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Old 07-08-2015, 08:58 PM   #1
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Commerical Truck/RV Wash

Last week - I had my diesel pusher motor coach washed at a commercial truck wash. The experience was about what I expected ... a couple of large wash bays ... a wash job that included a decent "hand" scrubbing by 2 or 3 attendants armed with long handled brushes - followed by a thorough rinse using a pressure wash system with the pressure dialed back a hair. All in all, the results were satisfactory - and at what struck me as being a reasonable price ($65 for a coach that's nominally 43 feet in length).

While I was waiting for my turn in the wash bay - I watched 3-4 large semi trucks being washed. Every one of them opened their engine compartment - and with engines running - had the truck wash hose down the engine and the engine compartment. When I asked about it - I was told the engine wash is an "added fee" service which uses some additional chemicals that aren't used as part of the "standard wash" service.

This is the first vehicle with a diesel engine that I've ever owned. I've NEVER considered hosing down the gas engines I've owned.

My question to the diesel pusher owners of the forum is this: Do any of you have experience with having your engine washed in this fashion? Did you experience any problems having your coach engine exposed to direct water in this fashion?
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:01 PM   #2
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I've never had our engine hosed down. Frankly, it never even occurred to me. \ken
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:15 PM   #3
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Washing with a hose IMO, is OK, but never a pressure washer. The ECM and TCM are not designed to withstand that kind of water pressure. In fact, mine has a large decal on the ECM stating in large letters (DO NOT EXPOSE TO HIGH PRESSURE WATER)
Another reason not to run/spray water on a running engine, hot exhaust manifolds do not like cold water, they can easily crack.
I do wash my engine-when it is at air temperature, and after covering the alternator, ECM and TCM with kitchen plastic-wrap. That reminds me, haven't done it this year. I use the foaming engine cleaner and water hose.

When I use a truck wash, I use http://www.bluebeacon.com/RVMotorCoa...ng/RVBenefits/
They never wash my engine.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:20 PM   #4
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I worked in the underground mining industry, very harsh working environment. Pressure washing the entire piece of equipment including the engine was standard operating procedure. This was the only way to get the equipment clean. All the wiring harnesses were designed for this type of washing and didn't have a lot of problems.

That being said I have not used a water hose on the top part of my engine. I have used engine cleaner and hose on the bottom half to get the accumulated oil off from the slobber tube.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:47 PM   #5
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I carefully rinse my engine down annually with simple green HD and a garden hose, as I'm cleaning my rear radiator. I say carefully, as I do my best to leave the electronics untouched. I would personally never use a pressure washer.

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Old 07-08-2015, 11:16 PM   #6
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Injectors can be damaged on some gasoline engines if washed hot. A little Simple Green sprayed on when cold and rinsed is all I'll ever do for any of mine... avoiding the electronics of course.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:05 AM   #7
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I do a wash down each time I have the engine compartment opened from the inside. A hand sprayer or pressure washer with simple green or Dawn/water mix and then a water rinse. This is our third diesel pusher and I've done this with each without a problem I use a 2000 psi pressure washer or a garden hose.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:45 AM   #8
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Last month, we ran into a lot of rain while in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. By the time we got home the engine compartment, fender wells, jack pads and rims were pretty nasty. I like using the ZEP 509 (their version of 409) and sprayed down the engine compartment. Mine is new, so power washing wasn't necessary, so I used a garden hose with a spray head. It came out nice and clean. Whenever I wash any engine, I always let it warm up so that water dries up and doesn't stay in places it shouldn't.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:51 AM   #9
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Hello being a Diesel Mechanic for 50 years I worked on all types for hwy and off hwy diesel engines I own a 42 foot M/H with a cat engine and every chance I get to pressure wash my engine I do I don't spend a lot of time where the electric wiring goes by the rest of it I let fly I wash every place I can as will I do the battery compart. The wiring today is very well protected with water prove ends I just try not to hold the pressure nozzel on them for long periods of time but I do a good job it help with dust and dirt and oil I also give the rad a gently spray.A clean engine runs better and you can spot any minor problems before they become major problems.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:55 AM   #10
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Neighbor once washed a hot diesel tractor while running. Cold water on hot injection pump caused it to seize. Nothing a new pump couldn't fix.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:41 PM   #11
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I have hosed down a gas engine in a car or two when needed but it is not something you take lightly.. Some car washes use warm or hot water (the hotter the better for this job) and you want an engine that is as cold as possible to prevent cracking of vital parts.

Gas engines.. the ignition system is not a friend of water. Nor of you if you hit it wrong.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:30 PM   #12
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Over more years than I care to admit to I have washed engines, and complete undercarriages countless times. Tractors, backhoes, dozers, excavators, cars, trucks, atvs, motorhomes, buses, etc, etc, It's mostly just good common sense. I never used a "pressure washer" but mostly siphon guns with various solvents (stoddard most often) and a usually water rinse. Most of the time the engines were idling. One guy I knew swore on using an STP rinse because he thought it was waterproofing and helped all the rubber stuff but then he had deep pockets, it wasn't cheap.
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