Engine Cleaning Precautions

I'd like to have my engine cleaned, or do it myself. I've got an '89 2CQT. I'm the new owner and it's pretty cruddy under the hood. What precautions should be taken? Is this o.k. to do?
Thanks for your tips and advice.
Bill Graham
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Bill, I believe that you can get an "engine bay shampoo" or "Steam Claening" from some places, including the Audi dealer's shop. There are some DIY concoctions available at FLAPS (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store) but, depending on the chemical composition of the stuff being used, you might find all the formerly shiny bits might haze over, you might develop vacuum leaks from damaging hoses, or electrical problems from water being where it shouldn't. If you are set on DIY, I would suggest using as mild a detergent as you can, a long handled brush or parts brush, pre-soak and rinse with a garden hose (no sprayer nozzle) - No pressure washer blasting!!!. Be careful near the firewall where many wires and vacuum hoses are strung between the engine and the car, and take extra caution around those rubber fabric braided vacuum hoses - the heat in the engine compartment of a turbo has a tendency for making them age dramatically. cover the distributor, coil and wires - maybe even mark the wires and remove them from the plugs and bag them, in which case you'll need to blast off the plugs with compressed air, put some of that "tune up" silicone grease on them before re-attaching the leads. When I clean something up in the engine bay, I use some "Coat & Protect" spray from Rust Check (green can lid - there are other similar wax/oil protectors) to cover cleaned and (now) unprotected parts - after all, the layers of oil help protect the part from corrosion. Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ - with many stainless steel fasteners, coated with gunk 1980 Audi 5k - had a bad engine cleaning once, the fuel lines went from shiny to rusty 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes - could use a floor sweeping broom in the engine bay (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

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