How to Clean Engine Bay – Simple & Easy Steps

Last updated on August 7th, 2023 at 12:29 pm

One of the dreams anyone could have is owning a car. But the real game is learning how to clean engine bay by yourself. Yes, you might say it would be better to take the car to a service center to get a full car service.

And some might say, it’s dangerous to clean engine bay on your own.  But, is it really risky to clean engine bay at home, on your own?

Let’s find out.

If you are car owner, you might know the feeling of having a fully washed and cleaned up car.  You might be proud when your car is all shiny and glittery.  But what about the condition of the car under the hood? Well, people can’t see how dusty it is, but you know that it’s a mess. Though you agree or not, having a clean engine bay will save your money and your time more than you could ever imagine.

Before starting to learn how to clean engine bay, what’s crucial is giving priority for your safety. So, always remember to wear protectors for your mouth and your eyes. It’s better to use rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemicals you use to clean the engine bay. And when you deal with rinsing and wiping the engine bay, please be cautious. An accident could occur at any time due to your recklessness. So, do what you are doing with complete concentration.

Check the condition of your vehicle before starting to clean the engine bay. If your car is an old model one, you need to run a manual diagnosis whether there is any potential damage in the engine bay. Let’s assume that a critter got inside and chewed some wires or probably you fixed something in the engine bay and forgot to plug a specific wire. It could happen, right? So, what I’m saying is check your engine thoroughly before starting to clean the engine bay.  

Before starting the clean

  1. Select a warm day – To get successful results after cleaning the engine, you need to dry the engine completely. If not, there might be issues which will lead to serious outcomes in your vehicle. So, to do your cleaning, select a warm day where the humidity is low. A sunny day will help you to make your engine dry quickly.
  2. Let the engine cool – Let’s assume that you had to drive to the shop or somewhere else in the morning and you are planning to clean the engine bay after the ride. Keep in your mind never to touch the engine while it’s hot. That’s common sense. So, no matter how rush you are, let the engine be till it’s perfectly cool.
  3. Secure the electrical system – First, disconnect the battery terminals and if it’s possible, remove the battery. But remember, this will change the settings in your car. Another thing is, always cover the electrical parts like distributor cap, fuse box, coil packs and spark plugs, using plastic or electrical tape to stop being in contact with water. Don’t forget to seal the electrical components in the engine bay, because by any chance, if water gets in, you will be in real trouble.
  4. Tighten the caps – you need to check whether all the lids under to hood are tightly closed. Double-check the caps before starting the cleaning because if water gets inside from the openings, you have to take your vehicle to an expert to fix it.

First, read the guidelines carefully before starting to clean the engine bay. Read twice or thrice until you memorize the instructions on how to clean engine bay. Cleaning your engine is easy, but as I mentioned before, your full attention is a must to have a smooth process. Follow these simple steps before learning how to clean engine bay to have a good, result-oriented clean engine bay.

The 5 steps on how to clean engine bay

Now, let’s get into the business. Knowing how to clean engine bay, is not difficult. All you have to do is to follow these simple steps, and you can have the best outcome at the end.

1. First, before making the engine bay wet, try to remove all the dust and grime using a synthetic brush. You can vacuum up the visible parts of the engine bay. But, to clean the cavities and cracks, use a fiber brush. After the dusting, use the vacuum to collect the loosened debris. 

2. Second, spray to the engine bay with a small amount of water. You are not going to wash the engine bay completely. You need water to moisten up the engine bay so you can use the de-greaser successfully. Use warm water for this process. It would be better if you use a spray bottle because it minimizes the amount of water getting in contact with the engine bay. Don’t spray water to areas where it’s hard to dry up. Spray only to areas where you can wipe manually.

3. The third step is de-greasing. For this step also, you can use a spray bottle. Or you can use a kitchen cleaner or specifically, an engine de-greaser. You need to de-grease every exposed area in the engine. Pay more attention to the places where there is more grime. You need to give at least 10 minutes for the greaser to show the result.

Then to remove the remaining stains and dust from the engine bay, you need to rinse. For this, you can use a power washer or a standard horse, or you can use a sprayer.

If you are using a horse, don’t directly hold the horse to the engine bay without keeping enough distance. And don’t use the horse with full pressure also. You simply need enough water to remove grime and dirt off your engine bay. Cleaning the engine bay is not like washing the outside of the car. You need to be careful about where you use water. And, you need to make the engine bay completely dry before using the vehicle again.

4. Next step is the most important one; drying. For this process, you can use a leaf blower. And don’t forget to keep the hood up so the warm weather will also quicken the process. And, you can wipe the engine bay from a piece of cloth to remove the remaining water. From this, you remove water and also this will help to remove the grime which was left behind.

5. After the engine bay is completely dried up, you can replace the disconnected wires. Also, keep in mind to remove the wrapped plastic covers from the electronic components. Use a rag or a brush to clean these wrapped parts also. It will take some time to dry up all the wetness from the engine bay. So, be patient. After making sure that the engine bay is no longer wet, you can reinstall the battery.

Finally, run the car. By this, you are increasing the temperature of the engine. So, the remaining moisture will be disappeared, and that’s it. You have successfully cleaned the engine bay of your vehicle.

Free tips

  • The waste you get after washing and rinsing the engine bay should be carefully disposed. You can’t just throw away the water because it might be contaminated with chemicals. So, it’s your responsibility dispose the water you used to clean the engine bay.
  • Don’t spray the water directly at electrical components. It’s general knowledge not to make electrical components contact with water.
  • When you spray water into the engine bay, don’t spray into areas where it’s hard to dry up. There are places in the engine bay where you can’t reach to wipe up. So, it’s better to rinse the parts of the engine bay where you can approach.

I know the given steps are easy, but it takes a bit of time to finish the whole process. So, what you should do is to clean the engine regularly. In that way, you don’t have to do a full- wash for your engine. For example, you can do a de greasing every year or two.

Being a human, we take care of ourselves, our body and our health. Like we want ourselves to be healthy, we need to keep the automobile we bought healthy too. Having a radiant appearance doesn’t mean your car is healthily functioning. Let’s say that you plan to sell your vehicle. What would the buyer check first? The cleanliness inside the vehicle? No, he/she pays attention to the condition of the engine first. So to have a better performing engine, you need to look after it.  

As you prioritize making the appearance of your vehicle clean, try to focus on maintaining the condition of the engine also. You don’t need to take your vehicle to a service center to get the job done. Use the given steps to clean the engine bay on your own. We are living in an era where we can do anything we want. So, learning how to clean engine bay will surely make your life quite easy.

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