On the majority of modern cars it is completely safe to spray the emgine bay with water. Today's vehicles have covered air boxes and weather proof wiring connectors throughout the engine bay. Avoid spraying things like the alternator, intake or sensors with high pressure water.
If there is water in your engine, it leads to compression issues because there is no place for the water to go. Piston rods will begin to bend and eventually break. If water enters your engine it can end up rusting parts out like your differential and then you're not going anywhere.
Coolant may leak from a car for a number of reasons. The most common are radiator corrosion a damaged coolant hose or a water pump with a leaky gasket. In the vast majority of cases, water leaking from under a vehicle is usually condensation from the air conditioning system or from the exhaust.
Disappearing engine coolant could be the result of a slightly cracked hose, a tiny hole in your radiator, or a water pump issue. It's also possible for a coolant leak to develop inside your vehicle or to simply vaporize into mist via your defroster.
You want to spray enough water to carry the dirt and grime off the engine. That's it. You don't need a super high powered pressure washer to do you engine cleaning. A simple garden hose or a small electrical pressure washer will suffice.
Rinse the entire compartment working from back to front, washing away all degreaser. Try not to directly spray electrical components and try to prevent spraying much water into areas that won't dry easily. If you have compressed air available to you you can blast air in the nooks and crannies to remove excess water.
Water could get into the alternator or the engine sensors causing damage. It can also push dirt and guck onto belts causing squeaks. If you are really unfortunate water could get into your engine through the induction system from around the air cleaner
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