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Cleaning the engine bay


Well-known member
2 Jun 2008
Hi guys,

My car is going in for its annual service and i want to simply clean the engine bay before sending it in. There are no oil leaks, its just a bit grimey, so are there any good tips you could give me for carrying this out?

An old rag some brushes (paint brush and tooth brush etc) and WD-40.

Using the least WD-40 possible (used a dampened rag, not dripping - it goes a long way and too much may disolve good wax or grease where you can't see), just spring clean what you can see and it will sparkle.

Don't jet or steam wash.
Hi there! :thumb:

I tend to use things like this: http://www.tesco.com/direct/elliott...-white/464-5388.prd?pageLevel=&skuId=464-5388

and this: https://www.monzacarcare.com/cleaning-brushes/monza-ultra-safe-wheel-spoke-brush/0/

You really don't have to buy any purpose-made tools, you can get things like this from your local £1 Shop (£1 fish! - £1 fish!...love that! :floor: ) Anyway, where was I? They are great for getting in to the places that you can't reach and they stop you smashing your knuckles against things so often! :roll:
I've also learnt over the years that less pressure applied = better results! Much like cleaning one's Haywards Heath (teeth).

As always, of course, the secret is to keep on top of it! Quite pleased with mine (ignore the mayo!:


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Must admit, my bay was looking quite grim until I took it for its last service, got a nice surprise when I looked under the lid a week after its service as the good guys at PSI Tuning had given it a good clean and it now looks as good as the one pictured above.
Adrian996, your bay does look good, :thumb: a little Mayo is considered normal, but Hells Bells, what is going on there, I know you said don't mention it, but can't help myself, was there an issue here?? Or do I have this to look forward too?
No, Scott, thanks & it's fine! I have to admit that I almost followed through when I first saw this though! The last time I had seen similar was on my Dad's Morris 1000 back in around 1975 - and it wasn't good news then, let me tell you!

The main reason for this rather scary trait is the oil filler tube being so long. When you add to or fill the oil in the engine some of the oil lays in the tube due it being a bit flat and there not being much of a 'fall' on it.

When you then take the car out for a blast the oil in the tube mixes with any moisture that is also present and condenses due to the extreme heat that the engine creates right underneath it.

This leads to the now widely renowned 'Mayo Effect'. It's similar the 'Butterfly Effect' except that it almost always results in soiled underwear.

I might be corrected in a minute but I'm yet to read any tails of failed head gaskets on a 996 - or any 911 for that matter...(?)

Come to think of it, it's probably one of the only things that I haven't read about failing on a 996! We're all doomed, I tell you! DOOMED!!!

Adrian. :floor:
Hahaha Adrain, good explanation, and probably prevented me from going into melt down sometime in the near future,
No worries! :D


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The engine bay on mine is grubby and the alloy has some corrosion. I guess it has been cleaned too harshly and left unprotected. When I clean it is there anything I can apply to keep it cleanish and protect it etc?
You can use one of the spray waxes that are around but it gets so hot in the engine compartment that it'll just dissipate eventually. WD40 is probably your best (and cheapest) bet. Just don't go too mad with it & wipe off any excess residue or it'll just attract dust & dirt.

If you're really fussy you could always have a go at any of the rusty bits with some Autosol.


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Autosol is magic stuff indeed! I just love to rub it on my pipe! (Pipes) the wife has caught me on a couple of occasions, squatting behind my car buffing furiously at my pipe :D
She's over it now, knows I'm past help.
Another very useful cleanser is decent (not unbranded or moisturised) baby wipes, they even remove wet silicone, excellent on rubbers and plastics or anything dirty really.....I won't do a domestic job without them in the van, hand/ladder marks, pencil marks, caulk/silicone, coffee splashes! all sorted with a wipe...
And essential in your glove box! (If your lucky enough to have one :sad: )

scottuk said:
Hahaha, caught rubbing your pipes, brilliant!

What :dont know:


I'm currently sitting on a plane in Heathrow heading away to work, was feeling a wee but down, but that did make me laugh, cheers :thumb:

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