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Cleaning the motor (outside and underneath)

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The other day I changed my oil and filter and I saw what 87k miles can accumulate in dust, dirt and others underneath my car. Lots of dirt...

From my days in the ranch (Mexico) I remember we used what we call "white gasoline" sprayed on the motor (Yes the motors were cooled down before this) we let it sit for some minutes then a mild mix of soft soap, then rinsed with water and off we were with a very nice clean pickup truck motor under the hood.

But on a Porsche (Boxster)... what is the best way to clean it and where can you get it done? Pricing?

Hope you can help.

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Nice - do you have the plastic (see-through) engine cover to go with that?

Before the Anderson-Behel location became a Porsche-Audi dealer, they use to carry Pontiac. Their service (at that time) was great -- I had purchased a Pontiac there and each time I brought the car in, they would steamclean the engine. Steamcleaning works great - the engine compartment looked like that of a brand-new car.Now I hear that with all the rubbers, etc., any type of cleaning has negative side-effects. Steam-cleaning is no longer popular.

Best is to use lots of water and a mild soap to loosen the dirt. Make sure you rinse away any detergent you use. I guess Loren's suggestion is a good one to start with. Also look into degreases (Simple Green, All Purpose). But be careful, I have been reading here and on other boards that you may inadvertently 'loosen' plugs, connectors, sensors, etc., and start having gremlins in your car.

Take a look at the Porsche recommended cleaners, and then look for similar products in the local autostore: Porsche Car Care Products

Also, check out these sites:

DIY - Engine Cleaning

Engine Cleaners, water rinse

Electric Steam Cleaners

But be forewarned: "Degreasers and engine cleaners will strip your fresh finish off faster than a bug splatting against a windshield at 70 mph"

Cleaning the car and engine

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Yes, I made a mod which basically slotted the engine cover, and then carpeted over it with another smaller slot.

If you turn your engine cover over, you will see impressed lines which run longitudinally, if you cut those out and make a hole to whatever size you would like, You can rivet a plexiglass piece in it's place. You then cut your carpet a little shorter on the sides to hide the rivet's and the edge.

You will then have a viewing port, and it will look nice and tidy due to the carpet hiding the edges of plexiglas.

Sorry I don't have any pic's right now of it. It looks much better then the $1000.00 deal and it's also quieter.


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  • 4 weeks later...

If you are referring to the cosmoline on the engine from the bottom side, I had good luck with using either Dupont enamel reducer or wipe down solvent. again both are Flammable, but safer than Gasoline

I then polished my aluminum and other bright parts w/ Steel wool and then clear coated the pieces.

Mike M

02 986S


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I have used a pressure washer and mineral spirits to clean off the cosmoline on the bottom of the car. This method has been very effective for me. It takes several sessions to get all of the cosmoline softened up and off, but it will come off.

Another route for you since you live here in Cupertino/San Jose is to have the bottom of your car steam pressure washed off. There is a place next to HP Pavilion at the corner of Santa Clara St/the Alameda and Stockton Ave. that will clean the underside of your car while you wait.

I would recommend this as your first step, and then you can do the detailing. Your goal is to make the underside of your car look like this:



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Thanks! Now how was your car held up for this picture? i dont see jackstands... jacks... or lift... ???

I use a levitator lifting jack. You just plug it in the cigarette lighter, sit in on the passenger seat, and turn it on and it will lift up to 3 tons 3 feet off of the ground.


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