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with engine as cold as possible (very warm is OK) mist with a safe degreaser. let sit. rinse. for stubborn areas, repeat again with a brush to loosen dirt. repeat. avoid prolonged and/or direct spray at any one part, especially electrical parts/sensors.
 

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I wipe mine down with a 50/50 mix of SimpleGreen. Stuff is amazing! And cheap. Not as thorough as a full wash w/ an engine degreaser, but it majkes the plastic a rich black. Then hit it with some ArmorAll or EagleOne Interior and it'll be looking pretty fresh.

Last time I was at a shop, they came out and asked me if they could put a sticker in my engine bay because it was so clean and wanted permission first

:)
 

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303 is good stuff. I use it on tires, wood trim, and engine bays. A little goes a long way.

Btw, 303 is NOT a cleaner, its a kind of dressing/protectant. It will go after you clean the engine bay. As Mango mentioned, take it easy with the water, do not focus on one area, especially electronics..
 

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with engine as cold as possible (very warm is OK) mist with a safe degreaser. let sit. rinse. for stubborn areas, repeat again with a brush to loosen dirt. repeat. avoid prolonged and/or direct spray at any one part, especially electrical parts/sensors.
This...exactly.

I'm a hobbyist detailer and have followed the same approach on every engine bay and never experienced a problem. Just have to be cognizant of any exposed filter elements.

Only additional recommendation would be to cover the alternator if it's aged. An alternator on its way out will have an accelerated death after being exposed to a significant amount of water.

edit: Also, I agitate and then rinse...and by safe degreaser I use a very mild alkaline degreaser. I've played around with 1z blitz, w99, Optimum power clean, simple green, and a few others. In the right dilution, all are safe, though some more safe than others. w99 is the most aggressive, blitz the least. I prefer OPC above all for cleaning power + safe results. I finish by dressing plastics with Finish Kare Top Kote. Also dry immediately following rinse with a leaf blower to avoid "soak" time.

results from OPC:


 

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This...exactly.

I'm a hobbyist detailer and have followed the same approach on every engine bay and never experienced a problem. Just have to be cognizant of any exposed filter elements.

Only additional recommendation would be to cover the alternator if it's aged. An alternator on its way out will have an accelerated death after being exposed to a significant amount of water.

edit: Also, I agitate and then rinse...and by safe degreaser I use a very mild alkaline degreaser. I've played around with 1z blitz, w99, Optimum power clean, simple green, and a few others. In the right dilution, all are safe, though some more safe than others. w99 is the most aggressive, blitz the least. I prefer OPC above all for cleaning power + safe results. I finish by dressing plastics with Finish Kare Top Kote. Also dry immediately following rinse with a leaf blower to avoid "soak" time.

results from OPC:


That is an excellent cleaning job man !!!!!!!!!.
 

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^ Did you put plastic bags or something over all of those electronics like the alternator etc..? The acura and scubie look like they had some relatively difficult engine bays to clean. It makes the BMW engine bay look easy!

-Thanks! *******
 

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Get a good degreaser thats safe to use, drive to a diy carwash, spray degrease all over engine bay/ desired parts, pressure wash with sprayer, repeat until you are satisfied, Drive car for 20min to ensure self dry.. Open hood and enjoy the clean look!
 

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^ Did you put plastic bags or something over all of those electronics like the alternator etc..? The acura and scubie look like they had some relatively difficult engine bays to clean. It makes the BMW engine bay look easy!

-Thanks! *******
I did over the alternator on most of them. The electronics I don't worry about because they are sealed and the ones that aren't have no/very little risk of bridging connections by getting wet.

As a safe measure I blow dry the engine bay and spend a little more time at each of the obvious electrical connectors. The bay is bone dry by the time the car is started again.

And yes, the Subaru took forever...I took a little extra time on the intercooler with a set of tweezers to pull out the bent fins, making it look new again. :p
 

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I found that "scrubbing bubbles" works great. Got the idea from M5Board (here). Just spray the stuff on, wait about 10 minutes, and then rinse off. I personally dried away as much as I could before starting the engine.

Before:


After:




And a shot of my car (don't have a before picture, but it was about as bad if not worse than the E60 above)

 
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