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Cleaning under the hood, power wash or not?

I need to clean the engine under the hood of my CR-V Honda. It is covered in dirt. What is the best way to clean it. Power wash, compress air, leaf blower?

None of the above. Do not use water anywhere near electrical components, especially water under high pressure. Compressed air is not as bad but could force dust where it does not belong. I would wipe it down by hand and not worry about parts you can’t easily reach.

I agree…here are some strategies you can use w/o reverting to your choices.

I also agree. The car washes in my area will lift the paint off if you are not careful. Front and rear bumpers are especially prone to damage.

Warm up engine. Spray engine degreaser (gunk, simple green) or similar. Let it sit. Pressure spray it until it’s clean. Let it sit until it’s thoroughly dry.
Notice last step. You won’t do any damage if you follow last step. You cannot do this a a carwash because you might upset the guy in line behind you. If you have your own pressure washer, you can do it. But let it sit until it’s dry. Totally dry. If that means overnight. Or a week. Or a month. You might speed up drying time with compressed air. but let it dry. Should I say it one more time? Don’t start it until it’s dry. You won’t have any problems.

I like to steam clean my engine at the same time I do my monthly oil-change. Add to that squirting graphite in all the locks (don’t forget the trunk and glove box) and you’ve got a super way to while away a Saturday morning.

I put the pressure washer to the 4.6 V8 in a Crown Vic with COP ignition. Cleaned it up like new…I also had to buy three $80 coils to get it to run right again…

With today’s cars, it’s like using a pressure washer to clean out the inside of your television set…

I use the last of the soapy water to clean the engine compartment when I wash a car. If the engine compartment is bad (after off roading) I spray it with Simple Green and use a brush to clean the nooks and crannies. I rinse it off with a garden hose at low pressure. Never had any problems so far.

I have a 2006 Honda CRV & it is just as clean as when new. I just kept it wiped clean with a rag every so often with warm water & soap. I would not advize you to power wash under the hood. So maybe go at it with a rag, warm water & soap & plenty of elbow grease.
Good luck from one CRV owner to another.

Why do you “need” to clean the engine under the hood of your CR-V? I think that you’ll risk damage to electrical stuff. Rocketman

Why do you “need” to clean the engine under the hood of your CR-V?

I too would like an answer to this question.

My Honda is 12 years old with almost 190,000 miles and I have never cleaned the engine.

HoodedCrow, if it is really that dirty, try driving it in the rain.

I just use a rag sprayed with something like all-purpose Windex and clean whatever I can reach. It’s not perfect, but it looks pretty good and doing that is unlikely to cause any problems.

There are several good reasons. First, if you keep the engine clean, it’s a lot easier to see if a leak is starting and figure out where it’s coming from. Second, if you sell the car, it shows the buyer that you’ve probably been good about maintaining at least the exterior and interior of the car if nothing else. Third, I suspect that mechanics working on your car are likely to be more careful about scratches and spills, since they can see that you’re particular about appearance. Fourth, it just makes neat freaks like me happy!

I’m with you guys. I don’t clean engines - 'cept if I need to for better viewing and/or repair/maintenance.

Don’t spray water in any manner. Just use a wet rag.

Some cars now have symbols under the hood that mean “do not spray”.