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Hi everyone, wondering if you have any good suggestion about cleaning the engine area and area under the hood. I have the Pilot for about 4 month never open or taking a look in an engine area until last Saturday. I found there a lots of dirty from the water and snow splash and wonder what is the best formula to clean the area. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.

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:cool: 2003 Pilot SS EX-L RES,Fog Lights with Lower Trim,Crossbars for Roof Rails,Half Nose Mask,Rear Splash Guards,Running Boards,Rear Back-Up Sensors,Wheel Locks,Auto Day/Night Mirror,Wood-Grain Trim Panel—All Interior Trim,EX Emblem, VTEC Emblem,Gold Exhaust Finishers,Fog & Head Light using XD5 5100K Bulb, AutoShade Ventvisor,Fender Flare
 

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Engine Steam Clean

I am not a do-it-yourself type so I normally take my vehicles to a detail shop for a FULL detailing job, which includes an engine steam clean (where they spray some chemical stuff on your engine and then take a power wash thingy and hose it off). I could not find the "before" picture (which would've shown a pretty nasty looking, filthy engine compartment) but here is the "after" photo of my Mustang engine after a steam clean...
 

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I have a power washer with a thingy where u can put the detergent or what not. I just spray some detergent mix onto the engine and all, then hit it with water. Grime, salt, dirt , grease or oil come off and make it look like it spanking new.
I've been doing this to our vehicles once every quarter if not more frequent to maintain the look. Really makes selling said vehicle easier as buyers assume if the engine area is clean, then owner must be taking care of it well....which is actually true.
 

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Typically I just use the soap and water left over after washing my vehicles and an old cloth to wipe down the engine compartment.
While making sure that all electrical components are protected.
For me this has worked well. I've found that by not allowing the engine compartment to go for more than a few weeks without a wipe down, I haven't needed to steam clean or pressure wash any of my cars. And besides this method takes less than ten minutes once or twice a month.

** I follow this procedure up by allowing the motor to run (dry itself) for about 5 minutes or so**

:4:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Power wash? you got to be kidding right? I remember when I had Nissan Pathfinder 99, Toyota Supra, these vehicle doesn't like water especially on an engine area. I don't know about the Pilot. But power wash, don't you think it is too powerful to wash under-hood with power wash?

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:cool: 2003 Pilot SS EX-L RES,Fog Lights with Lower Trim,Crossbars for Roof Rails,Half Nose Mask,Rear Splash Guards,Running Boards,Rear Back-Up Sensors,Wheel Locks,Auto Day/Night Mirror,Wood-Grain Trim Panel—All Interior Trim,EX Emblem, VTEC Emblem,Gold Exhaust Finishers,Fog & Head Light using XD5 5100K Bulb, AutoShade Ventvisor,Fender Flare
 

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Not in today's cars where everything seems to be incased in some plastic or whatever. Older cars I was a bit apprehensive as I might get water into the carburetors, etc., but not in newer cars.
AS a rule though, I don't drive the vehicle for a few hours after power washing it. I let it dry on its own. I used to do this on my '94 Civic hatchback, 95 Passport,'98 Corolla, 98 Caravan, 99 Accord, 00 Isuzu Fuego (diesel engine).
 

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Popped open the hood the other day and noticed the engine compartment is really dirty. Found this old thread about cleaning the engine. Any other recommendation?

On my old 4Runner, I used to warm up the engine, spray a degreaser all over the engine compartment, then hose it off.

Is that safe to do on the Pilot?
 

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You guys are really anal! :)

Trying to keep the engine clean will be a never-ending task. After a couple days, it'll be filthy again. Keeping it clean won't help the engine run any better or last any longer.

I've never had the engine cleaned on my Acura (10 years old, 151k miles). Sure, the engine looks pretty bad, but it runs just like it was new.

I don't think you'll have any problems spraying water on the engine, as long as you aren't using a high pressure spray on electrical connections.
 

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i just take mine to the car wash and spray the engine really good. i have
never had a problem, i just keep the engine running while i hose it down.
 

