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  #1  
Old 02-08-2007, 06:39 PM
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Undercarriage Cleaning

Hey, I was wondering the best way to degrease/clean my car's undercarriage. I have read steam-cleaning works, and I know I could do it manually with some simply green, but what is the best option? I would assume all suspension components would need to be re-greased after a steam-cleaning, am I right in this assumption? I have years of build up down there and I think it is time I remove some of the gunk.
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1983 300d Turbo (Daily Drive) -- 243,000 miles
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2007, 07:29 PM
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Take it to a local "quarter" carwash where you wash it yourself. Spray down the undercarriage (mostly under engine compartment) and let it sit for 15 minutes. Now blast it with the high pressure wand. That will get most of the gunk off. Then take the simple green and put the car on jack stands at your home and use a bit of elbow grease.

Personally I do not like steam cleaning. I have heard some nasty stories of water vapor getting where it shouldn't and condensing in weird places.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:10 PM
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I have used both methods with success.

If the build-up is thick and old, as though the undercarriage has never been cleaned, take it to a good car wash that does undercarriage steam cleaning. Steam cleaning will be the quickest, and most thorough method of cleaning all that build up off. When I first bought my car 4 years ago it had an oil leak so I had the undercariage steam cleaned then and it has remained clean with occasional cleaning with the simple green method:

The simple green method works extremely well once all that initial build up has been removed. Its quick and easy, and rarely requires any elbow grease other than spraying if it has been steam cleaned in the past and maintained.
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Last edited by Veloce300DT; 02-19-2007 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:40 AM
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Leave it. It prevents rust!
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2007, 03:28 PM
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I was meaning to mention this previously, but being that you are in the Bay Area Zack, any accumulated grime and dirt caught up in the undercarraige will actually harbor and absorb moisture which in the long term may lead to rust issues with the salt air in your area. Ive seen it a million times with older cars near the bay.

Im sure you have seen many old MB's in the Bay Area that look as though they have never been washed in their life... and subsequently develop surface rust all over.. ive even seen w116 and w123's driving around the peninsula growing moss!

If you go for the steam cleaning, follwed with an undercarriage lube it should remain clean and rust free with regular rinsing.
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Nate

1995 E420
1992 BMW 525i
1984 300D Turbo sold
1993 Volvo 244 sold
1995 Volvo 944T R.I.P!


"The details are not details. They make the product."
-Charles Eames

www.cbs.nu

Last edited by Veloce300DT; 02-20-2007 at 03:39 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2007, 11:59 AM
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hi, I got curious about undercarriage cleaning last year; it was warm outside, so I tried a few things I had lying around (not, unfortunately, a steam cleaner). I put the car's front up on ramps, set the parking brake, then got under. By far the best results I had were with Blech-white whitewall cleaner: it's in a white spray bottle, Wal-Mart. Spray it on, let it sit a minute, the use your hose with nozzle to spray it off, and it will pretty much melt the underneath dirt coating off, yet it seems to not bother the old anti-corrosion wax coating at all, like petroleum-based cleaners will. Hint: wear goggles and be prepared to wipe them dry frequently so you can see. You don't want this stuff in your eyes. Hope this helps you.
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