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  • cleaning road salt off engine

  • Yes some people clean their engine, some don't. You know who you are. :)
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Yes some people clean their engine, some don't. You know who you are. :)

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 #88052  by love2lounge2
Can someone tell me the best way to get caked on road salt off the engine? Particularly off the aluminum engine block areas. thanks

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 #88130  by FIREM
Wash regularly as it is part of the car to prevent build up of crud. Avoid harsh engine cleaners as they can be hard on wiring and hose, may dry them out. Try "citrus" based cleaners to break down the salt. Also WD 40 will break up the salt. Will probably take a few washings to get it clean. Note wd 40 is flammable, if used on a hot engine you may have a problem

 #88136  by love2lounge2
Thanks for your input FIREM, have you personally cleaned off road salt from an engine? It just seems that it requires something other than WD-40 or citrus solution. I'd like to hear from others who have actually had good results getting caked on road salt of their engine, THANKS. :idea:

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 #88183  by Carfan77
I live where they salt the hell out of the roads and never get caked on salt on the engine, and definitely none in September! Are you sure what you are seeing is not the white chalky oxidation residue that raw aluminum gets when it sits for a while? That would require a fine (brass works well) brush to clear it off.

 #88186  by love2lounge2
Thanks for your input Carfan77, I bought the my 2001 LHS in Dec 2004 from a dealer in Illinois and had it transported to So.Cal; the the engine arrived the way it is and I assumed it was caked on road salt but you're saying it may be something else. When I rub it fine power falls off.......HELP!

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 #88192  by swalker
I used some spray mag wheel cleaner for raw aluminum wheels. It made the aluminum look brand new but did stain the black plastic plenum. I had to respray the plenum. Engine now looks new. One thing I did wrong was do it at the quarter car was while engine was hot. I believe if you are careful to not get any on the plenum. Try it on a small area.

 #88194  by love2lounge2
Swalker, after applying the spray-on mag wheel cleaner how do you clean it off :?:

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 #88196  by swalker
Hose or pressure washer. Try a Small spot with the hose and see how it does. Make sure the mag cleaner is for raw cast wheels. It is acid based so be careful.

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 #88205  by Carfan77
Fine powder falling off is definitely oxidation. The engine sat for a while I'm sure. It won't harm it, and a light brush will clear the worst of it. I get it a little on the cars I don't drive much, even in the garage because of the residual moisture that gets in. The cleaner may work too, I'm just reluctant to spray acid based cleaner under my hood, what with all the plastic and rubber. My guess is the alternator has some oxidation on it too, and that cleaner could mess up the innards of one.

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 #88207  by EasyRider300M
The only thing I do under my hood is wipe down exposed parts with alcohol/water mixture. I don't believe in steam cleaning or pressure washing the engine area---could cause unforseen problems and who needs headaches. So it aint poifect--but it's good enough.

 #88209  by love2lounge2
Yeah its all over the engine and components, the relay contacts on top of the plenum has it, its on the ac compressor the alternator. I don't know how long it sat before transporting to me. There has to be an easy way to get this stuff off and get my engine looking good again.

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 #88214  by swalker
I was mine at a quarter car wash alot. The high pressure spray may knock the corrosion off. If you are afraid to do it yourself you could get a detail shop to do it.

 #88282  by love2lounge2
Easyrider, if I'm not mistaken doesn't alcohol tend to dry out petroleum based materials such as belts, wires, cables, hoses and plenum?

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 #88287  by EasyRider300M
I use a very diluted solution. With almost 90k on my M, my hoses are fine. I wipe down mainly the upper engine area---I won't win a prize for "most clean" but it's good enough for me and I don't have any moisture related problems. Afterwards, I wipe down all areas again with Mequirs NXT vinyl/tire shine--that probably helps keep the any rubber in good shape. It makes the plenum shine like new and lasts a long time.