Huw Powell human747 at attbi.com
Thu Nov 21 02:49:05 EST 2002

> Ok, I keep hearing about compressed air.  I don't have
> access to compressed air and never have.
> Most people don't.  That makes drying out the engine
> bay and connectors a rather large task.

I have never used compressed air to dry out the engine compartment.  I
seal my ignition parts with dielectric gel, the car starts right up, a
few revs and a few starts/stops/corners get it dry again.

> Just because the car runs like crap after a thorough
> dousing of the engine bay does NOT mean that there's a
> problem with the car!!! Other than it's dripping wet
> in the engine bay where it's not supposed to be.

Sorry, you are wrong.  If a soaking makes the car run like crap, it has
electrical issues.

Back in the day... oh, memories... I used to have a sort of rule of
thumb, a thing I was learning, and that was that Audis (I guess I was on
my second) did not run as well when it was "wet" out, ie raining, very
humid, etc.  In fact, once, one of the first two dies on the road during
heavy rain after having to drive through many big splashy puddles at 50
mph.  A fifteen minute wait at the side of the road eventually let it
catch again and I drove off.

I killed off that rule of thumb by cleaning and maintaining all the
electrical connectors under the hood.  Now humidity makes no difference,
at least until there is and inch or two of water in a cylinder. (oh
yeah, memories there, too...)

> Older cars, particularly in New England, don't like
> having the engine power washed.

That's because they are in lousy electrical shape, lots of corroded and
dirty connectors.  This counts as a "problem with the car," these things
should be fixed, not worked around.  While the "typical" owner can't and
won't do it, and certainly couldn't afford to pay to have it done,
automobile enthusiasts will fix this rather than "enjoy" the crud under
the hood.  The interested amateur who wants to work on their own car a
bit and make their work easier will benefit greatly by this process too.

> I stand by my claim, a dirty engine is a happy one.

A dirty engine is simply hiding its potential moisture related problems,
that will *eventually* surface and be a nightmare to fix amidst all that

> As back up, go ahead and call Dick Shine at Shine
> Racing Service...

I prefer to rely on experience and tested theory.  A clean, well
maintained engine is a happy one.  Most racecars I've seen (not too
many, I guess) were pretty clean under the hood, and everywhere else (at
least *before* the race!).

Huw Powell



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