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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looked at a few threads, most were somewhat dated and/or not specific to E70.

I love a spotlessly clean engine bay but I am reluctant to wash it for fear of electrical issues. (No such fears when it comes to cleaning rims - they see water all the time!)

Here are my specific questions:
  1. What is the best cleaner to use - say on a monthly basis? I am not looking for "show car" results, but definitely something clean. Simple Green?
  2. Are there components (alternator, fuse box, etc) that need to be wrapped to keep the water out? If yes, which ones do I need to cover, what do I use to wrap it with - standard kitchen cling wrap?
  3. Is it best to wash the engine bay when the engine is cold? Do I need to disconnect the battery? Do I run the engine right after the wash to heat it up and let the water evaporate quickly?
  4. I was planning to use the garden hose set to the "shower" setting - not the jet setting. Good idea? With no jet, the cleaner I use has to work good - should I be using something other than Simple Green?
  5. Are there any other issues that I need to watch out for?

I would like to hear from folks who do this on a regular basis - how often and how long have you been doing this?

My other option is to take the X5 to a detailer and have them do it. My thinking - if they can do it without causing trouble, then I should be able to do it provided I did it the right way. Last thing I want to see is a bunch of error codes followed by a dealer visit! :cry:
 

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Along with this forum and others, I've picked up quite a bit of information on detailing, but one of the most useful that I've found has been the articles on AutoGeek.net. They have one specifically on engine bay detailing that's a good place to start. See it here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Along with this forum and others, I've picked up quite a bit of information on detailing, but one of the most useful that I've found has been the articles on AutoGeek.net. They have one specifically on engine bay detailing that's a good place to start. See it here.
Thanks for the information . . . no I had not seen the AutoGeek article.

So it looks like the following should do just fine - cover the alternator, spray the cold engine/engine bay with some quality engine degreaser, wait a few minutes, rinse with a garden hose set to the shower setting . . . and that should do it. Any left over grime just wipe with a shop towel. I happen to have an electric leaf blower - that should come in handy to blow some of the excess water off.

Thanks again.
 

· Automotive Monomaniac
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You don't need to do it but every three months or so. I spray a 50/50 mix of Simple Green/Water on the engine when lukewarm and let it sit for a minute. Then use water to hose it off. Don't "blast" anything (that is where you get problems). Dry the big areas of water then start the engine and the rest of the moisture will evaporate away.

- Mike
 

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I mix up two buckets- one for paint, with mild car wash, and a second with more aggressive soaps...for tires. wheel wheels, black undercladding... I will open the engine hood an use this second bucket on the engine. No worries about anything- this is a 'water exposed environment' and should withstand fluids. The various wheel brushes are ideal for getting in the nooks and crannies. If you to this from "new" you will never have much 'degreasing' to do...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all for your responses.

I will try this out in two months time . . . right now it is very clean . . . Dealer spilled DEF when I did my last routine service :mad: . . . got them to do an "engine spa" for free . . . so now engine bay is very clean.

My reluctance to do this stems from my college days experience . . . no garage or access to garden hose connections for student housing residents . . . manual car wash places have the high pressure spray . . . I think that was the mistake . . . ended up with engine running rough for the first few minutes . . . if it had today's diagnostics on it, it would have thrown all kinds of error codes!

Agree a simple wash with a "shower setting" should work just fine. Will report back in two months or so.
 

· Automotive Monomaniac
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Thanks to all for your responses.

I will try this out in two months time . . . right now it is very clean . . . Dealer spilled DEF when I did my last routine service :mad: . . . got them to do an "engine spa" for free . . . so now engine bay is very clean.

My reluctance to do this stems from my college days experience . . . no garage or access to garden hose connections for student housing residents . . . manual car wash places have the high pressure spray . . . I think that was the mistake . . . ended up with engine running rough for the first few minutes . . . if it had today's diagnostics on it, it would have thrown all kinds of error codes!

Agree a simple wash with a "shower setting" should work just fine. Will report back in two months or so.
Oh yes... my college days (early '90s)... I'd hose down my engine and the plugs would fill with water... distributor would get wet... ran like crap for several miles. Awrg! :rofl:

- Mike
 
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