How to Clean Your Car’s Engine - dummies

By Gill Chilton

Cleaning the engine is beneficial for cars — yes, even those that will never see a classic car show. Maintaining this part of your car can prevent corrosion and wear, adding to your vehicles longevity.

Serious enthusiasts may want the pleasure of knowing their car looks as good as it can. Everyone else may want to go to the trouble of cleaning the engine only before selling a car. As you’d expect, it’s a messy job, because you pressure-spray a good deal of oil off your car.

Always wait until your engine is quite cold, then open up the bonnet (hood) and look for any components that need to be protected from water. Car alarms and distributor caps are unlikely to have watertight seals, so wrap them in cling film. If your car is older than 1980 or you see recessed areas that are liable to trap water, you may want to seek advice before carrying on.

Otherwise, the aim is to get the specialist engine cleaner spray (on sale at car parts shops) everywhere that could do with degreasing. Be light but thorough, using a soft brush to work in the detergent. Hose thoroughly using your pressure sprayer, working up from the outside edge, then keep the bonnet up until everything is dry.