Last post on Mar 28, 2003 at 8:33 AM
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#3 of 12 Good one, bret -
Mar 26, 2003 (3:41 pm)
that's the best deal - clean the engine frequently as to not let a bunch of gunk build up. Also, that protectant not only makes things look good, it protects hoses, vacuum lines and other plastic and rubber parts, and makes it easier to clean next time.
I clean my engine about every other time I give the car a good wash. Really freaks the dealership technicians out to see "clean" under a hood.
#4 of 12 Water based protectant?
Mar 26, 2003 (3:56 pm)
Do you mean a product like Armor All for a water based protectant? I know you don't want to use anything solvent based because it will eat away at rubber components.
I already use Armor All for hoses and belts. Is there a better product out there?
#5 of 12 water-based vs. oil-based
Mar 26, 2003 (4:45 pm)
Go to an auto parts store and most of the "tire shines" and related products are silicone oil-based products. Silicone oil is about the worst thing you can apply to rubber and plastic for a whole myriad of reasons. I'm specifically referring to polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) which is widely used in car care products.
Not all silicones are bad (there are something like 30,000 silicone formulations) but you have to dig deep to find the protectants that are water-based and use non damaging silicones. Some products are:
303 Aerospace Protectant
Eagle One Interior/Exterior Protectant
Pinnacle rubber and vinyl lotion
If you want to leave a nice gloss all over the engine there are a few products that work well. The best one I know of is a pro product called Meguiar's Engine Kote; gotta buy it by the gallon, though.
Armor All has reformulated their protectants and some are now water-based. But for many years their products were completely awful and I will never suggest or buy their products again.
Mar 26, 2003 (6:07 pm)
How do dealerships clean the engines of used cars? Do they send them out for steam cleaning? If so, are there any drawbacks to steam cleaning?
#7 of 12 They don't really use "steam"
Mar 26, 2003 (6:22 pm)
for the most part, just detergent/solvent and high pressure, like at the car wash. Then they hose it down with Armor All (or the like) and they're done.
There's no real drawback to steam cleaning versus high-pressure, except that the steam fogs your glasses. The same precautions, as far as electrical components, should be taken, but usually aren't.
#8 of 12 Good call on the Armor All, bretfraz!
Mar 26, 2003 (10:16 pm)
Like everybody in the "olden days" I used Armor All. In essence, they were the only game in town. I bought an expensive .5 gallon refill jug one time and sent in for the $5.00 rebate. I tried and tried, but never got the money. I swore it off those many years ago, and I have never spent another nickel on any of their offerings. The upshot to the story is that I discovered Blue Coral products. I honestly think they are better all around, even overlooking the chiselling on the rebate. It goes without saying, but your recommendation for Meguiar's products demonstrates your excellent taste.
Mar 27, 2003 (8:24 am)
There really isn't any need to clean a modern engine compartment. Still, every couple of years, I'll pull into one of the self-serve car washes and LIGHTLY rinse off the engine compartment after spraying it with Gunk.
It's too easy to screw something up by getting water into things.
As far as Armor-All...I happen to think the stuff is pure garbage! It leaves a slimy artifical look and feel to everything. I once applied it to my dash and the next week the dash was cracked in three places.
Professional detailers hate it too.
#10 of 12 yes, silicone-based
Mar 27, 2003 (10:58 am)
protectants are bad - water-based protectants don't crank your dash.
Detailing since 1978
Mar 27, 2003 (4:40 pm)
Anybody else out there agree with me that the slippery, greasy looking tire detailing that is seemingly popular at the present time is bad news? If you want tires to look natural, and clean at the same time, use Bleche Wite or a similar product.
#12 of 12 RE: fleetwood
Mar 28, 2003 (8:33 am)
I agree that the greasy look is bad news. My car is black and even after wiping down the tires twice with a clean dry rag, after driving a few kms there are small spots all over the car. All I use now on my tires is a semi-stiff scrub brush ever 2-4th wash depending on how dirty the sidewalls are. It may not be easy, but at least it doesn't attract dust.