The more you drive your car, the more dust and grime the engine bay gathers. Engines can start looking dirty very quickly, more so if they are leaking fluids or have had a recent repair done and not cleaned properly afterwards. If you plan on selling your vehicle or just want to keep it spic and span in all respects, cleaning the engine bay is just as critical as cleaning the bodywork or interiors.
So how do you go about performing an engine bay cleanse?
Firstly, find a suitable place to clean the engine bay. It is illegal to dump contaminated water into the city drainage system, which includes oils, coolant, or de-greaser. Find a good place to carry out the cleaning.
Most self-serving car wash services have a provision to allow engine bay cleaning, or have a plastic sheet that you can lay out under the bay to collect all the runoff. The dirt is then collected in a container and disposed of properly by these facilities. Allow the engine to sit for a short period of time before you commence cleaning it. Cleaning a still-warm engine will cause the de-greaser and other cleaning agents to dry out quickly, leaving unsightly spots all over the bay.
Source the products you need to carry out the cleaning of the engine bay. These include a bucket, scrubbing brush, gloves and safety glasses, engine de-greasing agent, plastic bags, pressure wash pump or garden hose, and a spray bottle. Use the plastic bags to cover any components you want not to get exposed to water, such as the alternator, coil, and spark plugs. Remove these bags after you are done.
Now that you have all the products at hand, it’s time to begin. Rinse the engine down with the pressure pump or hose, starting at the back and working your way forward. Make sure you cover as much as you can. Run the pressure washer at a lower setting so as not have water forced into connectors and other components, leading to issues.
Mix the de-greaser and water in a bucket and apply with a scrubbing brush once you are satisfied with the rinse. Scrub extra hard on stubborn marks. Let the engine sit for a while with the de-greaser on for a few minutes to allow the agent to break down stubborn dirt and grime. While the bay is wet with de-greaser, fill a spray bottle with more of the mixture, avoiding the paintwork of the car entirely.
After a few minutes of letting the de-greaser work on the dirt, rinse the solution off with the pressure washer or hose. After the engine bay is dry, remove the plastic bags covering the sensitive components.
Why do you need to keep the engine bay clean? For starters, you will feel pleasant every time you pop the hood and eyeball the motor. Regularly cleaning the bay can also help you detect if there is any leakage or issue with the engine, or if something is out of place. If you happen to be selling your vehicle, a clean engine bay goes a long way to show prospective buyers that the car is well taken care of.