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.


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.”


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.


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.


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