I'm going to be done installing and want to tidy up some things. What do you guys pay special attention to when it comes to keeping water out, etc? Recommended degreasers/soap/rinsing methods?

@TwinTurboWagon
 

doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
9,050
4,158
0
AZ
Ride
2009 E93 335i
Cool, I have a pressure washer but I'd probably just do it at the car wash. I live in a subdivision and there is no sewer drain near my house. I don't want soapy water running in front of several houses on either side of me :oops:
 

BrettJP

Private
May 30, 2017
41
9
0
Ride
08 335xi e92
How well does using a pressure wash work compared to having the engine bay steamed? Obviously it can be a lot cheaper, but are they comparable in effectiveness? And do you usually remove the plastic guards under the engine bay or does the water drain out pretty well?
 

DS3IAM

Private
Mar 14, 2018
38
9
0
Ride
2009 E90 xDrive
Cleaned my engine bay on an annual basis with a quick rinse with P21S Total Auto Wash (call me ole school). I will admit I didn't cover anything and used a regular nozzle/hose. I did let the car run while I was spraying the engine bay though. Knock on wood I had no issues. From time to time I will wipe down my engine bay with waterless car wash with a micro fiber towels.

https://www.detailersdomain.com/products/p21s-total-auto-wash-1000ml
 

NoQuarter

Major
Nov 24, 2017
1,605
1,003
0
Indiana, USA
Ride
Z4 35is, 535xi, X5 35i
I clean mine quite regularly. I use the orange type citrus cleaner and pressure washer. I just avoid the alternator is all. No special prep.

I use a long handled wheel type brush for scrubbing things with soapy water and skinny brush like is used to clean between wheel spokes. Rinse well and start engine right away and let everything dry.
 

AUbeast86

Sergeant
Nov 6, 2016
291
289
0
BFE
How're you guys keeping water out of the spark plug bores or are you using compressed air with a long nozzle attachment to blow them out while the engine is running?
 

R.G.

Lieutenant
Nov 17, 2016
669
325
0
Henderson, NV
Ride
E92 335, F10 M5
Engine cold, unplug battery, everything off other than DME cover, cover alternator only, pre soak with some non toxic degreaser, hose down with spray nozzle attachment on regular garden hose. Just be mindful not to sit in one spot drenching things. Quick shop vac of any sitting water then start it up and let idle to get hot to dry off remainder. Can gussy it up with some 303 protectant spray. Usually good for months before I have to do it again.
 

ShocknAwe

Captain
Jan 24, 2018
1,181
557
0
Charleston, SC
Ride
N54/3 1er ///Mutt
I cover the alternator, remove the air filters and plug the inlets. Wet with hose, spray with simple green mix, rinse. Then I use my blower to dry it up and knock down the excess water.
 

JuniorB

Sergeant
May 9, 2017
343
111
0
Rhode Island
Ride
07 e60
I've been power washing engine bays for years, and find that hot water takes all the heavy grease off. The degreasers will not penetrate the caked on, so an initial wash is recommended. Using hot water is best for oil, as it will break down the oil better. There are heavy degreasers out there that will leave residue, and spots on the plastic, so b careful before covering your bay with it. Since there is a ton of aluminum in the engine, I use a trailer acid mix that gets the aluminum clean and gunk free. I don't recommend using this unless you know what it does, and how to use it.
 

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JuniorB

Sergeant
May 9, 2017
343
111
0
Rhode Island
Ride
07 e60
Wearing the proper ppe, I use straight trailer cleaner. I've used this when I polish trailer wheels, it's straight acid. There is other products that are predilluted that will work. It's knowing how long to keep it on, and if it's on other parts, it can discolor. This stuff will turn polished aluminum white, if it's used straight. So the dis colorization is the biggest downfall with this, but for undercarriage parts, blocks, heads, it's perfect. This stuff is also a stainless steel cleaner, so it will clean up your manifold parts.