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All you really need to do is to cover all your electricals (i.e. battery, alternator, fuse box etc.). Buy a bottle of Simple Green and go to town on your engine compartment. Use a brush to get of the excessively dirty areas and the cracks and crevaces. Let it sit for a bit and have an adult beverage or 2. Spray down with just your garden hose. Let drip for a few minutes and remove the baggies covering your electicals and start the baby up. You should be good to go.
 

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I use Griot's Garage engine cleaner. You just spray it on; let it sit; agitate soiled areas and then hose it off. I'm just careful around electrical connections with the water pressure. The cleaner is great because it doesn't dull any of the plastic or rubber surfaces.

On a side note, I've always found that if you keep your car clean and detailed (inside and out), people working on your car tend to treat it with more respect. I've even received thanks from mechanics over the years for keeping the engine bay clean.
 

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In today's cars, I don't think there is a way to cover the electrics for cleaning - not with fuel injectors, coils, sensors, etc. right on the engine. You're going to get water into things - most of the time, it doesn't hurt much, but it never helps. So clean if you want, but if your goal is to minimize the chances of problems, you're better off leaving it alone.

Whizmo
 

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With all the snow and resulting salt we get, the engine bays in our vehicles look pretty nasty by the end of winter. I usually wait until the end of winter and hit the engine bays with a garden hose spray nozzle just enough to get the sand/salt washed off. I minimize spray near electronics, etc and so far have not had any problems as a result.
 

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I have been cleaning my engine bay for 15 years or so, with no problems.

However, a few precautions:

1. NEVER spray a hot exhaust manifold. Let it cool, first.
2. Use the low pressure spray anywhere around a wiring bundle or connectors. Blasting with the high pressure mode is asking for trouble.
3. Some wash bays have a low pressure soap or degreaser that works pretty well.
4. The last step should be a intensive rinse.
5. Afterwards drive the car to completely dry the engine and engine bay.

I usually clean mine after every oil change, and that is enough to keep the underhood area very clean.
 

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whizmo said:
In today's cars, I don't think there is a way to cover the electrics for cleaning - not with fuel injectors, coils, sensors, etc. right on the engine. You're going to get water into things - most of the time, it doesn't hurt much, but it never helps. So clean if you want, but if your goal is to minimize the chances of problems, you're better off leaving it alone.

Whizmo
I use foil and/or plastic to cover-up vital areas. It's worked well for me over twenty years without any problems. If you use low water pressure then you'll be fine. Most of the cleaners available these do all they work anyways. Having a clean engine makes it easier to spot potential problems too.

The best thing I like after I clean the engine is the 10HP gain :roadtrip:
 

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I always clean my engine compartment when I wash my car... lol

I just wipe it down, and then hit it with my air compressor and check for any leaks, its also a good time to check all the fluids, the belts, hoses etc... anything make fine weekend cigar last... pure therapy...
 

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cleaning the engine bay.....

Having read this thread, I decided to clean my Pilot's engine bay after having accumulated close to 2.5k miles just this past Christmas season. Drove from California to Redmond Washington, to Oregon then back to California.

However, I was overwhelmed by the dirty condition of the engine bay that I felt like just having a professional detailer clean it and not risk messing up some electrical components.

On the other hand, the DIY instinct seems to prevail in me thats why I want to ask my HP.Org fellow Pilot owners who are good in this cleaning task to provide me with some tips on how to do it right.

Any suggestions or advise will be greatly appreciated. :)

Thanks.

I'm attaching some pics of the engine bay.
 

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Hey PilotJoe,

I prefer to "push" the dirt off with compressed air rather than H2O. I then just wipe it down really well and then use a nice plastic or rubber conditioner like Vinylex (same folks that make Lexol for leather) making sure I dont hit the belts etc. Then wipe it down again and off I go. I stay on top of mine, and the mechanics at the dealer are always like "Do you really drive this thing?" but for tme its just a habit I got into as a kid working on cars for show etc...

too dark here now to show you what it looks like after 12,000 miles and a year later, but its actually nicer than the day I picked it up!

If you dont have an air compressor, hose will work ok, but just make sure you dont flood it, and dry it off afterwards. The motor is used to water from underneath, just not from above, but I know a lot of Pilot owners that wash the compartment and have no issues. I use this time ea week to inspect the hoses, clamps, belt and fluid levels.
 
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