I need not emphasize that all car parts are important, but it is your engine that functions like the “brain” and the big “block of muscle” that makes your car move and function—making it the most vital of all. It’s one of the most expensive. Even if it remains unseen most of the time, you still have to clean it for overall maintenance, better driving, and superior performance. In this article, we’ll provide you with five steps on how you can properly clean your car’s engine.
1) Go to a good cleaning area where all the grease will not be washed down the gutter or damage the ground material.
This can be your very own garage or backyard. You have to carefully decide where to do the cleaning because Engine Cleanup is significantly different from Car Washing. It can be messier and even environmentally hazardous. One suggestion is that wherever you decide to clean your engine, line the floor with old newspaper so that oil and soapy residues dripping directly onto the floor (that might cause stains) can be avoided. This also minimizes your efforts in cleanup time.
If you opt to make a homemade cleaner, you may use mild soaps, shampoos, and dish detergents. Once you’ve gathered the said materials, mix them with water. Place the solution into a sprayer. You can also purchase any all-purpose cleaner or degreaser from automobile shops. Just avoid using high-pressure washers. Bring out a rag for wiping off the greasy elements, a brush for wiping off dust and dirt, and a water hose for washing and rinsing. The brush can be a stiff bristle paint brush, a plastic bristle cleaning brush or an old toothbrush for areas hard to reach.
3) Set up your engine before cleaning.
Warm it up a bit by turning the engine on for a short period of time. Open the hood and cover any exposed sensors, alternators, wires and electrical components with a plastic bag to prevent them from getting wet. Then, using the same plastic material, cover the carburetor, filter, and air intake and as well. Don’t forget to remove the car battery cables, unless of course you want to end your battery’s life.
4) Clean to tip-top shape.
When every sensitive part has been covered, use the brush to remove loose dirt and debris from the engine’s surface. Then spray the entire area with the prepared cleaning solution (soapy water). Use the rag and work with the dirtiest areas like the battery tray, aluminum parts, cable ends and the engine block. Depending on the amount of grease, soak the part longer and use the brush to break up the grime. Get the hose and thoroughly wash with water well. Make sure to rinse any residue of the products you used to clean the metal parts. Once done, remove the plastic and materials to cover the electrical and sensitive components.
5) Let the engine dry.
Before starting the engine, make sure that it’s completely dry to avoid misfiring or running it rough caused by high energy ignitions running through wet plug wires. Usually the waiting time is overnight if the weather is humid, but one hour of waiting would be more than enough if the weather is hot.