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What is this engine part? (Getting to know my M54 engine bay)

203376 Views 144 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  Dynamic Entry
Over time, I've come to know (by necessity) almost every large item in the M54 engine bay ... but some items still are unknown to me ...

What is this engine part?


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I clean mine two to three times a year, I've done it on all my cars and my wife's as well. I use a generous amount of Simple Green from a pump spray bottle, a soft paint brush for stubborn spots and a stiffer brush for really stubborn spots (like around the power steering cap and bracket) and a gentle spray from a hose to wash the grime/dirt/grease away, top and bottom. I will dry what I can with a towel or rag then drive the car until the engine bay warms up enough to dry the remaining water. Sometimes I will "condition" the plastic and rubbery parts with a protectant like Armorall. Be sure to cover your power steering reservoir cap with a plastic bag to prevent water from entering thru the small weep hole before spraying anything! You may need a few paper towels to soak up the water that will accumulate in the wells on top of the struts, too.
Good advice, I'm sure. Silicone is a double edged sword and not appropriate in every situation. My mistake for generalizing.

Following your caution, it makes sense for me to recommend the use of Meguiar's Silcone Free dressing or a similar product. Works the same on rubber, plastic and vinyl without the danger (and it won't discolor tires, intake ducts, etc. if used often, as Armor All would). :)
Armor All contains silicon. Silicon is deathly to the O2 sensors. Not worth using that stuff and having to worry about it being sucked in somewhere into the airstream going into the engine.
Wonderful work. Exactly what I aspire to. The trying part is I have to overcome the PO's years of "neglect".
I mix up a bucket with very warm water and Dawn dish soap, Wet the engine bay down first with a light spray of water, then use a wash mitt and the Dawn mixture to suds up the engine bay, then rinse it off with a light spray, and blot it dry with a few old towels. The dawn cuts grease and oil quite well, but if you get it on the body of the car it will also remove every speck of wax. In fact, I use it for stripping wax when I'm doing a full detail on the paint. As far as water causing problems, a light spray isn't a problem, but NEVER use a pressure washer or coin-op high pressure on the engine.

And yes, you can go crazy and detail the entire engine compartment:
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