Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Vehicle: 2014 Honda CR-V EX-L, 2002 SLK32 AMG
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If you don't know what parts to avoid washing then my suggestion is to only wipe it down with a mild cleaner and a rag by spraying your rag first then wiping the tops of plastic covers, to be safe.
If you know your engine very well, like where all the possible water intrusion points may be, and take the proper precautions, then it should be okay.
My experience was pretty horrific but now that I understand what happened, it really was just dumb on my part.
I basically took a cover off, then sprayed a degreaser onto a part that looked really dirty, but it was supposed to be greased up for a reason. I ended up washing away the grease that was supposed to be there which lubricates the supercharger bearing, which was covered up by a cover to prevent water intrusion, which I removed.
If you insist on doing so, try using just water first and wiping dry afterwards. The problem spots are always electrical areas such as your battery and alternator.
That video shows you basically how to do it, but notice they are using it on a brand new car which they know very well is water tight.
Some squeaking of the belt may happen after you wash, which I think is pretty normal as when belts get wet they tend to make noise.