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Old 02-14-2010, 06:56 AM   #1
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clean a dirty engine, pro's and con's

My 08 engine is pretty dirty and am cosidering having it cleaned. Will be at Redlands in March. Haven't had a reply back yet from Redlands yet as to whether they would do it. I think there are some electronic items in the compartment and on the engine that you don't want to get wet..any suggestions?
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:26 AM   #2
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As a past GM Certified tech, we were always told "not" to steam or pressure wash engines. It's a sure way to damage the electronics.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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Every time I take my coach to Cummins NW for the annual service they lightly steam clean the engine. Of course, I'm usually always having them fix an oil or diesel leak. But our engine is clean at 40,000 miles (except for my current small oil leak, and it's not enough to steam clean. So we have had at least 4 steam cleanings with no issue.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:22 PM   #4
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OldForester, That has been my experience. Cummins NW steam cleaned my engine also.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:25 PM   #5
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What did you do to protect the electronics on and around the engine?
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:40 PM   #6
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I pressure wash mine whenever it needs it. The way I look at it is, the tires throw up all kinds of water and muck when driving in wet weather. If anything is too sensitive to water & mud & muck, it is already protected. I have never worried about getting the engine and compartment drenched and have never had any trouble. Steam cleaning might be a different issue though.
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:44 PM   #7
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I have cleaned my engine several times by simply lifting the bed, spraying the engine with a detergent/degreaser from a spray bottle, and carefully hosing it down with a garden hose and spray head. I don't think there is anything that you could hurt using this method. If you do it relatively often, say once a year before you do your annual service, a mild detergent like simple green will do the job.

Never had a problem.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:01 PM   #8
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Melorene,

I haven't worried about the electronics. It is, after all, a diesel engine, and doesn't have the electrical systems of a gas engine. Cummins NW just lightly washes it. I also lightly spray it with water from my hose to get the dust off when I wash the coach. I also use Simple Green and a brush if I have an oil leak and dirt accumulating. I'm careful not to spray the engine hard.

I am also with the others; these engines are meant to take water spraying up from the road, and I don't think most of the electronics (other than the sensors) are mounted directly on the engine, anyway.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:27 PM   #9
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I just got back from having my oil leak fixed at Colton Truck Terminal, and they steam cleaned the engine so I could take a test drive to make sure it wasn't leaking. Once again, the steam cleaning didn't do any damage and it worked fine for the hour drive home. So I wouldn't stress about steam cleaning - this is my fifth time and each has worked fine.

If Redlands doesn't want to steam clean the engine, take it over to Colton Truck Terminal and they will do it -- it's only a few miles away and very reasonable, considering some other places I've used in the area
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:44 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info...they haven't answered my email yet but may have been closed for the holiday...Mel
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:00 PM   #11
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The engine's computer is mounted on the right side, about mid-engine, an inch or so away from the block. It is entirely sealed and the giant loom connector has (supposedly) sealed wire terminations and a seal against the ECU side of the connector so the pins don't get wet. This is the basic type of electronic connection to all sensors except the ground connections. All components are designed to operate in road spray for hours or days on end.
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