After doing some suspensions components on a Saturday, the alignment was completely off so I didn't drive it. Since the car was at the shop anyway and I since I couldn't get an alignment till Monday I thought it would be best to clean out the engine bay.
The engine bay and under carriage never looked like it was ever touched. I know there is a slight oil leak which I believe is coming from the valve cover gaskets. Cleaning the engine bay would help me locate the leak better. It looks like the leak has been existing for awhile now, there was oil buildup everywhere it seemed.
On inspection I found a leak coming from the oil feed line from the power steering reservoir and the power steering pump. So swapped that out before I started on the cleanup.
I used the following tools:
- Purple Power 1 Gallon
- Long bristle brush
- Red scuff pad
- Grey Scuff pad
- Pressure Washer
I had the car on a lift when doing this because I wanted to tackle the bottom of the car too, there was oil build up there as well, possibly trickling down from the valve cover gaskets over time. Make sure the car is not cool to the touch, when purple power is sprayed on to a warm engine it dries up almost instantly leaving a residue behind. You don't want that, you want it to penetrate the grease etc by letting it sit there and agitating it a little to help it through. A warm engine is not going to allow you to do that.
With the engine cooled down and on the lift, I took all the covers off. Engine cover, air box and intake piping. Before I forgot to, I went ahead and removed the MAF off the piping and there is a vacuum solenoid on the piping that I took off too. All the loose connectors and vacuum lines I took off I wrapped in plastic and taped it up. Also taped up the throttle body to prevent water from getting in. On the underside of the car I took all the covers off as well.
With everything prepped I sprayed the engine down with purple power, I did the underside first, sprayed on, let it sit for about 10 minutes and agitated it with the brush to help loosen the grease up. With the pressure washer I sprayed everything off, I could see a huge difference already. All the oil build up was washed away. I did the same to the engine bay from up top. The pressure washer definitely helps to knock away the loosened build up from all the nicks and crannies.
I let it drip dry for a bit while I addressed all the covers too. I didn't let the purple stuff sit on for a long time on the plastics. Sprayed it on, agitated it with the brush and immediately rinsed it off. There wasn't that much build up on the plastics except for the bottom tray. Looked like new once finished. Some areas in the bay needed a little more attention so sprayed those areas down again and worked the brush and pressure washed it a little bit more.
When I looked under the car again, all the build up is gone but then I saw a thin layer of dust that was baked on for some reason on the parts. The pic below shows the dust on the inside of the dust shield, lower control arm etc and it gives off a greyish appearance. The caster arm and the tie rods look fresh because they were just replaced yesterday.
Sprayed a little more purple power on there and scrubbed it with a red pad and grey pad. Red pad where metal was not smooth, like the lower control arm and grey pad where it was like the dust shield. Did the scrub down to most of the underside really, sub frame, oil pan, transmission pan, steering rack, sway bars, inner fender well liners etc. I did the underside rinsed it off with the pressure washer, did the left fender liners front and back, rinsed off and proceeded to do the same on the right fender liners. Scrubbing it down made a big difference, the baked on layers of dust etc broke down and the suspension pieces are all black again. Even the fender liner is black and not greyish anymore.
I used compressed air to blow out all the water from the engine bay, especially from all the connectors. With the MAF out I used some MAF cleaner to clean that out as well before assembly.
I sprayed on some conditioner for the hoses onto a rag and wiped the hoses and fender well down but I'll end up putting on a water based protectant on the engine covers etc once I finish all the maintenance and a final rinse in the engine bay.
- AJ Abraham