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Old 01-21-2017, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Detailed engine compartment?

Almost every time someone I know goes looking for used vehicle, the same discussion seems to come up, it seems.

Most of the time it revolves around someone passing up a vehicle that the engine compartment was what a normal, used, engine compartment looks like. Pretty dirty. Their assumption is that the vehicle with the washed and maybe detailed engine is better. Sometimes the stated reason is it that is shows the owner was more careful with everything, which might be true or it could have just been detailed to sell. Other times the reason given is that it is better for the engine to be clean than dirty.

Personally, I would much prefer to find a vehicle where the engine hadn' been cleaned, either to sell or regularly. First and foremost, many of the detailers, and owners, pressure wash the engine and compartment. I don't want high pressure water anywhere near anything electrical. Same would be true for the grease cutting solvents that are often used. Second is that I want to be able to look for signs of oil or other fluid leakage.

Here in Minnesota, the case can be made, It think, that salt could be an issue under the hood. It is conductive and corrosive when wet, so not nice to have anywhere critical. I have usually used just a light spray of plain water from the hose, at home, at the first spring washing, for that. I do stay away from directly spraying any connectors or electronics.

So our engine compartments don't look real pretty, but hopefully are in good condition, and if I go car shopping I prefer to buy something that also looks that way.

What say others? Would you prefer to buy a used vehicle that had a detailed engine, or not, or do you care?
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:11 PM   #2
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The more you know about a used vehicle the better. "Detailing" obviously destroys information, so it is a negative in this regard. If you want a pretty engine, then get it detailed AFTER you buy it.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:14 PM   #3
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agreed.

in AZ I do blow out the dust with a leaf blower.

modern engines don;t ( or shouldn;t!) leak so there shouldn;t be any need for any deep cleaning

as a kid in Canada, on a warmer winter day, Dad would park the cars over the sprinkler in the driveway to wash the salt away..this would also get the salt off the driveway. That kept his cars a little better than many

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Old 01-21-2017, 05:28 PM   #4
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I'm in basic agreement here also. However, I like my stuff to look clean, and under the hood is no exception.

So I regularly spend a bit of time with some wet cloths and maybe a bit of Dawn, and wipe down anything I can easily see and get to. No pressure washing, though. I can generally clean up a good 85% of the goodies under the hood. Works for me.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:39 PM   #5
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My engine compartments are usually cleaner than the exterior. I regularly spray simple green and hose off the entire engine compartment and apply 303 protectant or similar. Been doing it for many years without a problem. Your rubber and plastic will last longer and you will find issues and leaks before they grow into bigger problems and strand you. Its a carryover behavior of owning motorcycles, through cleaning helps you identify problems and stuff ready to fall off before they cause you injury.
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:32 PM   #6
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Remove the dust, leaves etc, but I would rather see the grime. That tells me if the valve gaskets are leaking, or if the power steering is leaking or the rack and pinion needs replacing.

A clean engine compartment to me means the seller is hiding something. The only clean engines I've ever bought were brand new vehicles.
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Old 01-21-2017, 11:57 PM   #7
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Generally in agreement here. I would never buy a used vehicle that has been detailed - either dealer (Stealership) or private. If you want clean - buy new, or late model, low miles distressed sale from private party.
And I never use pressure washer or drive thru car wash for any of my vehicles. Including or especially motorcycles!
We have a wonderful "all Hand" wash & dry locally. Our '05 Honda Accord is 'almost' showroom shiny @ 175k miles. Under the hood gets an occasional wipe down w/ damp rag. And regular oil changes & visual inspection.
Same for other vehicles, motorcycles & the R/T van.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:59 AM   #8
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Who would be dumb enough to sell a vehicle (or anything else for that matter) and not clean it up well. I have never pressured washed an engine compartment but I have certainly spent considerable time cleaning the entire vehicle including under the hood. Cleaning time is well rewarded in higher selling prices. Of course, every dealership has figured out this obvious fact.
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Old 01-22-2017, 02:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
Who would be dumb enough to sell a vehicle (or anything else for that matter) and not clean it up well. I have never pressured washed an engine compartment but I have certainly spent considerable time cleaning the entire vehicle including under the hood. Cleaning time is well rewarded in higher selling prices. Of course, every dealership has figured out this obvious fact.
That dumb one would be me.

I have never done an underhood cleanup on a car I was selling, and they usually were pretty well used and dirty. I often would mention the reasoning in chit chat with potential buyers, but not always.

Every car I have ever put up for sale has sold to the first person who came to look at it, so it can't be very much of big deal to a lot of folks, or they are like many of us here that have said it is even preferred to not have it been cleaned up under the hood.

Clean interior and shiny outside, absolutely. Up to date services and records, yep.
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:12 AM   #10
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LOL. The very people who would expect a clean engine are the ones who've never spent a minute cleaning one on their own car.
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