Do Not Wash Greasy Car Parts In Your Dishwasher

Look, I’ve had some great ideas in my life, and I’ve had some terrible ones. Trying to wash my greasy timing-chain cover in my dishwasher falls squarely into the latter category, as I’ve been eating off dishes laced with oily residue for nine months now.

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Not all of my ideas can be as brilliant as my motor-oil clothes-dyeing solution, so naturally, I’ve come up with some real duds. Among them: washing greasy car parts in my dishwasher.

About nine months ago, I opened up my Jeep’s 4.0-liter inline-six to give it a quick refresh (this was just a few months before I blew it up). As the engine had 250,000 miles on it, there was quite a bit of gunk and grime, so I figured I’d at least try to clean the timing-chain cover.

My logic for deciding how to clean the cover was about as advanced as a caveman’s. It went:

1. Do I need to clean this timing chain cover? Yes.

2. Does my dishwasher clean things? Yes.

3. Hence, I can put the timing cover into the dishwasher.

That was it; that as my entire train-of-thought. There was no “Hey, I wonder if this could clog up the dishwasher,” or “Maybe this will leave residual oily-gunk all over the tools that I use to eat.”

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I wish I had thought a little deeper than those three simple lines of flawed logic, because take a look at what I’ve been eating off of for past nine months.

I think I’m slowly turning into an AMC inline-six.

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I’ve even tried taking the dishwasher apart and cleaning it, but my dishes are still layered with gunk. Not to mention, the timing-chain cover wasn’t any cleaner after the wash.

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So top tip to the millions of folks out there who were going to put a disgusting, greasy car part in their dishwasher alongside their eating utensils:

Just don’t.

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About the author

David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio