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Oil leak and cleaning the engine

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I've got a nasty oil leak and can't find the source so I thought I'd clean the engine then look for it. Weird thins is that on some days it leaks a lot and on others it doesn't leak any.


What's the best way to clean the engine? i was thinking of self-serve car wash so it would capture the runoff but am worried about spraying a hot engine.




I have a 91 6cyl, 4wd, 5 speed.

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I stole my wife's 1.5 gallon pump up garden sprayer, filled it up with a 50/50 mix of Castrol Purple Stuff and water. Warmed it up, sprayed it on including the bottom side, then drove it a mile to the car wash to wash the whole thing.


You may need to:


Do it a couple of times.

Bring some stiff brushes to help get the crud off.

Use a putty knife if needed.

Simple Green "concentrate" is easier on the painted parts under there.


Mine always starts right up, but some people put plastic bags around the distributor and the ignition reisistor.

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After replacing a long time leaking valve cover gasket, I cleaned the engine block up with paint thinner using an old paintbrush, putty knife, and lots of paper towels. I set an old dropcloth under the engine bay and that soaked up most of the mess below. I had quite an accumulation of oil mixed with dirt, so the paint scraper did most of the removal work and the paint thinner just cleaned up what was left.

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