A car engine washing guide

If you are a real car enthusiast being in love with your vehicle or you are just crazy about neatness trying to keep it everywhere it is possible, you should definitely think about cleaning the engine of your car as well. You might think there is no need to it since the engine compartment is closed during the ride which means theoretically no dirt can get into the engine bay. Unfortunately, this is only in theory and if you open the hood, especially if you haven’t done it for quite a long time, you might be surprised in a rather negative way.

Of course, the perspective of washing the engine bay looks scary even to the fans of daunting car works. Actually, there is no need to be frightened by such a perspective. You can easily wash the engine if you use the following recommendations.

Preparations for the washing procedure

There are a couple of things you have to do before coming down to washing your car.

Choose an appropriate day for washing

First of all, you should schedule an auspicious day for the procedure. This is not only the day when you have some free time which you are ready to dedicate to the heart of your beloved car, but it also should have particular weather. This is a warm day and preferable windy with low humidity. Needless to say, this should be done during the warm season of the year.

Such weather will let your car’s engine to be dried quickly.

Cool the engine

It is extremely important to cool the engine of your car before you come down to washing the compartment. Of course, this is applied if you have just used your car.

First of all, the hot elements can leave severe burns on your hands. Secondly, treating a heated engine with cold water can easily damage it causing rapid contraction.

Remove some elements from the engine bay

A part of the components of the engine of your car can be removed for separate washing or just in order to protect them against getting wet which might be damaging for them.

Thus, if there are any plastic covers in the compartment, you should remove them and wash separately. The negative terminal of the car’s battery should be removed in order to avoid any damages of its electrical components while using water for washing. Some drivers decide to remove an entire battery and you can do it as well, however, it is not required.

Cover the sensitive elements

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is impossible to remove all possible electrical components from the engine bay before washing it. For that reason, you should protect them with plastic bags. Cover such sensitive components as the engine control unit, ignition wires as well as the battery itself. An exposed air intake of the engine should also be covered.

Some drivers are pretty confident of being highly precise and if you are sure you will be able to use water under the hood without damaging the components, this step might be skipped. Still, if you protect the sensitive parts of your car, you will be able to perform more thorough washing.

The washing process

Actually, the process of washing the engine itself is not as difficult as the preparation. The time you will need for it depends on the neatness of the engine.

Use a degreaser

Certainly, a great amount of filth under the hood has oil in it, for that reason, you will need to use a degreaser to get rid of all that dirt. Fortunately, you do not have to purchase any special degreaser for your car. You can use any household product for cleaning the engine compartment, for instance, a kitchen cleaner.

Don’t be afraid to use a degreaser with your car, all of the exposed parts should be treated with this substance.

Use a synthetic scrub

Depending on the condition of the engine in your car, you might need some additional help for getting rid of caked-on dirt combined with oil. If that is the case, you should try scrubbing the components, however, make sure you are using a brush with synthetic bristles. The one of a small size will be particularly convenient for scrubbing the parts of the engine. At this point, you might need even more degreaser.

Rinse the components with water

You can use a power washer setting it to the light mode for rinsing the engine parts. You can also use a standard hose or a sprayer for this purpose.

The best way of rinsing the engine bay is starting from its back and coming to the front side. It is recommended to avoid pouring water on the electric compounds and to use minimum water for rinsing the parts which won’t dry quickly.

Finishing the work

Once you are sure, the engine bay is clean, you are ready to finish the process by drying it and replacing the removed elements.

Dry the engine compartment

A great tool for removing the excessive amount of water from your car is compressed air. In case you don’t have an opportunity to use it, you should use a towel for wiping all the elements within your reach. Thus, you will help the engine bay to dry and also will get rid of any remaining filth or degreaser.

Put all the removed parts back

Now, when the compartment is dry and clean, you can remove the plastic bags used for covering the electric parts of the engine. It’s also the time to install the negative terminal.


As you can see, the steps you should take in order to clean the engine bay of your car are not difficult. Actually, everything depends on the current condition of the engine compartment of your car. That is why, if you repeat the same process on an annual basis, you will not need more than an hour for finishing the washing job.