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  #1  
Old 02-25-2001, 10:15 PM
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I have two cars and pickup truck that I want to clean. The truck is older (not so many electronics) but I had a leaky valve cover gasket, so lots of old oil all over the engine. The cars have lot's of electronics, of course, but not so dirty.

I have tried Gunk before, where you spray the stuff on wait a little, mist it off with water and run the engine to dry it off...but it doesn't really do much and I dont like the idea of spraying water on there. Plus I can't get too caried away with the stuff that flows off my driveway.

What about steam? Will it damage anything like plastic, tubes, etc? Three jobs might be costly...and where can I find a place in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I guess I can really spend time and tape off all the electronics with plastic bags and go at it for a while...but how well will that work anyway?


Thanks

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  #2  
Old 02-25-2001, 10:23 PM
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I would vouch for either - depending on whether its convinient. Steam cleaning is, I think, environmentally friendlier and less costly in the area I'm in. Chemical cleaning - now thats kinda generous issue as it depends on a lot of factors, i.e. what kinda chemicals and its effects plus cost.

I have always wondered whether we could actually use the "No Hands Tyre Cleaner" with the foam and just spray it over the engine (but try to avoid the rubber belts - or maybe it shouldnt pose any problems as the rubber belts are secured anyway).

I RARELY clean the engine unless its very very dirty. Even so, I will hose down the sides with the most sludge, and then hand-mop the rest. I then apply a minimal layer of silicon over the whole engine area.

What do you suppose?
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2001, 12:55 AM
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This Has Been Covered Before...

The jist was that steam cleaning services use pits that recycle the waste materials and are more environmentally friendly. But in some cases, steam cleaning a hot engine can be detrimental to some expensive components, so I suggest a search in the archives on this subject....

There is also "Simple Green" and "Castrol" engine cleaner/degreaser products that may be considered?
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2001, 06:14 AM
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I used an engine cleaner and degreaser once. Didn't think much of it.

I think its quite safe to steam clean most engines, except if its a trunk full of electronics.

Happy cleaning!
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2001, 12:32 PM
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You may want to try a compromise, and look at a product from Griots Garage. It is bio friendly and does a decent job.

http://www.griotsgarage.com/catalog.jsp?L1=L1_1000&L2=L2_1007&L3=L3_1501
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2001, 01:28 PM
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Read THESE First...

Here's links to this subject from the archives that you may find interesting, as both steam and chemical cleaning can be bad for your engine, if it's not done properly...

water on engine
Best way to clean engine compartment?
Cleaning Diesel Engine
Power Washing my Engine

And Steve, Griot's PRODUCT may be biodegradeable, and eco-friendly, but the oil, fuel and crud you wash off of your engine when you use it isn't...

So, remember not to wash this stuff into sewer drains because those lead to water supplies like creeks, lakes and rivers that aren't part of a water treatment system. It's better to do it where the drainage will be passed through a water treatment plant at least.

[Edited by longston on 02-26-2001 at 01:39 PM]
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2001, 03:57 PM
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Auto Detailer

Most EXPERIENCED Auto Detailer's can steam clean your engine with no problems, yes find a good one!
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2001, 04:20 PM
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thanks for the replies. I will look into both methods further. The crud that washes off the engine is what I am concerned about. I hate having stains on my driveway...and about the only water that flows through water treatment around here is actual household sewage, the rest goes out to ground water. It's also illegal and the neighbors are sure to complain.
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  #9  
Old 02-26-2001, 04:59 PM
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thanks for the replies. I will look into both methods further. The crud that washes off the engine is what I am concerned about. I hate having stains on my driveway...and about the only water that flows through water treatment around here is actual household sewage, the rest goes out to ground water. It's also illegal and the neighbors are sure to complain.
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2001, 07:31 PM
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Thats interesting Longston, thanks.


Wish you well, Chris.



