Pressure washers, NAC (well, VLAC)

Brett Dikeman brett at
Sat Aug 17 19:59:58 EDT 2002

At 10:19 AM -0400 8/17/02, David Head wrote:
>I went to Sears and bought a 'returned' one. 2500psi is the minumum, get the
>highest flow rate and horsepower in the 2500-2700 psi range. There are tons of
>options in that range. Home Depot, Lowe's and Sears are your best places to
>Never pressure wash an Audi engine compartment - you will rue the day...

BS.  I've done two engine compartments- my own, and Brendan's.  By
the time we were done, Brendan looked in and said "Whoa, the INSIDE
of the engine compartment is painted too?"

You have to know the engine compartment well, and use appropriate
distances from things- getting up close+personal with the IM is fine,
getting within 12" of the distributor is not, to give an obvious
example.  Radiators should be avoided, too- they're tempting, but the
fins are easily bent and you need to push stuff out, not push it in,
so the radiator would have to come out anyway.  Etc.

We made sure the engine was warm before we started...immediately
afterwards, we started the car up(fired right up) let it run with the
hood up to dry it out for a few minutes, then he and Huw took it for
a nice run around the block to dry it out+warm it up, then left it
idling with the hood up for a bit.

I did my compartment as well, however, I didn't do it with a warm
engine, and while it started up and ran just fine, there was some
hesitation, but it cleared itself up after sitting at a stoplight for
a half minute or so and then getting moving again.

As for paintwork etc- be extremely careful, Bob.  Pressure washers
can strip paint(house, automotive, you name it), break windows, snap
moulding and rip decals/badges right off the car, chip stonework,turn
wood into water-logged pulp, etc.  My father has a saying: "powerful
tools, powerful mistakes."

It will also, in many cases, get you absolutely soaked head to toe
and covered in grit from whatever you were washing; I like to think
of pressure washers as transfer devices.  All the crap off whatever
you were washing, and onto you :-)  You practically need to wear rain
gear and knee-high boots...

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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