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Has anybody ever had their engine steam cleaned ? Is this safe to have done ?
 

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I had it done once to my old XJ. The engine and the engine bay came out really clean. The pulleys needed some WD-40 after to stop the squeaking. The biggest downside was the strong kerosene smell blowing in for about three days after from the vents. I didn't know kerosene was part of the steam, I thought it would only be water. It worked well, but I now use the canned stuff or Simple Green. For me, they work just as well and there's no kerosene stink.
 

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Steam Cleaning is like the term Flushing, it can mean a lot of different things, so find out the details of the particular cleaner or service and use some common sense. I'm sure there are steam cleaners out there that would mess up your engine real bad, although most would NOT. If its a steam cleaning service specifically for engines, then its safe to assume the temps and pressures are within a safe range for most engines.

If its a Industrial Steam Cleaner for cleaning Industrial Tanks, that your friend happens to have access to, be careful and figure out the details before using it. Things like "Super-Heated" steam or pressures to strip stubborn material off metal walls, would likely do damage to your engine.

Personally, I just spray my motor down with Simple Green and use the garden hose with a "Jet" stream setting on the head. Its cheap too.
 

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I always wrap a plastic grocery bag around my K&N filter and my fuse box just to be safe. Expect your serpentine belt to slip a little (maybe for 5 seconds or so) right after you start it back up. I'd also recommend you wait until the engine is mostly cold...don't just drive to a car wash do-it-yourself bay and do this to a hot engine. I like the Simple Green idea, that is a good product, last time I did mine (just a week ago actually) I used a spray product called Greased Lightning Orange Powered Blast, its essentially water and orange extract and it did a great job!
 

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For the simple green way, Do we have to cover anything up before hitting it with the solution or water?
There is always a risk of water getting where it should NOT be when washing the engine. Most modern engines are sealed up pretty good, I do this regularly with my vehicles and have yet to have a problem.

Years ago, with distributors in the ignition system, I have gotten water in the distributor and the motor ran like crap. Had to pull the cap and dry it out and it ran fine a few hours later. If you've been taking care of your ignition, making sure the boots fit tight, have dielectric grease to help seal them, you shouldn't have a problem, I've never had a problem hosing out the modern "Distributorless" ignition systems.

The under hood fuse boxes have a cover and that usually protects it well enough NOT to have any problems. The only time I have had a problem was when my mini-van had a butt load of dirt collect under the cover of the fuse box under the hood, so I hosed it out under the cover, and sure enough had all sorts of electrical trouble, I had to remove each relay and fuse individually and blow it out with compressed air and it worked fine.

If you have a proper working PCV, what little water makes it into the crankcase, will be removed as soon as the motor warms up.

You don't want to get air filtes wet, but the OEM is contained in a box to protect it, it would only be aftermarket filters that might be exposed and you want to cover.
 
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