Ps. I know someone in the world whose gonna have real clean engines soon ...
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  #11  
Old 03-11-2001, 07:41 PM
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I finally broke down

and went to the quarter wash with a can of Gunk and some aluminum foil (1985 300D). I covered the alternator with aluminum foil, sprayed on the Gunk which I allowed to "set" and then sprayed on the "engine" clean followed by the high pressure rinse. It turned out GREAT!! Now the engine compartment looks like I like to see it. I can now determine where the leaks are (looks like the #4 injector). I will do it at least one more time before I pull the valve cover next weekend for the valve adj. job I am planning.
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2001, 06:09 PM
makakio
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good steamer down in sobay

Have commented on this before and am pretty opposed to any driveway or *especially* coin-op solutions to this. Here in California using a coin-op or doing this operation in your driveway is a misdeameanor and can theoretically land you a $10k fine. Not to mention you're wreaking havoc on the environment for MILES around as that water goes straight out into the ocean or nearest major body of water and majorly affects *every*thing living in it or off of it.

ENGATWORK: you should kick your own a$$!

LISTEN UP NORCAL PEOPLE:

The ONLY state-certified and completely-environmentally-friendly steam clean operation in the south bay area is San Jose Steam Clean. It's located at 32 Stockton Avenue (right near downtown San Jose) and is open to the public. The guy you want to talk to is Jim. His phone number is 408/288-7440. Rates run from $50-75 depending on how much you want steamed (engine only through complete underbody).

CHEAP? Not really - but honestly: how often do you do this?! Is it easier to swallow than the guilt (listen up ENG) of flushing a bunch of caustic crap right out into the environment? I couldn't SLEEP if I had done that - I have problems justifying my driving a Benz that gets 22mpg and owning an SUV (albeit one with decent mileage and a ULEV-registered powerplant).

Some of you people simply AMAZE me with what can only be ignorance or a completely blase' attitude toward your fellow man and planet. I'm PISSED.
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2001, 08:26 PM
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makakio thanks for the heads up

and I'm sorry if you were offended but the coin op place I use has a system on the line leaving the place that "catches" the contaminants before it gets sent to the waste treatment plant. A truck comes around about once a week, collects the "contaminants" and hauls it to a facility where the material is dewatered and the remaining material is incinerated. Hopefully, they are making electricity with the heat coming out of it. I am a long way from any ocean and am quite thankful for not living in Calif.

I work in a papermill and I'm afraid that if you ever saw what it takes to make it you would quit using paper.

I could not agree with you more about trying to protect the environment and am somewhat of a conservationist seeing as how I own quite a few acres of pine trees (that I will eventually sell to the papermills). The Indians had the right idea about the earth but they got the shaft.

Thanks again for your input and sorry for any offense.

Jim
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  #14  
Old 04-05-2001, 06:49 PM
makakio
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Wow!

Sounds like the dream coin-op. Now if only owners had to retrofit all of them...

As to the paper/pulp mills - I do know. There used to be two HUGE ones that dumped really crap toxics directly into the ocean up in Humboldt County. All kinds of dioxins and stuff (!!) - it was a mess. A grassroots organization sued them to clean it up and re-establish a huge ecological preserve, which won in the courts.
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2001, 03:08 AM
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I thought I would throw in my .02 since I just washed my engine tonight... I totally agree with Makakio about the environment and I go to coin-op places where engine washing is offered. I take Simple Green with me and hope that the carwash is not simply dumping into the sewer!
However, I love the fact that my engines are "clean enough to eat off of". I'm sure this helps with diagnosis of leaks and other problems, as well as running better!
My cars are the only ones I like to work on, my girl friends car and ex's cars have always had to be cleaned before I'd touch them. Mechanics always note that my car shows pride of ownership and I like that.
I guess what I'm saying is there are a lot of good reasons for keeping the engine clean. As has been noted, one only cleans their car a couple of times a year and that's probably much less polluting than the daily use of our "steeds".
Oh well, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong...

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