engine degreaser

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does anybody know a good homemade recipe for engine degreaser

-- tim gruber (herbs@computer-concepts.com), February 18, 2002


The easyest method i know involves a can of easy off spray oven cleaner.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), February 18, 2002.


Don't ya need to spray that stuff off right qiuck?"

I am not by any means sure, but I'd think after 5 minutes it'd start eatin away the hoses and tubes.

-- Rick in Southwest WV (Rick_122@hotmail.com), February 18, 2002.

oven cleaner will disolve paint too. Mineral oil works ok but much better for parts cleaning rather than degreasing an engine compartment. Walmart usually has cans of Gunk foaming degreaser under $1, nothing seems to work as good as that.

-- Dave (something@somewhere.com), February 18, 2002.

No homemade recipe other than strong lye solution...but that will take the paint off too and you really need to rinse well.

On small parts, I boil them in a solution of simple green cut about 75 percent with water. Works like a charm...removes some paint too.

To clean engines still in the tractors and trucks, I spray concrete degreaser on the warm engine and brush it where I can and rinse it off after 10 minutes or so before it dries with the hose or the powerwasher. Use rubber gloves with this stuff and eye protection...same with the lye.


-- Oscar H. Will III (owill@mail.whittier.edu), February 18, 2002.

Do engines NEED to be cleaned, or is it just a "pretty pretty" thing for shows? If so, how often and why?

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), February 19, 2002.

My understanding....read a big caveat in there....is that GUNK and the other foaming degreasers are primarily kerosene with a foaming agent that allows them to 'stick' a bit better than plain kerosene would.

It seems to me the foaming agent must also do double duty as a surfactant (which makes sense, as that's what a foamer is); this allows the 'end product' (GUNK + gunk) to wash away that much more effectively. But you're still looking at sending into the earth or storm sewer or septic tank a bunch of reasonably raw hydrocarbons. So...

At any rate, plain old kerosene out of a mister or sprayer works very well as an engine degreaser, and doesn't harm painted surfaces or rubber hoses or electrical lines.

For the really tough situations, brake cleaner works really well. Guaranteed to get rid of paint, too - so careful! Chemically, it's a real baddie. Pretty close relative to dry cleaning fluid. Probably bad for the ozone layer, possibly bad for your chromosomes, definitely bad for your lungs.

-- Audie (paxtours@alaska.net), February 19, 2002.

Try TSP . Trisodium (sp) phosphate. You can get it at paint stores and some building supply stores. Great for cleaning walls before painting and it will degrease an engin. It is not expensive.

-- ed (edfrhes@aol.com), February 19, 2002.

Soni, you don't have to but you should. It makes it easier to maintain and spot potential problems like leaks. Working on engines with years of accumulated crud is a hassle and alot messier. You're more likely to contaminate fluids and such when you don't keep it clean. Hoses and wiring will last longer if they're kept clean instead of coated with oil-soaked dirt. A clean engine lessens the chance of engine comparment fires.

I wash the engine compartments and undercarriage every time the vehicle is washed but only use the degreaser a few times a year. It only takes an extra few minutes but makes a difference when you have to do repairs or maintenance.

-- Dave (something@somewhere.com), February 19, 2002.

In response to the question about why degrease an engine...

I do it because I want to fix the leak where the oil is coming from. If you clean the engine you can then figure out where the oil is leaking from. I also do it before taking things apart. Less grease on me is good and less dirt and crud falling into a carb, or diesel injection pump or cylinder etc., the less chance of ruining expensive equipment. I also do it because clean engines run cooler and let you know what their problems are sooner.

In this vein, did you know that the number 1 killer of heavy duty diesel engines is the foil that seals quart and gallon oil containers. Number two is plain dirty oil.


-- Oscar H. Will III (owill@mail.whittier.edu), February 19, 2002.

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