How to wash engine compartment?

Discussion in 'Gen III Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by web1b, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. web1b

    web1b Active Member

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    I usually washed my previous car's engine compartments with a hand nozzle at a coin-op car wash. I would do it a couple times a year so dust and grease never built up to the point of ever needing deep degreasing.

    I looked at the engine comparment of the GENIII Prius and see that there seem to be alot of exposed orange (high voltage?) wires that would be better off covered with some kind of plastic engine cover near the drivers isde. It looks naked and some of the orange wires look like they have bare wires exposed on the outside of the tubing where it connects with clamps nearer to the front of the car. I thought my car must be missing the engine cover, but I found pics online that are the same.



    [​IMG]



    Are there any problems washing the engine with light pressure of soapy water to wash away the dirt and grease before it accumulates heavily? I don't want to cause damage or get electrocuted.
     
  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    I wouldn't do it. It is unnecessary and likely to cause trouble.

    Tom
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    +1

    If it's really getting grungy, I'll clean the engine compartment with my shop vac set to blow, together with a brush or two to loosen dust. Just once in a long while.
     
  4. vnhk

    vnhk New Member

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    PLEASE, Don't do it. High voltage components + water = very bad.
     
  5. DonDNH

    DonDNH Active Member

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    Clean mine all the time. This is my second Prius; never had any problem. I've seen more water spray under the hood after driving in the rain.

    1. Lightly spray with Simple Green.
    2. Brush over surfaces and bottom of hood.
    3. Light spray with hose to rinse.
    4. Don't forget wheel wells and under body ocassionally.
     
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  6. joemiata

    joemiata New Member

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    I've always been told not to hose the engine compartment. It should be steam cleaned. NEVER did find a place a steam clean it. Any one know of a home steam cleaner ?
    Joe
     
  7. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    The orange high voltage wires are water proof and the connections are water tight. So washing with garden hose water will cause no problem but never with high pressure water hose.
     
  8. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

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    Does anyone actually have a dirty engine compartment in a Prius? At 24,000 miles, mine looks like I just drove it off the lot.

    It is partly the bottom shield that keeps it clean, and in my case, I blocked the grill all winter---yet another advantage to grill blocking (keeps the salt and grit out of the engine compartment.
     
  9. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Oh Yeah! Mine is completely filthy. Check the pictures in the DRL link in my sig.

    I have asked about this subject a few times. I have been meaning to call the dealer to see what they suggest...

    [edit] Just called my service dept and they said they use Engine Bright and a hose (not high pressure). For what it is worth, there you go.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Lessee, Engine Brite ingredients:

    refined soybean oil
    natural methyl esters
    hydrocarbon fluids
    orange oil
    glycol ether

    Do you really want to be adding this stuff to your local streams?
     
  11. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Not me.

    I thought I posted this but I can't find it.

    I prefer Simple Green diluted about 1:1 with water if the engine isn't too greasy, otherwise not diluted. I start with a warm but not hot engine.

    Once it;'s clean, spray it with Pledge Furniture polish and wipe clean. The Pledge finishes the cleaning job and leaves a protective layer of silicone. It make the engine look better than new,
     
  12. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    Yeah, but most of us don't have to worry about removing moose and elk guts from our grill and engine compartments. [​IMG][​IMG] (kidding)

    Thanks!

    I tend to get mostly dust accumulation so I regularly use my air compressor to blast the loose dust off before it has a chance to get gunked on. So far I don't have any fluid leaks or seepage for it to stick to and it comes off nicely.
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    In addition to the ingredients of any liquid cleaner, if it's capable of emulsifying grease/oil (and I think this is the prime object of the excercise), anything leaking past gaskets on the engine that is washed off is now in suspension in the rinse water, running down the street to the nearest storm drain.
     
  14. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

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  15. tomstodola

    tomstodola Member

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    I use a engine cleaner called Purple Power. it works great, and is biodegradable. It does not smell up the garage like Gunk or Engine Brite, either.

    I have not yet cleaned the Prius' engine compartment, but I used the stuff on my HCHII and my wife's HIHY with no issues.
     
  16. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I use the car wash sprayer once or twice a year and avoid directly spraying electrics. Here's what my old Rav4 bay looked like at 13 years old.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Thanks for the alternative. I will have to get clearance from Mendel Leisk first though.
     
  18. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Is the water-in-the-spark-plug-wells problem solved in Gen III?
     
  19. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    I really hope that your "purple power" is different then the cleaner sold around here by that name. Purple Power here is extremely corrosive and used to degrease tables in fast food restaurants. Wood + epoxy tables yellow, and vinyl countertops peel and discolour. It does wonders at getting sharpie marker off things too...
     
  20. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    +1,

    There is a Purple Power that contains sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium meta-silicate and other nasty things. It has been know to remove paint and requires the use of rubber gloves and eye protection. Don't get industrial Purple Power by mistake.

    Simple Green diluted 1:1 is strong enough for a Prius engine unless you have baked on grease.