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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Between this thread about washing a car and my other thread about an oil change, you guys are going to think I'm a complete retard that has never worked on cars before. :facepalm

This is however my first exotic with vents all over that leave the engine and front of the car exposed to the outside elements.

Do you guys take any precautions when washing your Lotus to minimize the amount of water that enters the vents?

I mean hell, even driving this car in heavy rain seems like it may be risky with so many critical parts directly exposed to the outside through the multiple vents.

I'm getting ready to give my new toy a nice detail, but I'd hate to make a rookie mistake and have water intrusion that causes problems.
 

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Just spray perpendicular to the side vents and deck lid vents. I use low pressure to wash the rear deck lid vents. I always pop the lid when I'm done and towel dry the underside of lid/vents and anything else engine bay related that's wet.
Be careful with the high pressure around the side windows as the seals don't seem to be super tight.


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Discussion Starter #4
Just spray perpendicular to the side vents and deck lid vents. I use low pressure to wash the rear deck lid vents. I always pop the lid when I'm done and towel dry the underside of lid/vents and anything else engine bay related that's wet.
Be careful with the high pressure around the side windows as the seals don't seem to be super tight.


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Good tips. Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.
 

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Because the car is so small washing is quite easy and quick. Try to do it on a relatively level surface or slightly nose high to avoid water leaking into the boot. Otherwise, the car is quite tolerant of a little water getting in here and there. After all, the tops are known to leak a bit around the windows in heavy rain, and we often get caught temporarily with the top down in rain storms with no permanent damage.

In fact, I've become quite good at washing my car carefully with the top DOWN.

That said, DO learn how to do a two-bucket-wash and use grit guards in the buckets to avoid the abrasive effect of dirty water. The best advice I can give you this YouTube link to The Junkman:
This guy is the authority on detailing and washing cars!
 

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I'm probably paranoid, but I always wash it when it is cold. My fear is that the sudden temperature change when you squirt cold water on a hot radiator can crack the plastic end-caps. Don't know if there is truth to it...
 

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Between this thread about washing a car and my other thread about an oil change, you guys are going to think I'm a complete retard that has never worked on cars before. :facepalm

This is however my first exotic with vents all over that leave the engine and front of the car exposed to the outside elements.

Do you guys take any precautions when washing your Lotus to minimize the amount of water that enters the vents?

I mean hell, even driving this car in heavy rain seems like it may be risky with so many critical parts directly exposed to the outside through the multiple vents.

I'm getting ready to give my new toy a nice detail, but I'd hate to make a rookie mistake and have water intrusion that causes problems.
You do know the car was built in England don't you? A country known more for rainfall than sunshine ;)

Diving any car in the rain will end up with the engine bay wet as all cars direct air into the engine bay for cooling. Have a look at all the electrical connectors and you'll find they are all waterproof :)
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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Buy a foam gun, low pressure, works off your hose. Also as other said - grit guard, and I like a nice sheepskin mitt. Most importantly is the leafblower for no-touch drying.
 

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Be careful applying pressure to the vents as I've heard they are easy to break (say your previous owner left some white wax dried up and you wanted to scrub it off). Also try not to douse your boot lid as it tends to leak, I'm pretty sure theres a simple mod to eliminate that leakage on here somewhere. Otherwise handwash always, don't go to a car wash.... .. Anyone ever do that?
 

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I always wash mine by hand. I use multiple buckets of warm water, a sponge and a shammy.

The only issue I've ever had was with the motion detector within the cabin. It would sometimes go off when I was washing the roof area. So now I usually cover up the sensor by putting a (dry) towel between the rear speaker area.
 

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You know you can directly wash the engine on any car? Everything with a vent can get wet. No different from any other car. The real weak spot is the soft top. Avoid too much pressure around the seals of the top to keep your cabin dry.
 

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The engine bay is the most ignored place on a detailed car. I spent a couple of hours in there with grease removing detergent on old rags and a bucket of warm water. After a careful light rinse and some Back to Black and other finish restorers it looks factory new. Now it only takes a quick wipe with every wash to keep it looking that way.

Tip: Use black shiny vinyl door edge trim to finish the sharp fiberglass edge of the open engine bay. Looks better than factory new.
 

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I was more concerned about driving/parking in heavy rain however I assured myself that English cars should be ok in the rain.
 

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I don't want water in the engine bay if I can help it. I lay a large bath towel over the engine and try to spray as little water into the vents as possible, spraying toward the back of the car over the vents. The towel doesn't get too wet actually and the engine stays dry.
 

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Waterless wash and/or no rinse wash are your friends!

Optimum No Rinse (new formula with wax) is the shiznit. Microfiber mitt, ONR in a bucket and a microfiber towel? Washed and purty in about 5 minutes!

Oh, and you need one of these. Get's the water out of vents/tails/lugs/etc and makes dry up a breeze. It's tiny, lightweight and is PERFECT for drying our cars.

 

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Waterless wash and/or no rinse wash are your friends!
+1 for no rinse. I use the Chemical Guys hose free wash. Scary the first few times you use it if you're used to normal washing, but perfect for me so far and no untoward swirl marks.

I started using it out of necessity (pipes to my garage freeze in winter) but now I actually like the stuff.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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I don't want water in the engine bay if I can help it. I lay a large bath towel over the engine and try to spray as little water into the vents as possible, spraying toward the back of the car over the vents. The towel doesn't get too wet actually and the engine stays dry.
NICE.
 

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I wash my Elise like any other car. I just do my best to avoid soaking the engine bay vents and I don't spray directly around the side windows. Even with that said I still have to dry the engine off with a towel and dry the side sills inside the car. I've never had a problem. I use detailing spray for quick washes in the garage when the weather is bad.

I also use a towel over the engine when washing most of the time.
 

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I've been keeping the engine bay clean since I bought my car new. Been easy to do since I only drive the car in good weather. When I wash, I don't worry about water getting into the engine bay at all 'cause when I dry, I use my leaf blower and blow the bay dry. I sometimes even give a quick spritz of water directly into the bay before I dry it. Haven't needed to use any degreaser or anything as of yet (hope I never do). I even detail most of the hoses (that I can get to) as well as the engine cover etc. Proud to say the car is cleaner than the day I bought it from the dealer (my wife calls it a "sickness").

And the Junkman, he's the best. Biggest thing is touch the "paint" as little as possible. Only use a sheepskin mitt and lightly at that. One thing I'm sorry I didn't do when I bought the car is look closely at the condition of the paint ALL over the car as a "benchmark" so you know if you are "damaging the paint". With the Persian Blue, the swirlmarks are really noticeable and after a awhile it drove me nuts. Lessons was learned but late. Don't touch your paint unless you have to. Even for dust, don't wipe it, rinse it.

Glad I could share some of my "sickness" with you.

Best of luck with your car!
 
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