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'19 Rav4 XLE Hybrid--Magnetic Gray Metallic
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I recently bought a 2019 Rav4 XLE Hybrid, I'm curious to know if it's safe to rise the engine bay with a garden hose? I've heard some people say it's safe in modern cars, and others who caution against it.

Has anyone cleaned their engine bay? If so, can you share any recommendations to do it safely?

Thank you.
 

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NC '19 Rav4 Hybrid Limited, Entune 3.0, Adaptive Headlights, Advanced Technology Package
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Lots of electronics, relays and connection in there. Some know to have an aversion to wetness.
 

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With the Hybrid I use a rag with either detailer or plastic cleaner. On my Fusion I use a pressure washer avoiding the alternator and the EFI stuff.
 

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🇨🇦 2020 RAV4 XLE Hybrid - Super White
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I have detailed my bay, but I would not recommend hosing down the bay with a hose directly. Instead I used a fine mist spray bottle with warm soapy water, a basic bristle brush to agitate nooks and crannies, a damp towel to wipe with (not dripping), and a vacuum cleaner to collect dust and debris - pretty happy with the results and plenty of patience.

I edge on the side of caution what with the hybrid having twice the amount of electrical components over the gas models. I'm sure the engine area is built with a good amount of water-resistance for daily wear and tear, but why chance it and causing corrosion somewhere.
 

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It doesn't impact neither resale value or performance. Waste of time IMHO, but I understand that some have OCD with cleanliness. BTW, after almost a year ownership engine bay is very clean in mine.
 
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'19 Rav4 XLE Hybrid--Magnetic Gray Metallic
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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate the feedback. I think I'll stay away from the garden hose or any other free-flowing water. Using a fine mist spray bottle seems like the best and safest choice. I plan on cleaning the engine bay every 3-4 months so it should remain relatively clean, and it's garage kept.

Thanks again for the feedback.
 

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Yup, I detail my engine bay. I try to keep it spotless. Also the undercarriage and of course the paint and the exterior and interior of the car. I am OCD about detailing. The manual does say to not hose down the engine bay components. I use a several wet microfiber towels (distilled water) and go deep inside the engine bay removing dirt little by little.
 

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🇨🇦 2020 RAV4 XLE Hybrid - Super White
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It doesn't impact neither resale value or performance. Waste of time IMHO, but I understand that some have OCD with cleanliness. BTW, after almost a year ownership engine bay is very clean in mine.
Agreed, if anything a clean bay will show wear and tear over the years, dirt and grime helps mask the flaws for the sheister's out there lol

What I have noticed is that with a clean and cared car/engine, mechanic's (the one's I've been to) do treat the car better and go the extra mile because you're not getting them dirty. I'd like to believe it's a silent form of respect from one guy to another appreciating the craft that is the car since more than likely they too are an enthusiast.
 

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lol, you
It doesn't impact neither resale value or performance. Waste of time IMHO, but I understand that some have OCD with cleanliness. BTW, after almost a year ownership engine bay is very clean in mine.
It does impact value. I would not buy a car with a dirty engine bay.
 

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lol, you


It does impact value. I would not buy a car with a dirty engine bay.
I bet I have owed more cars then you did and I never washed engine bay for myself or specifically when I was selling. Last car was 12 years old, not a single wash in the bay and maybe a dozen exterior washes, guy who bought didn't care for it. He didn't even open the hood, although he did take it to mechanic to check
 

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I plan to wash the engine in mine just like all my other rigs. They are protected against the elements so some water won't hurt anything. Not much different than driving a couple hundred miles in the rain (which I just did). I only do this when the engine is cold and I only do it once a year or so. I've done this with all my vehicles (and I've owned dozens) for decades. The only problem I had was the first time I did it with my 1964 Chevelle SS. I was young and didn't know you had to cover the distributor cap first. New cars are sealed against the elements much better.
 

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I’ve only ever cleaned the engine bay on my Corvette. Could care less otherwise and would suggest that the more you spray water or cleaners under the hood, the more likely you’ll screw something up.
 

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Agreed, if anything a clean bay will show wear and tear over the years, dirt and grime helps mask the flaws for the sheister's out there lol

What I have noticed is that with a clean and cared car/engine, mechanic's (the one's I've been to) do treat the car better and go the extra mile because you're not getting them dirty. I'd like to believe it's a silent form of respect from one guy to another appreciating the craft that is the car since more than likely they too are an enthusiast.
As someone that works on other peoples cars; I appreciate working on clean cars. You still get dirty but the differing degree of filth is amazing. Worked on my buddies Mustang GT that is like six months old and I was amazed how much more fun it is to work on being so clean. I did get dirty but it was clean enough to not warrant using gloves. We dropped the rear sub frame components to put a better sway bar on and lowering springs. Usually that is a black arms and gloves type of a job.
 

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I'll wash my engine bay about once a year. I just cleaned my brand new 2020 XSE just last week with a green tip power washer. I rely on Simple Green and suds to do the cleaning and the water to rinse it off. Absolutely never shoot water into the hood insulator or try to clean it.
 

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Years ago a can of gunk and a garden hose worked wonders.

Now I strategically and gently hose down the A/C condenser, radiator and plastic cowl by the windshield, that's it. Now if I lived in an area where salted roads are I would hose more and take chances. Water and sensors, connectors, relays, and wire looms don't mix well.
 

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As someone that works on other peoples cars; I appreciate working on clean cars. You still get dirty but the differing degree of filth is amazing. Worked on my buddies Mustang GT that is like six months old and I was amazed how much more fun it is to work on being so clean. I did get dirty but it was clean enough to not warrant using gloves. We dropped the rear sub frame components to put a better sway bar on and lowering springs. Usually that is a black arms and gloves type of a job.
I hear ya, anything clean I just have a natural desire to understand it significantly more, dirty gives me the vibe of a buyitforlife object - use it till it fails. And when it does IF I have the care, then I'll crack it open to see if I can repair it because I'm cheap LOL.

It just feels right, I get the car is a tool, but you practically live in it for 30% of your life. I mean, I wouldn't go to bed with muddy feet, just sayin ?
 

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I'll be cleaning mine just like my other vehicles - but so far it hasn't needed it. I plan to keep it forever and its much easier and nicer working on a clean engine bay, not to mention being able to easier identify leaks, etc.

On my other vehicles I use Gunk Foamy engine bright on the engine itself, and hose the engine off with a slight drizzle of water. I avoid spraying all the relay and electrical boxes on the inner fenders, etc. and typically either wipe them down or use a very gentle mist if needed. I will be sorely disappointing if my 11 year old Nissan can handle it but this thing can not.
 
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