You know how important it is to keep your car’s exterior and interior clean. Proper cleaning and detailing can help extend the life of your paint, upholstery, and dashboard. However, have you ever given much thought to cleaning your engine? If you’re like most vehicle owners the answer is probably no. It’s understandable why you might assume that your engine doesn’t require cleaning. After all, it’s not always visible and it’s protected by your hood. The truth is that it’s a good idea to periodically clean your engine. This can help you avoid some pricy mechanical issues down the road.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to clean your engine yourself. First, if you’ve recently been driving your car, you will want to open your hood and make sure that you give your engine plenty of time to cool down. You might be surprised how long some of your engine components can stay hot after you’ve turned off your car. You don’t want to risk burning yourself during your engine cleaning.
The first thing you want to clean is any large debris off the top of your engine. Even though your hood is almost always closed, it’s still possible for leaves and other items to make their way into your engine. You can great these items off your engine by hand or use a handheld blower to help make the job go faster.
After you’ve removed all the large debris, it’s time for the real cleaning to begin. Before you even think about getting your engine wet, there will be some prep work involved. You will want to make sure that you cover certain components of your engine such as any sensors, exposed wires, or spark plug openings. Plastic bags secured with twine or rubber bands can work well for this task. Once you’re sure that everything that should not get wet is adequately covered, you can go ahead and actually rinse down the rest of your engine.
If your engine is really dirty, you may need to purchase a professional degreaser to get the job done. Engine degreaser is available at any major automotive supply shop. Your best bet is to look for a citrus-based degreaser, as these products are less harsh and won’t cause damage to any delegate components in your engine. Once you’ve applied the degreaser, let it sit for about five minutes before hosing down your engine again. Once you’re done, make sure that you wipe your engine down with a lint-free towel. It’s best not to let your engine air dry as much as possible.
Not every car owner is going to want to take the time to clean their engine down themselves, and that’s perfectly okay. If you prefer, you can always seek out a professional mechanic to take care of your engine cleaning for you. The important thing is that your engine is cleaned periodically, especially if you have an older car. Doing this and other basic maintenance is the best way to make sure that your car continues to run with no problems for many miles to come.