Introduction: How to Wash an Engine Bay

Video tutorial on how to wash dirt, grease, or grim away from your engine bay. Make sure your engine is cool when doing this procedure. This is the same procedure used by vehicle dealership and many detailers. Many people do not realize but your engine is always exposed to moisture or water, especially in the rain or snow. This can be applied to both gasoline and diesel engines.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

  • soap (used in the video is Spray Nine)
  • plastic bags
  • water
  • pressure washer or hose
  • brush
  • air compressor
  • clean cloth

Step 1: Protection

Picture of Protection

First ensure that your engine is cool, this procedure should not be done with the engine running or warm. Have your vehicle parked in a shaded area which will reduce the chance of the soap drying. Using a plastic bag, cover up any high risk components such as the alternator, fuse panel, coil pack, and distributor.

Step 2: Degreaser

Picture of Degreaser

Using a degreasing soap, spray down the engine and allow the soap to soak for about five minutes, depending on how dirty the engine is.

Step 3: Washing

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Using a pressure washer or hose, set it to the widest fan spray, be careful around the areas you have bagged off and any areas where your engine fluids are added. Continue to rinse the engine off, washing away any dirt and debris and thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Once finished, inspect for any dirt which may be remaining and if there is dirt remaining you can spray the engine again with the soap and use a brush if needed to agitate the built up dirt. Again rinse thoroughly.

Step 4: Removing Water Residue

Picture of Removing Water Residue

Use compressed air to blow away any water residue which will help dry the engine and the assistance of a clean cloth. The will reduce the chance of water spots and remove any poling water which may cause problems.

Step 5: Remove Protection

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Now remove the plastic bags. Underneath you may have dirt exposed, therefore use a damp toothbrush and cloth to remove the left over dirt so you'll be left with a clean surface.

Step 6: All Done

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Leave the hood open, park the vehicle in the sun and allow it to dry and once done, your vehicle is ready to use. As a form of rust protection, you can apply a spray on rust proofing oil spray in areas such as within the hood cavity, inner fenders, radiator support, shock towers, etc.

Comments

Katsblues6 (author)2017-05-30

This may sound strange but the best degreaser i have ever found is cheap, really cheap shaving cream, used with an old paint brush. I have a 1986 Ford F250 diesel that the previous owner never cleaned under the hood. Took about a 1/2 hour but now there's no grease. Just scrub then rinse. I also used it on my interior rugs and seats (cloth), they were black with grease. Now they are back to baby blue. Works on your heavy traffic areas on your inside rugs. Rub it in, use a brush if needed, let dry and vacuum (interior)

3366carlos (author)2016-11-15

good job, I am not sure about mixing the battery and water,

4DIYers (author)3366carlos2016-11-19

Thank you. No issues with the battery. If anything, it will neutralize and clean any acid which maybe forming on the outside.

Mjtrinihobby (author)4DIYers2016-11-21

so true!

will0282 (author)3366carlos2016-11-16

I've use this method before and works fine...no issue with the battery.

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