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Cleaning Engine Bay

I recently drove through some VERY large puddles in a dirt parking lot, in my manual’03 Eclipse (though to be honest, it was not an accident). The mud/ water got all over the engine bay area. Is it safe for me to take a water hose to it? Are there any electronics I need to cover before hand?

Take it to an automatic car wash and get the undercarriage washed. If that doesn’t do the trick, you will need to bag the ignition system, AC compressor (any electrical do-dad hanging off the serpentine belt), computer, and air handling system. I probably forgot something.

Electronic sensors are all over the engine, and some cannot be simply covered up. If you must rinse it off, do not use a high pressure or high velocity water gun. Use low pressure fine mist or low volume spray to prevent water from forcing through seals and damaging circuits.

The undercarriage wash will not reach the top of the engine compartment, correct? If i was to disconnect the battery terminals and cover them, would i be ok to hose it down? I’d like to be able to get the mud out of the engine compartment tonight if possible.


Also good idea to drive car to help dry it out

Ditto. Definitely not pressure washing. The least amount of water you can get by with is the best, preferably use a bucket and sponge and manually wipe things down without using a hose at all. In addition to being bad for electronic sensors that live all over modern engines, water sprays are not good for wiring harnesses and electric contacts.

You wouldn’t want to know how many people come to say, "I just wanted to clean my engine, and now I have all sorts of problems with the engine."
Ok, I don’t want to scare you. Go ahead and book a flight to Lost Vegas, a hotel, and a taxi to take you to the airport. Gee! It’d feel great to be chauffeured, wouldn’t it?!