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Need advice: What to use to clean oil from underside

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Old 04-15-2018, 10:05 AM   #1  
bigblock66vette
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Default Need advice: What to use to clean oil from underside

Hello all, I managed to blow the crank seal on the timing chain cover and ended up oiling down the entire underside of my car. I have it on the lift at my shop and checked it out and its on everything. The exhaust has oil on it also. I could use a pressure washer but thought that may be a bad idea. I searched around on google and here and found conflicting answers. Some said simple green and rags, pressure washer, wd40, oven cleaner, etc. I know I could just use soap and rags and plenty of elbow grease but thought someone else may have had this happen and had good results cleaning it up and would share ideas. I am replacing the deal today and wanted to get it all cleaned back off. Just looking for something I can use that will not hurt anything under there. Thanks for the help

Will

Last edited by bigblock66vette; 04-15-2018 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:09 AM   #2  
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I would just wipe off what you can get to with rags. A nice drive in the rain will take care of the rest.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:13 AM   #3  
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Simple Green or Purple Power or any other degreaser product like that, full strength in a spray bottle. I have also used aerosol engine degreaser with good results. Just make sure you get all of the oil completely soaked with whatever you use, let it soak for maybe a half hour, then spray everything off with a garden hose. Let it dry, inspect for complete oil removal, and repeat the process if necessary.

I had a tranny oil cooler line come loose one time that completely soaked the underside from front to back. Aerosol degreaser, liberally applied, took care of the issue with one application.

Last edited by BadAV; 04-15-2018 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:15 AM   #4  
russ472
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brake cleaner
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:15 AM   #5  
bigblock66vette
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Thanks guys. Its even in the header collector tubes where you cant wipe easily.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:39 AM   #6  
Lee Cromwell
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Since you have a lift i can assume you have compressor, this will make your life much easier... i could... But I'm not... Clean the underside of your car spotless clean in 30 minutes.. on the lift with this tool and mineral spirits, afterwards again with simple green then water... Can be straight from the garden hose, doesn't have to be distilled water, Fiji water etc hahaha. I have this tool and use it all the time. Works awesome. Harbor freight has them for like 10 bucks
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:42 AM   #7  
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I have a couple of them, harbor freight or northern tools sell them pretty cheap and they work and last long time, mineral spirits won't harm anything and cleans grease, oil like crazy
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:46 AM   #8  
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I've used Greased Lightning. Spray it on full strength, let it sit and then it wipe off before it dries. Safe and inexpensive cleaner.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:08 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigblock66vette View Post
Hello all, I managed to blow the crank seal on the timing chain cover and ended up oiling down the entire underside of my car. I have it on the lift at my shop and checked it out and its on everything. The exhaust has oil on it also. I could use a pressure washer but thought that may be a bad idea. I searched around on google and here and found conflicting answers. Some said simple green and rags, pressure washer, wd40, oven cleaner, etc. I know I could just use soap and rags and plenty of elbow grease but thought someone else may have had this happen and had good results cleaning it up and would share ideas. I am replacing the deal today and wanted to get it all cleaned back off. Just looking for something I can use that will not hurt anything under there. Thanks for the help

Will
I would buy a case of the cheapest non-chlorinated aerosol parts/brake cleaner and get after it.

Mark
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:21 PM   #10  
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I would buy a case of the cheapest non-chlorinated aerosol parts/brake cleaner and get after it.

Mark
Brake cleaner works like a champ
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:33 PM   #11  
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And when you clean it with brake cleaner .... Do it when the engine is cold.

If you spray down a hot engine with brake cleaner, the brake cleaner will evaporate as soon as it hits the hot engine (not effective and a waste of brake cleaner).

BTW ... Walmart's cheapest brake cleaner is only 2 bucks a can.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Tec...fl-oz/21618344

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Old 04-15-2018, 01:37 PM   #12  
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When I have greasy messes, I fill up my garden spray pump with kerosene and spray it with high pressure. Gets in all the hard to reach places.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:38 PM   #13  
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Default Purple power

Be very careful with purple power. It's very hard on plastic if it sits for any amount of time
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:18 PM   #14  
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Dawn dishwashing liquid will cut the oil and grease, and do no harm. Then you can polish or clean as desired. Ask me how I know.



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Old 04-15-2018, 03:26 PM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.medic View Post
Be very careful with purple power. It's very hard on plastic if it sits for any amount of time
Check the owners manual regarding what cleaners are harmful to the composite leaf springs. I'm pretty sure the contents purple power or simple green are on the avoid list.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:29 PM   #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMB-Z View Post
Dawn dishwashing liquid will cut the oil and grease, and do no harm. Then you can polish or clean as desired. Ask me how I know.



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Old 04-15-2018, 06:41 PM   #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cybernetic Medic View Post
Check the owners manual regarding what cleaners are harmful to the composite leaf springs. I'm pretty sure the contents purple power or simple green are on the avoid list.
Glad you brought that up! I totally forgot about the composite spring. If left on too long it can affect aluminum as well.

Last edited by BadAV; 04-15-2018 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:52 PM   #18  
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I agree with LMB-Z to just use Dawn and an old wash mitt. I use the two bucket method, one to wash and one to rinse so you don't keep reintroducing the oil and dirt back into the wash water. Raise the car, place on jack stands, remove the wheels and wash away, Rinse with clean water and your ready to go. P.S. you will get very wet doing this, but its cheap and effective. If you have a power washer that work even better when used with a degreaser soap.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:07 PM   #19  
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Use Dawn.....its what the Vets use to clean off all the wildlife that are involved in oil spills. It re,oves oil and doesnt harm anything or anyone

Clif
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:16 PM   #20  
bigblock66vette
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Dawn it is. The car is on a lift and I can use my pressure washer also if needed. My shop floor is wide open. 35' ceilings, 60' wide and 150' long. Big overhead doors at each end. If I get the floor wet I can squeegee it out and the floor will dry. Thx
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