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Discussion Starter #1
So my ED is pretty dusty and grimy in back underneath the engine cover. There's a thick layer of dust from sitting for a couple of years at the dealership.

What's the best way to get rid of most of the dust and dirt? Being exposed underneath, I'd imagine it's fairly waterproof but I don't really think spraying it down with a hose would be a good idea. Steam cleaner followed with a very light drizzle of water? Or steam clean it followed by wiping it down?


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You shouldn't find oil or grease; probably yours is like mine was: caked with a thick layer of dirt (and even the remnants of a rat's nest). Try starting with a dry microfiber mitt/glove and a dry swifter for crevices; then dampen those cleaning tools with water or a product like Simple Green, and repeat. Use a toothbrush for the tightest crevices. Mine cleaned up much faster and better than I had expected. You can see the amazing before/after pics on my delivery thread. You'll probably need to do the same thing at the front end.

I doubt you'd have any issues from water or dampness on one occasion, but steer clear of connectors. I would even dare to use a hose sparingly.
 

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It is a good idea to wash the dust off particularly in areas that use road salt - since a lot of that dust is probably salt.

Just wet the components with soap from a pump spray bottle then rinse with a moderate spray (not a hard jet) of water from a garden hose - no different (but easier since there should be no greasy gunk) than cleaning an IC engine. The electrical connections are waterproof against all but full immersion and are not going to be hurt by a little temporary moisture anyway.

With the keyswitch off and (important!) not charging, none of the high voltage wiring (the bright orange wires) are energized. It would probably still be safe if they were as you need to come in contact with both the positive and negative poles of the HV battery to complete a circuit. There is no "chassis ground" to the HV battery, for obvious reasons, unlike the typical car's (including the ED's) 12 volt circuits. While checking my non-functioning AC, I noticed the HV power cable to the compressor comes off rather easily - no clips or catches, surprisingly.

I definitely would not use a steam cleaner!
 

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It is a good idea to wash the dust off particularly in areas that use road salt - since a lot of that dust is probably salt.


It's a brand-new car, MY 2015. I think he took delivery with something like 10 total miles on it. Except for the premise of road salt, I agree fully with your advice.
 

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It's a brand-new car, MY 2015. I think he took delivery with something like 10 total miles on it. Except for the premise of road salt, I agree fully with your advice.
Funny that that much dust would settle in an engine compartment just sitting on a lot.

Our standards of what is called a "dirty engine" have changed. Remember in the old days how US-made engines turned into a ball of black greasy crud after 40,000 miles or so? For some reason only the Europeans and Japanese knew how to (or more likely, simply cared to) make valve covers and gaskets that did not slowly leak oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advice. The dust and dirt accumulation won't blow off with just air and it's tight enough that I can't get to all the spots with a damp towel from the access cover. I haven't tried from underneath yet.

I'll give it a gentle wash with a very soft brush and a very low pressure stream of water. It does seem like in very wet conditions, water could splash up in there so I'm feeling much better with the suggestions of washing it with water.

And yes, it is a 2015 with ten miles on it when I took delivery a few days ago.


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It does seem like in very wet conditions, water could splash up in there so I'm feeling much better with the suggestions of washing it with water.
Yes, everything is designed to be waterproof against water sloshing up from the road. That can be pretty forcefull spray when driving at highway speeds on wet roads. Comparable to a garden hose. I'd just avoid power pressure washers, that's more force than the seals are meant to hold up to.
 

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Would dust and dirt in the motor compartment be a serious issue? You can't see it; it's not corrosive; it has no electrical properties; it doesn't add much weight. It's not even a maintenance item.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No, not a serious issue, but it's a new car and if there's no harm in cleaning it, why not? There is also that if a dealer sees a clean car come in, they tend to take a bit more care of it than if it were dirty and looking neglected. I think that part is just human nature.


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No, not a serious issue, but it's a new car and if there's no harm in cleaning it, why not? There is also that if a dealer sees a clean car come in, they tend to take a bit more care of it than if it were dirty and looking neglected. I think that part is just human nature.
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I agree , a bit more care is needed because exposing the motor also exposes the interior to splash back and dust .
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"Engine compartment?" On an electric vehicle?


Old habits are hard to break. "Motor compartment" maybe? I caught myself saying to my wife, telling her to "hit the gas" to test out the acceleration.

Some of these terms and phrases are just ingrained into our society. Like "lowercase letter", or using the "redial" when calling someone back. There are literally hundreds of these that don't make sense any more in our modern world and I guess engine compartment or gas pedal on an electric vehicle are the same.


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To be politically correct, the rear compartment housing the electric motor should be referred to as the motor compartment. I learned in school many years ago that internal & external combustion are engines & electric drive is referred to as a motor.
 

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Just to clarify: I wasn't entirely being snarky. I would be surprised if there was an engine compartment on an electric car, but maybe there is some sort of engine that I'm not aware of. Too, I'm also curious about the cleaning of this compartment. I've not considered that on my new (to me) 2015 ED, but if this is something I should be considering, I'm all ears.
 

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I would be surprised if there was an engine compartment on an electric car, but maybe there is some sort of engine that I'm not aware of. Too, I'm also curious about the cleaning of this compartment.
Nope as Smart Bob suggests, only a "motor" compartment on an ED - cleaning optional.
 

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and some people refer to the right foot-pedal in the ED as the gas pedal. <shudder>
For many of us, the accelerator in the ED can still be thought of as a gas pedal. For many of us our electric utility uses natural gas, so when you step on the accelerator, you use more electricity, which in turn uses more natural gas. Of course, by that logic, for some of us the accelerator is a nuclear reactor pedal. :burnout:
 
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