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So like all BMW enthusiasts we all love washing the bimmer. Ive been washing my 06' 330i about once a week now, interior cleaning, exterior cleaning, wheels etc. but I've been contemplating on if i should clean the engine bay or not because I've been hesitant on which parts i could spray water on or which i could clean. Any thoughts on which parts i should cover on the engine?
 

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So like all BMW enthusiasts we all love washing the bimmer. Ive been washing my 06' 330i about once a week now, interior cleaning, exterior cleaning, wheels etc. but I've been contemplating on if i should clean the engine bay or not because I've been hesitant on which parts i could spray water on or which i could clean. Any thoughts on which parts i should cover on the engine?
I cring at the thought of all that water getting on thoes sensors and I'd avoid it unless I had to. Then I would use only low pressure garden hose (no spray in any way) and do it when the engine is stone cold

My advise don't do it unless you have to. If you have any weakness in wireing or sensor plugs you will find it

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I have been washing my engine bays for at least a decade (maybe 2) with no problems. I spray simple green all over the place, let sit for a few minutes, and hose off. I do not use high pressure, just "shower" (basically let gravity let the water fall). There are not specifically any places I avoid,but I certainly do not linger on electrical connections. Do this when the engine is cold! While I've never heard of a problem on a car engine, putting cold water on hot metal causes a rapid contraction of the metal, which could cause cracking.

I usually (but not always) do this in the sun and have enough extra time that most water will drain or dry before I start the car. Give yourself enough time so that if you have a problem, you are not in the position where you now have an emergency. Having said this, I have never had a problem with the car afterwards (always starts just fine). Engine will steam as any remaining water evaporates for a few minutes. My engines always look like new, all the time. I clean the engine 2 or 3 times a year, so nothing really ever builds up. Engine looks like the day I bought the car, maybe just not quite as shiny.Some people will spray stuff to make it shine too. I do not do this, as I suspect it just attracts dirt, and depending on the product may degrade some materials (hoses). There are probably some that are fine, but the dirt attraction is a negative for me.

Others may tell you it is too risky, everyone needs to make the choice themselves based on their own comfort level. I will point out that Used car dealers always seem to have immaculate engine bays, so obviously they do it. I have done this on my BMW, Toyotas, Hondas, Subarus.

If you ever have any kind of fluid leak in the engine, a clean engine makes finding it easier too (I have not had this happen though).
 

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Others may tell you it is too risky, everyone needs to make the choice themselves based on their own comfort level.
I agree...I use to do it every time I washed my car but after having a bad experience and my car was stranded at a friend's house for a week. A lot was due to the age of the car, since then I only wash if oil was spilt or something that could cause a fire hazard

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I got in their the last time I washed my car car with a moist rag and just wiped everything down. If you do that pretty often, unless something leaks, you should not have to wash it down. I think most modern cars will be fine if you do. Just warm the engine up for about 5 minutes , not hot!!!! Then use you cleaner and rinse off with a hose. You should be fine .
 

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Back in 'the old days' the engine cleaners that you bought at the auto supply instructed you to run the engine until it was up to temperature, then turn off the engine and spray on the cleaner, leave it to dissolve the greasy accumulations for a few minutes, then hose off the engine...the engine's residual heat would help to dry out the water in the engine compartment, alleviating startup issues after the hosedown.
 

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Maybe it's me, but I can fathom hosing down my engine bay?! It's not that difficult to take some interior detailing wipes and wipe down the engine bay, and does the same work, without the risk?
 

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Keep in mind that all cars are designed to drive through water that will naturally splash up into the engine bay, (with the engines hot).

But - I also wouldn't tempt fate by putting cold water on a hot engine. So the pre-spray and open-garden hose seems a pretty safe method.
 

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Maybe it's me, but I can fathom hosing down my engine bay?! It's not that difficult to take some interior detailing wipes and wipe down the engine bay, and does the same work, without the risk?
Probably is less risky, but it is difficult to completely wipe all irregular/ non flat surfaces. Running water and degreaser reach into areas with greater ease. I can can completely understand anyone's discomfort with this. I was pretty reluctant the first time, but simply have not had any issue. I do not recklessly pour tons of water on electronics though.
 
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