How to Clean Your Car’s Engine Compartment

Knowing how to clean your car’s engine compartment thoroughly is another of the many ways Steve’s Detailing in Denver really shines. If you are a customer, you know how meticulous we are at cleaning your vehicle and paying special attention to all the little crooks and crevices that hide dirt. A car’s engine compartment is an important part of the detail, deserving particular attention that will help the engine run stronger for longer. Steve’s Detailing is more than happy to provide this exceptional service for your car every time.

When an engine compartment is clean, it not only looks good under the hood, but it helps cool more efficiently, provides less wear on systems such as pulleys and bearings, prevents rust, and offers early belt wear detection. You can also detect leaks quicker, filters stand a chance at staying cleaner for longer, and let’s not forget resale value. The minute a potential customer pops the hood to get a look, your chances of a better sale will increase with a clean engine compartment, and that is a fact!

One interesting note, the cars of today are boasting smaller and smaller engine compartments under the hood, and that means a lot more places for dirt and grime to hide, which in turn means a greater need to maintain this area and keep it spotless. So, let’s get to how to clean your car’s engine compartment.

Remember the importance of COVERING the following first to protect from water issues:

  • All sensors
  • Distributor
  • Alternator
  • Spark plugs
  • Battery
  • Electrical connections
  • Air intake

Here is the simple procedure and some tips:

  • CLEAN IN THE MORNING: It is always best to clean your engine compartment after it has sat all night and has not been driven. Of course, you would NEVER attempt to clean a HOT engine for fear of ruining components when you spray with water, not to mention potential burns to your skin. If you wish to loosen debris slightly, you can start the engine and warm it up for a few minutes to help get some of the dirt loosened up.
  • COVER ALTERNATOR, FILTERS, and AIR INTAKE: Getting water or degreaser in these areas will not be a pretty sight. Cover your air filter with a bag, but be sure to take the bag off when starting your engine up. Also, if you have any custom electric components, take the time to cover or hand clean to be safe.
  • FIRST STEP DEGREASER: Start with the perimeter of the engine bay. Make sure you get the fluid containers and hoses de-greased because they are usually extra dirty. Spray the back of the engine bay and be sure to get as far down as possible. To get the degreaser off, you just need to rinse it with a slow stream of water. Anything that doesn’t come clean can just be wiped down by hand later.
  • HAND WASH: Now the trickier part. Grab yourself a wash mitt specially designed for cleaning engines. You can also use a flexible detailing brush to get into the more difficult areas. It is also a good idea to pick up a lot of microfiber cloths and never use anything with steel bristles or rough surfaces to avoid damaging paint or plastic components. A spray bottle with soapy water in it can make your job easier too.
  • DRY: If you have a good blower around to get the water out of those hard to reach areas, all the better, if not, it will be a long haul getting everything dried by hand. A compressor will also do the job if you have one. This step is imperative before you begin with the wax and polish stage.
  • START YOUR ENGINE: Allow the engine to raise to normal operating temperature for complete and thorough drying of all engine components; You can also put the AC on so the compressor engages. Approximately 5 minutes will do the trick.
  • SHINE: Now the rewarding part…use a wax or sealant for the paint, and an insulator wax made especially for hot areas under the hood. Vinyl and rubber protectants work great for the plastics and hoses under the hood.
  • FINALIZE: Check all fluid levels, check the battery terminals to ensure that they are clean. If they are not, disconnect the cables. Clean both the cable terminals and battery posts with a wire brush. Reconnect the terminals and retighten.

Here are some of the top ten engine compartment cleaners for 2017, in no particular order:

  1. GUNK FOAMY ENGINE BRIGHT DEGREASER – removes dirt, grime, and grease safely
  2. GRIOTS GARAGE ENGINE CLEANER – environmentally friendly degreaser
  3. SIMPLE GREEN FOAMING CRYSTAL INDUSTRIAL DEGREASER – environmentally friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable degreaser
  4. AUTO-CHEM HD CLEAN – water based degreaser, biodegradable
  5. OIL EATER CLEANER DEGREASER – best used on a cool engine, spray off
  6. PURPLE POWER INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH DEGREASER – biodegradable, non-flammable, non-abrasive, phosphate free
  7. MAX PROFESSIONAL ENGINE CLEANER – removes grease and grime but extremely flammable
  8. PENRAY ENGINE CLEANER – removes oil, grease, and tar, extremely flammable
  9. HD TOTAL CLEANER AND DEGREASER – provides a full range of cleaning activity
  10. CHEMICAL GUYS GRIME REAPER – extremely concentrated degreaser

The cost of a professional engine compartment clean is well worth the money it takes, and most places offer some great incentives and packages to help you maintain your vehicles monthly. Shop around and be sure to ask for discounts that will suit your needs AND your budget! Of course, you can always do it yourself, but by the time you buy all the products needed, not to mention the professional equipment necessary, and a large area for washing, you may realize that the cost outweighs the effort required to put into this task. Go with the professionals, likes Steve’s Detailing!

A clean engine compartment is a beautiful thing, and you can make your life much easier once you get it spotless, by maintaining it with a quick rub down every once in a while. Now that you know the details of how to clean your car’s engine compartment, feel free to visit Steve’s Detailing in the Denver Tech Center area. We can save you a lot of time and energy by providing a spotless car detail inside and out, including an engine compartment clean that will make both you and your car happy.

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