For those who like to take care of a car, seeing a dirty engine is not cool, but it always paints that doubt: if I wash it, will I ruin any parts? This concern comes from carbureted cars: in the past, when we washed the engine at gas stations, the famous pressure hoses inserted the water into the distributor (part that made the distribution of the electric current for each engine spark plug) and, after washing , the engine the car wouldn't start.
With the arrival of electronic injection, these distribution systems have changed. However, new technologies have invaded the engine compartment with electronic modules and electrical connectors that are also damaged when water has access to its electronic circuits.
You may be asking me: So, can't I wash the engine? It can. The problem is not water, but water pressure. For you to understand better, remember: there are waterproof watches and diving watches (that can handle the pressure). Your car is similar to a watch that can only rain.
See step by step
There are companies that specialize in washing engines, but if you intend to do it yourself, the first step is to identify the vulnerable points. These are the modules and electronic sensors that are installed next to the engine
The main ones are: electronic injection module, ABS module, body module, alternator, coil, relay box ... all those components where you identify the connection of an electrical harness.
If using a water pressure machine, with the car OFF, wrap all these parts, including the battery, with a plastic bag, so that the water jet does not directly hit the seals.
Also check that the engine oil and power steering reservoir replacement cap are closed properly. Make sure that the engine oil dipsticks and automatic transmission are also securely attached.
Do not disconnect the battery connections: depending on the car model, you may lose some programming of the electronic modules. If they are dirty at the end of the wash, apply a contact cleaner.
Do not use acidic products
Never use solvents, washing powder or petroleum based degreasers, such as kerosene, or acids that can react with the sealing rubbers. These products also dry out hoses and belts.
In addition, very powerful degreasers, when pressed with water on the bearings like belt tensioners, end up removing the lubrication from the internal bearing and, a few weeks later, you will start to hear high-pitched noises generated by the internal wear.
Use the best engine degreaser for this purpose found in auto parts stores. Apply on the motor and leave for a while, so that they dissolve the dirt. Then apply the water, carefully. A nylon brush will help remove dirt in the toughest corners.
Is your car over 10 years old?
In new and semi-new vehicles, the rings and seals used to prevent water and dust from entering tend to be in good condition and the probability of causing problems is small. In cars over 10 years old, these same rings and seals are dried out due to the calorie received from the engine during all this time, and a stronger water jet can permanently damage them.