The longevity of your car is also dependent on how good you maintain not only its physical appearance but also its engine bay. No matter how good-looking your car is from the outside, what’s under the hood matters. A greasy and grimy engine bay may affect the overall functionality of your car.
When cleaning the engine bay, one of the most important things to remember is the proper use of compressed air and its filter. While compressed air is used to remove the dirt stuck under the chassis of the car, it is not the same when it comes to cleaning the engine. The components and wiring under the hood are sensitive to high pressure. Using a high-pressure compressed air can affect the engine bay by disconnecting the wires or penetrating the plastic cover of the electronics.
Preparing the Engine for Cleaning
Pop the hood open and clean the engine with a soft cloth or soft-bristle brush. Some debris can be removed by wiping away the dirt from the engine bay, hoses, and electrical wires. You should also disconnect the battery and cover all electrical wiring using a plastic cover. You need to make sure that when it’s time to wash the engine, water won’t get into the battery and the wiring. You can simply remove the whole battery and take the cables with you. If you are going to leave the battery in the hood, cover the whole unit and tuck away the cables.
Before you start to wash the engine, let the car run for five to 10 minutes. This is an important step in degreasing the engine. It is easier to remove the grease and grime from the engine when it is heated up.
Degrease the Engine
Buy a degreaser from a local auto supplies store. There are different brands of degreasers, but almost all work the same way. Spray the degreaser on the whole engine—from top to bottom. Let it sit for three to five minutes. When the engine is especially dirty and greasy, let it sit longer. After the degreaser starts to do its job of loosening the greasy particles on the engine’s components, you can use a bristled brush to remove debris that heavily clings to the engine.
When applying the degreaser, wear protective gloves and goggles. Make sure that you’re not accidentally applying degreaser to the painted components of the car because it can remove the shine from the paint. If the degreaser gets into the painted parts of the car, rinse it immediately.
Rinse the Engine
Using a water hose, rinse the engine off the degreaser. Do not use high-pressure water when cleaning the engine because it could disconnect wires and affect electrical components. Again, be careful not to wet the battery unit and cables.
Dry the Engine Bay
Do not let the water dry off on its own because it will create spots on your engine. You can turn on the car and let the heat from the car evaporate the water. This is the easiest and fastest way of drying your engine bay. After most of the water has been dried off, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess water.
Keeping your engine bay clean is important for the longevity of the car’s life. Do not look at your car’s exterior appearance only. Focus also on the most important component of your car—the engine.