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To the experts out there....
Aside from cosmetics is steam cleaning an engine any good, especially on an older car?
 

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I have had it done on a couple of old cars, great for a clean engine but no effect on anything else good or bad. I have also used spray on engine cleaner and hosed off/wiped down with good results.
 

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I use Castrol Super Clean on engine and wheels...just don't spray it on alum intakes.
 

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tekhen said:
To the experts out there....
Aside from cosmetics is steam cleaning an engine any good, especially on an older car?
If you are talking hot, pure steam vapour (230 - 260 degrees F), then yes, it is a very effective way to clean old engines. The vapour converts grease into tiny particles that just fall away. Because the steam is distilled, it has no electrical conductivity ability. It is safe on electrics. If used properly, it will not harm paint or plastics.

If an area is quite greasy, applying a degreaser first, and leaving it on for 30 minutes, before steaming, will be more effective.

Hope this helps.
 

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By removing dirt and road grime from your engine and compartment allows the engine to run much cooler. So in that instance, it is a very good service to do aside from a cosmetic look.

Just be careful when doing this. On older cars without electronics you could go to a local car wash that allows engine cleaning and use a pressure washer to spray the engine after using a foaming engine cleaner. The only problem with foaming cleaner is that it may eat away paint in some areas. You may want to do a small section and see what it does on your car. On more recent cars with more electronics, use Simple Green Automotive cleaner. This is biodegradable so you can use it in your driveway and just use a garden hose to slowly rinse off or use paper towels to clean in more sensitive areas.

Good luck!!! :cool:
 

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Simple green is good, I don't know but I hope the car wash places have a grease trap because the drain water is recycled to wash your car.
 

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II kings 9:20 said:
Simple green is good, I don't know but I hope the car wash places have a grease trap because the drain water is recycled to wash your car.
I do not recommend using a pressure washer on the engine.

Too much force.
Too much water.
Not a good degreaser.
Good way to get water in the wrong places - air filter; fuse box; wiring harnesses, etc.
 

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Some great tips posted here, Here are some pics of an engine detail I did not long ago. no steam cleaner was used, just old fashion labor of love and skill. Remember NOT to use a solvent based dressing in the engine bay, it can ignite, stick with a water based dressing only, for more information on this topic and other professional advice, check out www.perfectautofinish.com

 

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joecool72 said:
use Simple Green Automotive cleaner. This is biodegradable so you can use it in your driveway and just use a garden hose to slowly rinse off or use paper towels to clean in more sensitive areas.
Be careful using this concentrated as it will eat the clear coat off your paint. A friend had that happen to him.
 

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Northern Rider said:
I do not recommend using a pressure washer on the engine.

Too much force.
Too much water.
Not a good degreaser.
Good way to get water in the wrong places - air filter; fuse box; wiring harnesses, etc.
All good points, water always wins, if using these systems don't pull the high pressure trigger. Best to do at home if you don't mind oil and solvent in your driveway and lawn.
 

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turbomangt, nice before and after pictures there. :)

I use a a couple of different products we can get here in OZ, "Truck Wash" and "CT18", which are both detergents. I can buy these in a 5 litre (just over 1 Gallon (imperial gallon not US)) and you mix it 1 part to 5 water for engines so it is quite economical. Just mix up in a hand held trigger pump bottle and spray on. If you have a serious greae/oil build up you might need to brush it in. Then hose off with a bit a pressure. Works great.
 

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I have used a degreaser called "Grease Lightning" sold at the local auto part store. It comes in a spray bottle. All you do its spray it all over the engine let it sit a few minutes and hose off. No presure washer needed. It works great. I have used it numerous times on different cars and never had any problems.
 
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