A lot of people are afraid to open the hood to clean the engine bay when they go to wash their car. Electrical connections, wires, air filters, sensors, and other electrical components can be hard to clean around without getting wet. Luckily, most of the things under your hood are actually able to get a little wet as long as they are not soaked. Using this guide, you will be able to clean under your hood without having to worry about your car not starting after, or having to replace anything.
1. Blowing Out Large Debris and Build Up
The first step in cleaning an engine bay is to remove any large objects such as sticks, leaves, and debris. You can use your hands to pull out leaves and twigs from around the fenders and surrounding areas. For the stuff you cant reach with your hands, you can use a blower or an air compressor to blow out any remaining large debris. Be sure to blow out the grille, fenders, areas around the hood, and anywhere else where debris may pocket up.
2. Not too Cold, Not too Hot
It is a good idea to wait for an engine to cool down a little before cleaning, to make sure that you don’t get burned when cleaning around the engine compartment. However, it is important that your engine is somewhat warm still so that the grease and dirt is easier to get off. The heat loosens up the oil and grime that is built up around the engine.
3. Covering up the Important Stuff
You can use plastic bags to cover up electrical components and other things that you don’t want to get too wet. Although most of the components under the hood are pretty resistant to water, it is still a good idea to be safe and cover up areas that are important to the cars functionality. Some things you may want to cover with bags are wiring components, open sensors, spark plug holes, and the alternator. You can also cover up the distributor, fuse box, and any other major electrical component that could get wet. After you have covered up all of the sensors and electrical components, you should place a drip pan or absorbent mat underneath the vehicle. During an engine bay detail, a lot of road grime, oil, and chemical comes off of your engine. If you don’t use a drip pan, these contaminates end up in the waterways.
4. Laying it Down on the Grime
The first step in cleaning the engine bay is to spray it down with a degreaser. The degreaser will help break up the oils and contaminates that are clinging on to your engines bays surfaces. Depending on how greasy your engine bay is, you may want to let the degreaser soak for as much as twenty minutes or more. This will make the cleaning process much easier, and will yield better results.
5. Scrubbing and Rinsing
Once the engine bay has been coated in degreaser, you can begin by scrubbing the surfaces around the engine bay with brushes and rags. The main thing to focus on during this step is to touch all of the visible surfaces. The rinsing will remove all of the left behind grime. Once you have scrubbed all of the surfaces, you can begin to rinse down the engine bay. You may have to repeat this step a couple of times to ensure all of the grime and dirt is removed.
6. Remove Bags and Dry
After you are satisfied, you can remove all of the bags you used to cover up the electrical components and dry off the engine bay. To dry off the bay, you can use whatever you did to remove the debris initially. A leaf blower works best, but you can use an air compressor as well.
Success, a Clean Engine Bay
As long as you don’t try to hit electrical components, and cover up things that are in plain sight, you will be able to clean your engine bay without any issues. Who doesn’t love a clean engine bay? If you have any questions about cleaning your engine bay or are interested in a engine bay detail, you can call us and we would be happy to help you.