How to clean the car engine bay at home

17/01/2019

You can save thousand Nairas by cleaning your car engine at home, but doing it the wrong way may cost you a fortune later. Check inside to know how to do it properly!

Cleaning the engine compartment is an essential process that makes the engine work better and more durable. However, the proper way to clean the car engine cavity to ensure its cleanliness and that does not affect the function of the other parts is not known by all car owners.

After being used for a certain period of time, the car will show signs of deterioration and this effect will be more severe if the owner does not know how to care and maintain the vehicle carefully.

According to car experts, car owners should regularly check and clean the engine compartment. If possible, drive it to a maintenance service for their professional staff to do everything for you. Otherwise, if you want to take care of it yourself, you can clean it at home but with proper procedure.

Today, NaijaCarNews will guide you through the details on how to self-clean the car engine bay correctly.

a shiny car engine

A regularly washed engine not only looks good, it operates more smoothly

Why do I have to clean the engine compartment?

Role of the engine compartment

The engine compartment can be considered the 'heart', or to be more exact, the power of a car. Any vehicle equipped with a good and modern machine will definitely have a higher performance. Together with the control system, the engine gives its user the ultimate driving experience, which most customers desire when buying cars.

The benefits of cleaning the engine compartment

Because the engine plays an essential role in a vehicle, owners should take care of it frequently, at least by keeping it clean. Cleaning the engine compartment keeps the engine fresh, avoiding dirt or sludge to stick to it, and increase the cooling capacity, overall maintain the quality of operation and extend the engine life. Not only that, while wiping the components, car owner can detect problems with the engine, electrical system, air filters or small details such as belts, rubber gaskets, corroded screws, and even the appearance of the "unwelcome guests" such as mice, insects, snakes or centipede...

a hand cleaning the car engine

Take care of its heart and your car will take care of you

In addition, regular care of the engine also helps the car to be resold at a higher rate. Regardless of new or used vehicles, every customer wants to own a motor vehicle that is well-kept and operates smoothly.

When should you clean the engine?

We all know this task is essential, but when and how should you conduct it?

Cleaning of the engine may not have to be as regular as interior or tire cleaning, but it should be periodical. Ideally, car owners should clean the engine compartment 2 to 3 times per year.

Manual of cleaning the car engine at home

Tools to prepare to clean the engine compartment:

  • 2-3 soft towels
  • Small soft brush
  • Battery cover, a wind inlet
  • Special cleaning solution spray: On the market today, there are many kinds of cleaning solution for machine chamber, such as Sonax Engine and Super Degreaser, Cold Cleaner or Super Degreaser...
  • Anti-stick/polishing spray
  • Dryer (if any)
  • Gloves, masks (optional)
  • Do not use hoses or high-pressure washers to clean the engine compartment. It will damage the engine and its components.

In addition, some people don't know whether it's okay to use water to clean the engine compartment or not. The answer from experts is, yes, water can be used to clean the engine compartment. It's just that they're not very effective and if you still want to use the method, make sure water doesn't get into the liquid containers. You can put water into a sprayer or use a water towel to clean.

spraying water to clean the engine

Cleaning with water does no harm, but it is not really effective

The process of washing the car engine

Step 1: Spare enough time

If intending to do it yourself, you can't do it carelessly. The time it takes to finish cleaning the engine will be about 2 hours at least. If not careful, the owner will accidentally wet the parts that are not supposed to be in contact with water, thus damage the engine damage or break some sort of electrical wires...

Step 2: Cool off the engine

Before cleaning the cab, the car owner should open the hood to cool down the engine. The engine chamber is often closed, which absorbs a relatively hot amount of heat, not to mention the smell of gasoline. Opening the hood will help the engine cool down, thus easier for car owners to clean without worrying about the risk of burns.

Step 3: Close the black box, battery, intake manifold

Use the black box cover, battery, intake manifold ... to avoid contamination during cleaning with dirt or cleaning solution and water leak.

Step 4: Dry clean the parts in the machine compartment

Pick up all the trash pieces, small leaves in the hard-to-reach corners of the compartment. Use a soft brush to thoroughly clean dirt and wipe oil leaks on the car hood.

Step 5: Apply from outside to inside, from top to bottom

Use sprayers on the outside and under the hood. Then remove the stains on it by clean towel. Then use a spray of mild water spray on the small parts of the machine and dry clean it.

Step 6: Spray the engine compartment with a specialized cleaning solution:

After wiping with water, the car owner should spray a specialized cleaning solution on the engine compartment. Wait for a few minutes for it to soak in the solution and use a brush and a towel to clean all the small parts.

cleaning car with soap

Never use regular soap for your engine

At this stage, you need to use gloves and mask to avoid exposure to chemicals in the washing solution. This preventive method is somewhat cumbersome for some people but it's really good for your health. Also, you should be extremely careful when cleaning the electrical wires.

Step 7: Dry the machine compartment

Use a soft towel or a dryer to dry the components. Damping ones might result in engine malfunction and an unpleasant odor. Particularly, make sure that the spark plug is completely dry.

Step 8: Spray the anti-stick/polishing solution

Many car care and maintenance professionals suggest that after making the car engine clean and dry, the car owner should pay attention to the spray coating. This layer acts as a protective 'coat', which helps to prevent corrosion and dirt.

a car engine before and after cleaning

Your engine compartment would look like this after cleaning

>>> More practical tips to better maintain your car are waiting for you at NaijaCarNews, so stay tuned!