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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 06-16-2016, 05:55 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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How do you clean a valve cover without a parts washer?

Planning on replacing valve cover gasket soon. Don't have a parts washer and don't want to wash petroleum products down the drain or on my property or down the storm drains.

The only thing I can think of is to clean with paper towels or old rags and then dispose of them at a local household hazardous waste event.

Just wondering if anyone has any better options that work better?
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2016, 06:22 PM
rooflessvw rooflessvw is offline
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Brake clean and a lint-free cloth. No reason to make it pristine, it'll just get dirty again.

If you really want to clean it, diesel works very well. For disposal, ask around at your local auto parts stores to see if they'll accept it.

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  #3  
Old 06-16-2016, 08:24 PM
xl250 xl250 is offline
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Cleaning

Real hot water and laundry soap.
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2016, 08:39 PM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooflessvw View Post
Brake clean and a lint-free cloth. No reason to make it pristine, it'll just get dirty again.

If you really want to clean it, diesel works very well. For disposal, ask around at your local auto parts stores to see if they'll accept it.
That's what I figured. I thought I'd ask in case there was some technique or product that could make it easier and less likely to pollute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xl250 View Post
Real hot water and laundry soap.
And what do you do with the waste water?

Last edited by TomNJ; 06-16-2016 at 08:44 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-17-2016, 03:43 AM
abscate abscate is offline
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Down the drain, recognizing it is insignificant compared to the 1000s gallons of oil gas and ATF runoff from every single mall parking lot from folks who haven't fixed their oil leaks.

By fixing this you have smiled on Mother Nature and she will forgive your liter of waste mix
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2016, 04:13 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Nearby indie shop Varsol-SafetyKleen wash tub.

Lint free is over the top. My cleanliness standard was "No visible trash contamination with 10X magnification of normal corrected vision under 50 foot-candles light (a flashlight with fresh batteries)." We bought 10,000 dozen Birds-Eye lint free diapers per year. Inspectors started each day with new batteries.
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Last edited by Doug Huffman; 06-17-2016 at 04:20 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-17-2016, 10:40 AM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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Doug,

I was thinking about that. Do you think an indie shop would let me use their setup? Have you done it? Do you tip them anything?
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2016, 06:37 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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How do you clean a valve cover without a parts washer?

Engine degreaser or brake cleaner on a rag on the mating surfaces of the head and valve cover. Diesel is a phenomenal grease cutter (almost as good as gasoline!) but is itself an oil and will leave a residue. When cleaning really gunked up parts, I use gasoline, as it evaporates completely very quickly.

Don't worry about hosing it off in the driveway. Driving your car is far worse for the environment than cleaning the VCG.
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2016, 09:50 AM
TomNJ TomNJ is offline
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I like to use grass clippings as mulch in the vegetable garden which is the main reason I don't want to clean it off anywhere that it will run off into the lawn.
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