I've begun to formulate my attack plan for detailing my new to me 2011 ES. To my eyes, the engine compartment is very dirty for 34k miles.
I took off the engine cover and other covers and cleaned them, but the dirt is on everything under the covers too. I don't have the nerve to do a full detail of the engine compartment like I've seen elsewhere on the forum and web. I would like to do that full detail, just to start off with a clean slate, but I'm not going to. I will try to do a spot clean with a damp rag and probably just live with that.
Regarding the covers, the front cover that goes over the radiator and hood latch has 3 foam strips on the backside. I don't know that they actually do anything, but the middle strip is squashed and shifted from its original position. I was contemplating if it was worth replacing it with a new strip of foam. In trying to find an example to compare mine with, I found one "new" cover for sale on ebay that did not have any foam attached, so again, I don't know if it even matters. My only thought is maybe the foam helps cut down on dirt/dust getting under the cover when properly attached. Opinions?
The silver engine cover fits a little loose. Is that normal? From watching a few videos on how to remove the cover, it appeared firmly mounted in the video; as in, it didn't jiggle or rattle if the person tapped it. I also noticed that the right back corner that lays over the hose on the right side of the engine has worn through the top coat of the foam from the edge of the plastic about an inch or more. I don't know if that's because the fit is loose which is causing it to rub on the hose. I don't know if that is something to worry about over the long term.
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Check if radiator wind deflectors are in place. I don't know if this could be a reason. I don't have them in my ES and I'm at 19k miles. It would be good to know if I need to invest in them since they should direct more flow to the radiator. My mechanic said it wasn't a big deal since the flow goes straight to radiator from the grille.
The engine covers are primarily cosmetic and for sound. They will not prevent dust/dirt from collecting on the engine and the other underhood components. The one above the rad is also there to help deflect air through the condensor and rad (it also has the slots/cutouts for the engine intake). The black plastic engine compartment covers are retained with push to lock retainers but they are not all exactly alike (as to dia./length), if I remember correctly. If the incorrect retainers have been installed then a cover may be loose, I expect. If the foam strips have come adrift use contact cement or double sided tape to reattach it. If you need to replace any of the foam then I'd just check out all the various foam insulation materials at Home Depot, for example.
The silver engine cover is retained with three engine installed pins, each with a rubber tip. This cover should not be loose or rattle......it takes some effort to remove and install it, but it does kinda "float" because of the rubber tips.
You'll notice that on the 2013/2014 ES 350s other than the over the rad cover and the silver engine cover all the others have been deleted. I guess the "clean" engine compartment look is no longer trendy and Lexus saved a few bucks. Plus they were just a maintenance headache.
I took a closer look at the silver engine cover and the rubber mounts have play as they are mounted in the plastic, so what I'm experiencing must be normal. Granted, one has a little more play than the other 2. When removing it, it was solidly mounted to the engine posts. I just thought it shouldn't move when mounted.
I figured out where the foam strip is supposed to line up on the front radiator cover. I suppose heat and compression shifted the left and right sides to match the shape of the front metal frame. For anyone curious, I attached a picture with lines showing where the foam originally sat (green line) and where mine has shifted (red lines). It isn't exact, but gives the rough idea. After looking at it in relation to the front frame, I don't think it makes a difference. I'm sure Lexus would deem it "normal".
And thanks to the magic of cell phone cameras, the engine compartment doesn't look as dirty as it does in person. Go figure!
Last edited by BC93; 07-16-14 at 09:53 PM..
Reason: Picture was incorrect. Had the red lines below green when they should have been above. Photo now correct.