Could anyone help me in finding a cleaner that I can use in the engine compartment to remove the normal dust, dirt and oil that accumulates over time. I little nervous of spraying it down with GUNK and hosing off the engine
I'd use Gunk Foaming Engine Brite before Simple Green. It's safe for paint and plastic. Simple Green will spot aluminum - read the label. There are orange based cleaners that work very well but they are pricey.
Go with one of gunk or over the counter engine degreasers, I like the gunk foamy brite. Then Get CD2 Engine Detailer. ITs a protectant that can be sprayed over any engine service, metals, plastics, etc. I spray everything pretty good then wipe all the plastics down. It leaves the Engine Compartment looking shiny and clean. I love it. You can find CD2 at autozone or pep boys. Its real good stuff and lasts a while. BE sure to wrap any exposed wiring harnesses, the coil, the battery terminals in plastic wrap, or I like to use aluminum foil, since its so easy to put on. Just watch it on the bettery cause you can short the terminals if your not careful. Wrap everything up before you apply the degreaser cause you have to rinse the degreasers with the hose and you dont wanna soak any electronics, although if they get a little water on them its not the worst thing, you just dont want them soaked in water. I follow this procedure and degreaser and protect the engine compartment about 2x a year. I also do behind the grill and by the radiator and anything else that is exposed. I also like to use a light brush to go over everything i can get onto to loosen any heavy grime and grease. Nothing crazy just a quick once over the hoses, plastics, wires and block. Then I rinse and protect. It gives the truck a nice finished detailed look.
As FAR mentioned, I have had very good luck with Simple Green. The procedure is simple as well. 1st I cut the stuff to 50/50 with water. Spray it on a cold engine on a warm or hot day and let it sit - but do NOT let it dry. The ambient temperature seems to help it work, so a cold engine on a cold day does not work as well. Re-coat the really dirty areas as necessary. After several minutes, hose it off good with a garden hose. You do not need to go all out and cover the electrical components and wires. The engine is made to get wet occasionally, just don't spray anything directly into the air intake or directly spray the electrical boxes (fuse box, computer box). Pretty much everything else is fair game. After the car drains for a while I start it up and get it to normal operating temps via a drive around town. The regular engine heat steams away the water and residual cleaner from where you don't want it. Finally hit the moving parts with some appropriate lubricants.
I have been doing this for decades now with all kinds of cars and none of them has ever failed to start after a cleaning IF you start it right away after the cleaning and then get it warm. The engine is a lot more pleasant to work on when it's not covering you with grime at the same time.
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