In both new and old vehicles, the engine is the primary source of power that makes a car move. This primary component must remain in proper care and needs to have a clean inside and outside. But there is an appropriate way to clean an engine to gain the best results and an operational car.
What Makes an Engine Dirty?
Over time as an engine pumps oil throughout the car, the oil will become dirty and thick if it hasn’t moved through the engine. The oil may collect particulates like ash or metal flakes from the cylinders of the engine, which will cause the fluid’s viscosity to decrease, making it stick to the walls of the cylinder and gunk up the engine as it tries to flow through.
Later on, the oil will start to cake up and make pumping oil difficult for the engine, which may cause it to overheat and underperform from the extra effort needed to keep the vehicle running. This oil contamination is common in older vehicles that people choose as project cars.
Make Sure the Engine Is Completely Cool
An essential tip for cleaning a car’s engine is to let the engine cool until you don’t feel any heat coming from it. A warm engine will make cleaning the oil difficult, especially when using a liquid cleaner, since the oil will still have some viscosity from the heat.
Opening the hood to let it air out naturally is an excellent way to start. Hover over the engine with your hand; touch it directly if you don’t feel any heat. When you don’t feel any heat, you may proceed to start cleaning.
Cover All Electrical Parts
When cleaning your engine, you’ll most likely use a liquid cleaner like an all-purpose cleaner or degreaser, so covering electrical parts is essential. Cover parts such as the wiring or the alternator tightly with plastic. You will have to disconnect and remove the battery for the safest possible cleaning.
Wet, Scrub, Rinse, Then Dry
As an organizational tip for cleaning a car’s engine, you’ll want to follow the steps of wetting, scrubbing, rinsing, and finally drying. Wetting the affected area will soften any solid oil and dilute any wet oil. Cleaning with a non-metallic brush will break up any caked-on grime and sticky particulates.
Rinsing with a power washer will wash away everything wetted and scrubbed, and quickly drying after will lessen the chance of the water causing rust. Using a cleaner that leaves a polished finish will leave the engine looking great and leave a lasting clean effect.
The act of cleaning an engine takes careful consideration. But these tips will be a great guide to a better engine and a better drive.