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Discussion Starter #1
Today I decided to clean my engine bay. It was really dirty and I couldn't stand it any more. My Volt is a novelty so I get to show it a lot to friends and family, but when the time came to open the hood I wasn't happy. I searched for tips on the forums and they all make sense, basically never pressure wash (obvious) and use least amount of water possible, don't get the electronics and connectors wet, etc...

So this is how I managed to dry clean my engine bay. It actually came up very nice so I decided to share. Too bad I didn't take pictures of the process, but you'll get the idea.

I used Gunk Engine Cleaner. This is a foam that will break up all the grease and then evaporate. While the foam is still there I used a brush to help get the dirt off. I then used compressed air to blow the foam residue off while taking the dirt with it. It was a magical moment when I saw this work. I've used this product before, but using water to rinse the dirt off.

Anyway here is the result:

BEFORE
IMG_4989.jpg

AFTER
IMG_5402.jpg

It was dark into the evening when I finished, I'll take a better picture tomorrow.

This is the product used:
71uViXFio4L._SL1500_.jpg
 

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Quite a difference! A couple questions. 1. Did it etch the aluminum plate of the inverter? Or is that just some residue? 2. Is your battery coolant low? It should be up to the top of the black label on the side, about the same level as the electronics coolant to it's right.
 

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So how awesome is this forum? Someone shows a clean engine bay, it is acknowledged and then concern is show. For coolant level! Fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quite a difference! A couple questions. 1. Did it etch the aluminum plate of the inverter? Or is that just some residue? 2. Is your battery coolant low? It should be up to the top of the black label on the side, about the same level as the electronics coolant to it's right.
1. It has some scratches from previous ownership. It was really gummed up. Here's a close up of the before.
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1472878689.312155.jpg

2. Coolant is a bit low. I can't buy the special coolant locally so I recently ordered a couple gallons, will take about 15-20 days for it to arrive. Here's a picture I took the other day.
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1472878828.132034.jpg

I did remove the anti-tampering bracket and will be installing WOT's bypass soon.
 

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I thought that the "active ingredient" in Gunk needed to be neutralized with water. Not so? I think I'd "Ask Dr. Gunk" about this before proceeding!
 

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Nice job by the OP.

I've been taking my Volt to various EV "drive in" events (Lots of "hood up" time) so I spent a LOT of time with a weak simple green mix, plain water in a bucket, rags, and Q-tips on mine. Fortunately it does tend to stay pretty clean excepting the leading edge of the hood area.

For whatever reason, my orange high voltage cables to the electric traction motor were badly stained, I had a heck of a time getting them to look good again.

 

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I've been taking my Volt to various EV "drive in" events (Lots of "hood up" time) so I spent a LOT of time with a weak simple green mix, plain water in a bucket, rags, and Q-tips on mine. Fortunately it does tend to stay pretty clean excepting the leading edge of the hood area.
Maybe a "weak" Simple Green solution is safe. However, because of a concern about possible corrosion, SG does come in an "aircraft" formula that's supposed to be safe for aluminum skins.
 

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Maybe a "weak" Simple Green solution is safe. However, because of a concern about possible corrosion, SG does come in an "aircraft" formula that's supposed to be safe for aluminum skins.
The simple green only got used on a rag to wipe the power cables and plastic parts to get the gunk off. Then got rinsed off with plain water from a sponge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
For whatever reason, my orange high voltage cables to the electric traction motor were badly stained, I had a heck of a time getting them to look good again.

Looks brand new. Great job and congrats on showing off your Volt. What do you use to shine the plastic parts? I hate Armor All because it seems to attract dust. Something that actually repels it would be nice.

I spent a lot of time on those cables myself. Would spray the foam and work out with a toothbrush, then clean with a rag. Used detergent and water for the front black plastic that covers the radiator top, it was really dirty.

I think previous owner never cleaned the engine bay, perhaps afraid he would screw up the electronics.
 

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Looks brand new. Great job and congrats on showing off your Volt. What do you use to shine the plastic parts? I hate Armor All because it seems to attract dust. Something that actually repels it would be nice.

I spent a lot of time on those cables myself. Would spray the foam and work out with a toothbrush, then clean with a rag. Used detergent and water for the front black plastic that covers the radiator top, it was really dirty.

I think previous owner never cleaned the engine bay, perhaps afraid he would screw up the electronics.
I went back and looked at my notes, apparently (and I forgot this already) I used a Mr Clean "magic eraser" sponge to finally get the cables clean and I've tried a couple of different things to gloss up the plastic (I'm still experimenting), the last time I used some Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel and then wiped it all down really well with a microfiber cloth. (of course now my under-hood area smells like grape bubble-yum gum, but that's okay with me)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went back and looked at my notes, apparently (and I forgot this already) I used a Mr Clean "magic eraser" sponge to finally get the cables clean and I've tried a couple of different things to gloss up the plastic (I'm still experimenting), the last time I used some Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel and then wiped it all down really well with a microfiber cloth. (of course now my under-hood area smells like grape bubble-yum gum, but that's okay with me)
Did some research and this TRINOVA product has a lot of excellent reviews with many before and after pictures posted by reviewers. Apparently it does repel dust and lasts several months. I ordered a bottle, will report back when I get a chance to try it out.

ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1473029245.414451.jpg
 

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Sweet. is it oily or anything?
Oh and get some q-tips and go after that airbox on the left <grin>.
(hey I had to poke fun someplace)
 

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Sweet. is it oily or anything?
Oh and get some q-tips and go after that airbox on the left <grin>.
(hey I had to poke fun someplace)
It's a clear oily liquid, very easy to apply and excellent coverage. I'm interested in how long it lasts and if it's not a dust magnet like Armor All. Will report in a few weeks.

Haaa! I installed an HID kit afterwards. Had to remove airbox, so I cleaned it well then. Forgot to take pictures.
 

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I just go to the manual car wash to clean the engine about 3 or 4 times a year. Use the engine cleaner selection then soap then spotless rinse. Works great. I hate having a dirty engine compartment.
 

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I just picked my car up from the dealership yesterday, this morning when the sun came up I flipped my visor down and out fell a handwritten note from the service tech that said...

"Dude, you have the cleanest three year old car I've EVER seen! Nice man! Made it easy to work under the hood too, sorry it took us so long to get it finished."
 
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