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Old 07-21-2007, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix Arizona. Ex Durban R.S.A.
Posts: 5,849
Can you get water in the Oil Pan from Power washing?

81 240D. 386000 miles. I'd like to power wash my engine. I'd really like to get it as clean as possible. I'm concerned about the location where the dipstick enters the bottom of the engine block. I guess it ends up down in the oil pan? The tube holding the dipstick is loose and and I can wiggle it around quite a bit at the top end which indicates that if there ever was a seal at the bottom where it enters the engine it must have long since wore out. Which concerns me regarding power washing the engine. If there is no seal there any more presumably water can get in. Is this a realistic concern or am I just being paranoid?

- Peter.

2021 Chevrolet Spark
2000 GMC Sonoma
1981 240D 4spd stick. 347000 miles. Deceased Feb 14 2021
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles.
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:38 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: beautiful Bucks Co, PA
Posts: 961
I think you're being rightfully concerned. Wrap the potential leak with tape, also tape or bag the brake master cylinder reservoir. Wash away.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:03 PM
C Sean Watts's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 1,318
You can also

power wash into the battery. Modern day batteries that are not labeled "sealed do not open" actually have vented caps. I killed a 4 month old one and happened to be at AutoZoo when the batt vendor was there. BTW, if you feel inclined to carefully pry off those vented caps ONLY top it off with steam distilled water.
1987 300D (230,000 mi on a #14 head-watching the temp gauge and keeping the ghost in the machine)
Raleigh NC - Home of deep fried sushi!

Last edited by C Sean Watts; 07-23-2007 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Out in the Boonies of Hot, Dry, Dusty, Windy Nevada
Posts: 9,634
be careful with the injector pump, extreem temperature changes with a
steam, hot water washer, or even cold water on a warm engine can do damage to the pump. these have close tolerances inside. I have read it
here on a thread, think it was junkyard jim talking about it. also read it
in some publications on diesels.
be careful, and wash away.
there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/auto

Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:30 PM
Parrot of Doom's Avatar
1997 W210 E300TD 243,000
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 983
You shouldn't power wash engines. You should spray it with degreaser and wipe it clean with a rag, perhaps use a plant sprayer to wet it down.
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:22 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 407
I've always used a degreaser and a low-pressure hose down on a cold engine to be on the safe side. It always seems to remove all the gunk and never had a problem on my iron engines and I've probably done it a dozen times or more.
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:42 PM
rg2098's Avatar
Detailing Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
Posts: 2,415
With regards to powerwashing, bag / tape all areas that could be a problem. Avoid direct spray on things like rubber seals, fuse box, battery, etc.

Don't be fooled by high PSI numbers. Your not looking for pressure, GPM is what does the cleaning.
Adam Lumsden
(83) 300D
Vice-President of the MBCA International Stars Section
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Old 07-22-2007, 12:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: beautiful Bucks Co, PA
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My garden hose will flow 5 gpm and won't clean squat off an engine. A 1300psi pressure washer will use a quarter of that and clean things right up.
I especially like a steam cleaner for really dirty engines and never have had a problem cleaning under the hood or under the car. But I think the OP is using a pressure washer, not a steam cleaner/washer.
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Old 07-22-2007, 12:52 AM
JimmyL's Avatar
Rogue T Intolerant!!!
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, Texas (DFW)
Posts: 9,675
I can't wait to get China running, and go spray off this nasty engine that came from Scar. YUK! The engine degreaser at the car wash works great for me. Just spray and let it sit, then rinse, using both the high and low pressure. High pressure on the front, neat the vac pump, balancer, etc. And high near the oil filter housing. Always low pressure near the IP, lines, hoses. High pressure on radiator and condenser. Reminds me, I need to pressure wash that radiator before it goes back in. Now where are those scrubbing bubbles.......

Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
'81 240D 293K"Scar" Rear ended harder than Elton John
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