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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting ready to put my 98 Grand Prix up for sale. I've detailed the inside and washed/waxed the outside. When I have stopped at a self-service car wash, I see the tire/engine cleaner option. Is washing under the hood safe for your engine and other parts? It would be nice to have the engine look really clean...but I obviously wouldn't want to damage any parts in the process. Is washing the engine at a self service car wash safe?
 

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I did an engine wash once years ago. If you don't clean all the soap, etc off well, it will smoke some while its burning off. Probably don't want a smoking car if you are showing it to a potential buyer. As far as if it's safe...we'll you'd have to ask someone other than me!!!

Good Luck.
 

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stevemel said:
If you don't clean all the soap, etc off well, it will smoke some while its burning off.
Does it blow bubbles out of the exhaust?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
stevemel said:
I did an engine wash once years ago. If you don't clean all the soap, etc off well, it will smoke some while its burning off. Probably don't want a smoking car if you are showing it to a potential buyer. As far as if it's safe...we'll you'd have to ask someone other than me!!!

Good Luck.
Um...thanks...I think?
 

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I have been washing the engine and detailing the engine in my cars and my families cars for many years and have never ever had a problem. I hit them with simple green and hose them off then I wash with a sponge and soapy water then hose off again. Then I close hood, wash the rest of the car, pull into garage finish the car detail then car and go back to the engine last, dry any excess water and then I spray with those all-in-one tire foams such as Armor All brand or One Touch, let that sit for a little while and come back and wipe everything down to remove any streaks. My engines allways look incredible and everybody is thouroughly impressed. I can guarantee if you took these simple steps on your grand prix you will make heads turn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
gnarboots...thanks for the reply. I'm going to give it a try tonight...my 98 Grand Prix hasn't looked this good since I bought it almost ten years ago...until you open the hood...it's really filthy.
 

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Be carefully when you're using self service car wash. Today we went get a Christmas Tree at local farm. The drive to this farm was off road, car got a dirty. After I went self service wash, and I scratched rear door (hair thickness, about 8-10 inches long). The tip of the water spray gun doesn't have rubber piece, that can protected. Then, I went local auto wash and detailing, and they had removed scratch (http://www.stationautowash.com/). They did fabulous job. It was most expensive regular auto wash in my life or Christmas Tree. I paid total $53 for car wash. I have only 1200 miles. It's good idea use touch free auto wash.
 

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I will repeat this mantra every time I see a car wash thread:

1. Touchless. Don't let ANYTHING touch the paint. Rollers, dry towels, etc. Especially if it's a car wash with people that hand-dry your vehicle afterwards.
2. NEVER use the foaming brush on your paint. The guy in the bay before you rubbed all the dirt on his 4x4 rims off with it.
3. Avoid car wash wax products unless you already have an awesome wax job.

Engine-bay specific;

Avoid spraying directly onto the block and under-hood parts, especially with a high-pressure wand. Best thing I can suggest is to rinse with a few bucket-loads of water, but not too much at once. Avoid the fuse boxes and electronics clusters.

A lot of engine-cleaning products will strip any painted plastics (like colored V6/V8/Turbo/etc) badging on plastic engine covers, so avoid overspray. Use non-flammable tire shine product (sparingly) on plastic bits like the fuse box, air intake, etc after the engine is dry. Toothbrush for bumpy bits.
 

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"Self Serve" I hate using the wand, soap, ...etc., as more afraid the wand will hit the paint if not careful! I think I get more water and suds on me than on the car! You know what I mean? I think I use more qtrs than if I pay $6.00 to go through a touchless wash too! You know what I mean? Touchless is the greatest invention and shammy off access water and good to go!! Engine compartment, I go to local detail shop for $50.00 each after winter season is over on both vehicles.
 

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When I used to detail cars, we always sprayed the "cleaner" on, left the engine running and and then sprayed it off after a minute or so. Never had an issue with the cars not starting or anything.
 
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