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2013 E350 4Matic Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
I see a lot of corrosion (white spots) on the engine on my 2002 E320 (w210). The pictures below were taken after cleaning the engine bay with Simple Green Auto Degreaser. This corrosion doesn't come off with Simple Green. Is there any way to remove this corrosion and to prevent it from recurring?

I do live in an area that gets a lot of snow and salt.
 

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E250 Bluetec Sprinter250 Bluetec
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Looks like car driven in salt belt. Aluminum corrosion makes protective layer and protects the rest from more corrosion.
Nothing to worry about beside cosmetic effect. Wash the engine and underbelly well after each diving over salted roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks. It's good to know that this is only a cosmetic issue. I do wash the underbelly often during snow months. But never thought of washing the engine. I will in the future.

I read here ... http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1412145-anti-corrosion-coating-engine-compartment.html that all 1994 and later Mercedes engines are coated with an anti-corrosion coating. Shouldn't that have prevented this corrosion?

I had a new alternator installed less than a year ago. I assume it had the anti-corrosion coating. However, the same corrosion is visible on the alternator body - see the picture below.
 

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I had W124 with engine clear coating. That coating after few years was peeling off and made the engine look ugly. Don't see that coating on W210.
That said, my engine at 215,000 miles doesn't have the corrosion regardless spending 3/4 of its life in snow belt. The engine head still show some dull shine after washing.
This is not the first time I hear that NY is having oversupply of salt ;)
 

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Engine degreasers are meant more for old cast iron block/head engines that "sweat" oil habitually and collect so much oil and crud on them that they run hot.

On a nice aluminum alloy engine like a Mercedes M112, it really doesn't do much other than make the engine look worse.

Somewhere on here there is a post on how to make your intake manifold look like an Alfa-Romeos highly polished piece of art!!!
 

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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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Its aluminum oxididation - caused by the degreaser. I don't think that there is an easy way to remove this - chemically bound to the aluminum components, probably only removable by mechanical means so as not to harm other electrical components.

Personally, I am not a fan of engine washing. If the bottom shroud is in place, then only bottom washing should be done. Water in electrical connections that are all over the W210 is asking for trouble.
 

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Atmsmshr - yesterday was the first time I cleaned the engine with any degreaser. So, Simple Green is not the cause of the corrosion on my engine. That said, http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w12...rite-clean-intake-manifold-2.html#post4017347 backs up your claim that Simple Green can cause corrosion. What is a safe cleaner/degreaser to use on w210 engines?
From the forum:

As Tuetone said, with Simple Green you really have to clean the product off after use. I've heard bad reports from using it on things like wheels and other things where you couldn't thoroughly clean the part after using it. Any residue will accelerate corrosion.

"However, caution and common sense must be used: aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can accelerate the corrosion process. Therefore, contact times for unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green® product residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation."
 

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I've been washing all my engines for last 30+ years with water and only on older Fiat I did have wet sparkplugs what would make the engine missing for couple of minutes before it warmed up.
Still I am avoiding direct spray on electronic components.
When you do it regurally -plain water at good pressure is all it takes. I always let the hot engine to cool down for 5-10 minutes and than spray, spray, spray.
Make any DIY repairs way more pleasant.
 

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There are Aluminum etching products on the market to clean up oxidation, but if you get any overspray onto the alternator - kiss it goodby.

I am a big fan of not washing engines for 30+ years. Go ahead, call me names, but I think risks outweigh benefits.

Not a product endorsement, but this may be worthwhile (try first in a small area) if you must use a degreaser.

Product Description
Eimann Fabrik Engine Degreaser is the latest technology in 100% VOC FREE cleaning and degreasing. It uses a state-of-the-art, non-ionic surfactant developed in Sweden to replace the acid, butyl and butyl ethers normally used in engine degreasers. This new surfactant technology allows Eimann Fabrik Engine Degreaser to quickly and safely remove all manner of dirt, grime, oils, and grease from virtually any surface. This cleaner/degreaser is safe for use on painted and clear coated surfaces, plastic, fiberglass, aluminum, vinyl and rubber. It's also safe for your skin (it can actually be used as a hand cleaner!) and poses no threat for vapor inhalation. Engine Degreaser contains no chlorinated solvents or harsh chemicals and is non-corrosive. Used routinely, Engine Degreaser will keep your engine compartment looking bright and clean.
 

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But back to the OP - are all the under-engine plastic pans in place? The photographs does not cover that area, but it would seem in the first one if the cover is not there.
If they are missing, you definitely will get extra water spray over your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Kobus - yes, all the under-engine plastic pans are in place.

Atmsmshr - I will try the Eimann Fabrik Engine Degreaser and report the results.

I will try alumi-brite for aluminum corrosion and shine if I can find the product somewhere. I will report the results if I find the product.
 

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atul,

The pictures look like the car is exposed to more than just road salt. Looks like a chemical exposure to me. Even the harmonic balancer is affected and that looks like it's steel.

Is this confined to just the engine compartment? What do the wheels/rotors look like?

Is it garaged? Driven a lot or a little?

Curious. Skippy
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Skippy - the wheels and rotors look fine. No rust or corrosion. The underside of the car looks fine too. The corrosion seems to be confined to the engine bay. I just replaced a heavily rusted and leaking transmission cooling line (see http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1529376-transmission-cooler-line-2.html#post4581777 for a picture.) Could the corrosion be caused by a past spill or leak of any fluid in the engine bay?

The car is usually parked in the driveway. I drive it about 1,500 - 2,000 miles a month. I bought the car as a lease return with 3 years and 40,000 miles. Appreciate your insight.
 
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