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Cleaning Under the Hood

This is a discussion on Cleaning Under the Hood within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Finally got my power steering plumbing all fixed, but I still have a bunch of fluid mess on some of ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cleaning Under the Hood

    Finally got my power steering plumbing all fixed, but I still have a bunch of fluid mess on some of the other parts near where the leak was. I've noticed some funky problems in my instrument cluster, and I suspect that the fluid leaks may have contaminated some of the electrical connections.

    Symptoms:
    The speedo and tach bounce around when driving at steady speeds. The speedo can move by up to 20mph for no reason at all, and the tach by as much as 1000 rpm (this problem is intermittent; most of the time, they speedo and tach behave normally).

    Also, the other day when I started the car, the "check gauges" light came on, and then, instead of going off, it flickered very weakly for about 30 or 40 seconds before finally turning off.

    Also, my trip odo just reset itself while I was driving. It was on 215 or so miles, and then it just went to 0.0 while the car was in motion.

    I've looked under the hood, and there is a lot of power steering/ATF on the components there (alternator is clean). I want to try cleaning it up down there, and inspecting the connections and cleaning them off as well.

    Does anyone know which connections are located under/near the power steering plumbing or under the alternator?

    Also, what chemicals/products are safe to use down there without ruining the rubber hoses/wire looms/electrical connections, etc?

    I have some simple green, some purple power, and some wire dryer on hand.

  2. #2
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Thanks, Scott.

    I'm hoping to figure out if I can use chemicals on the hoses/looms, etc. Any idea what I can use?
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  4. #4
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I use Simple Green 50/50 solution with water. Spray down, let it sit for about 30 mins but keep it damp, do not let it dry, a light mist will help with that. Then use the spray bottle while it's soaking and a brush to get the built up areas and scrub them while the rest soaks. Then using low pressure rinse the bay down. Then let it dry for a while or use a leaf blower to get rid of the excess. Do not put direct or high pressure on the intake, alternator, fuse boxes, ecm or near the fill tubes. light, light pressure is the key here. Another way is just use a damp cloth and control where you want to clean that way. It takes far, far longer though.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Okay, cool. Thank you.

  6. #6
    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    Going with the assumption that you may have oil or water down in some of the electrical connections on the engine, rather than trying to wash the engine with degreaser and water, you might want to grab a spray can of electrical contact cleaner and check the contacts first. Sometimes adding more water creates more problems than it solves. Make sure you have good lighting and have a plan to work you way around the engine so as to not miss anything that you can reach. When checking contacts, first disconnect the battery then carefully go around and one at a time, disconnect each connection near where the PS fluid went. Wipe the connection gently with a dry rag and if you see any PS fluid give it a shot of the electrical contact cleaner on both sides of the connection. Let the connection air dry and if it is the type of connection with the silicone boot, give the boot a very light coating of silicone grease before reassembling. Once you have checked everything you can get to then reconnect the battery and see if your gauges are working correctly.

    Good luck, electrical gremlins are the worst.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cool, man. Thanks for the advice. I was thinking something like that approach would be what I'd like to try.

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