How to Wash a Car Engine

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The debate continues on whether or not it is safe to wash a car's engine. Some say no because of the many electrical connections and sensors located under the hood. On the other hand, water can get into the engine anyway when it rains. One must keep in mind that engines, just like anything else, get dirty. Oil, grease, gas and other chemicals can gather. Add excessive heat and you have all of the possibilities of a fire in play. With all of that in mind, washing a car engine is possible with a bit of extra care.

Things You'll Need

  • Engine soap
  • Water source
  • Hose
  • Purchase the right type of engine cleaning product. Most good engine soaps, shampoos or solvents are made to be sprayed on and left to sit for a few minutes so that they can work to eat away the grease and grime, which can then be carefully rinsed away

  • Scrape away any excess grease, oil, and grime from the engine carefully with soft cloths before beginning the engine cleaning process. Be cautious not to hit or jar any wiring in the process.

  • Apply the engine product according to the instructions for the specific type of soap, shampoo, or solvent purchased. Avoid spraying exposed sensors and wires in the process. Where applicable, avoid the alternator so they are not damaged in the process. Let the product sit for the amount of time recommended.

  • Rinse away the cleaner, being equally careful not to get water into the areas to be avoided.

  • Take the car to a car wash that is properly equipped to wash engines. These do-it-yourself sights typically have the right types of product and control the water pressure so as not to damage the more fragile areas of the vehicle. Also, for a fee, highly trained individuals will use specialized equipment to clean the engine safely and with a guarantee.

  • Take the car to a car wash that will do the job for you. For a fee, highly trained individuals will use specialized equipment to clean the engine safely and with a guarantee.

  • Take the car to a car dealer. They also have the right equipment to do the job properly. However, keep in mind, they will be much more expensive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change the cleaning process as needed for the type of vehicle being cleaned.
  • It may not be advisable to use high-pressure washers since they give off too much pressure and spurt water.

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