You’ve probably heard other car owners say they have had their engine washed or cleaned. Just what does engine cleaning mean, anyway? And do you need to have it done, too? And if you do, do you need an engine cleaner service?
Read on to learn the answer to these questions and more.
What Is Engine Cleaning?
Engine cleaning, strictly speaking, refers to engine bay cleaning or engine bay washing. You’ve probably also heard it called engine detailing.
It is a process you can typically get at an auto dealership, at a car mechanic shop, or a car wash. In this process, the engine bay or engine compartment – that is to say, the niche or space that holds the engine, usually located under the hood – is cleaned or detailed.
What is involved in engine cleaning? It is as you would imagine. The engine cleaner removes the accumulated dirt, dust, debris, and grease from the engine compartment.
Is Engine Cleaning Necessary?
Is it necessary to keep your car clean? If you answer yes to that, then yes, engine Aged care Cleaning is necessary.
You get your car washed to remove the dust, mud, and debris that could reduce visibility and scratch the paint on your vehicle. You get the interior vacuumed, steamed, detailed, and disinfected to get rid of dirt, odors, molds, bacteria and prevent pest infestation.
Of course, you also get your car washed and the interior detailed because you want your car to look good. You get the stubborn water spots removed because they mar the car’s appearance. You apply tire black, wax the car body, and polish the interior because doing so gives your vehicle a gleaming finish.
Indeed, car washing, detailing, and all the other procedures you do to keep your car clean are necessary for both cosmetic and functional reasons. Likewise, you clean your car engine for both cosmetic and practical reasons.
Why Is Car Engine Washing Necessary?
The following are some of the reasons you need to get your engine washed.
1. Aesthetics and a Better Resale Price
A clean engine bay looks good. The chief reason car owners get their engine compartments clean is personal gratification.
If you are selling your car, moreover, a clean engine bay is a necessity. A clean engine bay is more attractive to potential buyers than a gunk-filled alternative.
However, keeping the car looking good for you or a potential buyer is not the only reason to clean the engine.
2. Preventive Maintenance
Avoiding grease and debris build-up in the engine compartment can help keep your engine operating at peak performance. Gunk build-up in the engine bay means your engine runs a little bit warmer (albeit perhaps to a negligible degree) than it would have if your engine compartment were clean.
Engine cleaning can also help you detect issues early before they cause problems. For instance, if the engine bay is devoid of grease and debris, it will be easier to see or pinpoint oil leaks, if any.
Avoiding oil and grease build-up in the engine compartment can also help maintain hoses and engine parts. Gunk build-up can accelerate wear, so preventing such build-up can help prevent wear problems.
But how often should you get your engine cleaned?
Engine Cleaning: How Often?
Engine cleaning is not something you do as regularly as a car wash or car detailing. An engine cleaning once every year or two years should suffice.
If you recently went off-roading and subjected your car to muddy, dusty driving conditions, however, you might want to look under the hood to check if your engine compartment needs cleaning.
Can You Do It Yourself?
If you do not know anything about engines, don’t attempt to do the cleaning yourself. If you do not know which parts of the engine cannot get wet, which parts could get water inside and lead to water damage, do not even attempt it.
Yes, you want a sparkly clean engine, but more than that, you want a car engine that works. So, if you don’t know the first thing about car engines, it’s better not to attempt cleaning your engine yourself.
Even if you follow the most detailed engine cleaning guide, many things could go wrong if you don’t know what you are doing. The best advice is to get an expert engine cleaning service to do it for you.
Engine Cleaning: How-to, Tips and No-Nos
Do not start cleaning your engine while it is hot. Always start with a cool engine. A stray spray of water can cause hot metals to contract and crack.
You can use a degreaser to get the oil and grease off. Do not use corrosive chemicals that could degrade metals, plastics, and rubber – all of which make up your engine parts.
Use a scrub brush for brushing and breaking down the grease and grime. You may need ones in various sizes and reach to get to hard-to-reach places. But do not use metal-bristle brushes. And when brushing, make sure to do it carefully. Do not pull helter-skelter on any of the engine parts.
Disconnect the battery terminals and take the car battery out before cleaning your engine bay. Moreover, use plastic and tape to cover the parts that must not get wet or get any water in them, such as the air intake system, the alternator, and the distributor.
Thus, engine cleaning is best left to professional mechanics or engine cleaners. They would know which parts cannot get wet and how to protect such components.
Engine Cleaning Steps
After ensuring that the engine is cool, disconnecting and taking out the battery, removing all the small parts that need to be cleaned by hand, and covering all sensitive parts with plastic and tape, an engine cleaner usually follows these steps:
- Spray degreaser all over the engine bay.
- Use a non-metallic brush (or brushes) to carefully and mindfully scrub the grease and grime away.
- Rinse the broken-down grease and grime away with water. You can use an airless paint sprayer, which will give you enough pressure to wash your engine bay without using a lot of water. Be careful about orienting the spray to avoid sensitive electronics.
- Dry the engine bay using compressed air. Pay special attention to spark plugs, where water could have pooled.
- Wipe down using a clean, non-abrasive towel. Make sure that the engine and the engine compartment are completely dry.
Engine Cleaning Is Good But
Engine cleaning is a good way of keeping your car looking good and maintaining your engine to save on repairs down the road. You do not need to do it often. Just once a year or every two years should be fine.
It should be done right, however, or you risk water-damaging your engine and ruining your car. Therefore, to ensure it is done right, leave engine cleaning work to the pros.