Engine Washing: Why and How to Do It Properly?

Discussions about the need to wash engines arise constantly, and the topic itself has been around for decades.

Drivers have two diametrically opposed opinions: from extreme necessity to complete contraindication of such a procedure. Of course, each car owner decides for himself to wash an engine or not. We will give the reasons why it is worth doing it and tell you how to do it properly.

Engine Washing: Why and How to Do It Properly? photo 2

Why wash an engine?

  • Disrupted temperature regulation. A dirty engine heats up more, which in turn can have a slight effect on power and fuel consumption.
  • Сleanliness. Many people like to keep their car clean both outside and inside.
  • Before sale. Although this serves as a «wake-up call” for many potential buyers (a seller wants to hide liquid leaks), engine washing is still widely practiced.
  • Charge leakiness, as a rather exotic reason, which is cited by supporters of washing. As a rule, this happens through a ground wire, but only very old cars that were poorly taken care of are susceptible to this.

As a compromise, you can dry clean an engine compartment, freeing it from dust, dirt and drips with rags. Decorative plastic flaps can be carefully removed and washed separately, and hard-to-reach places where sand and debris accumulate can be vacuumed if necessary.

Engine Washing: Why and How to Do It Properly? photo 3

By the way, if you start cleaning under the hood, then pay attention to drainage holes and a compartment through which air goes to the cabin. You will be surprised how many leaves and debris have accumulated there. It is worth taking a look at if you have problems with heating and ventilation system – windows are heavily fogged up in bad weather, a cabin often smells of dampness, defroster vents does not work well, and so on.

Still decided to wash an engine? Then we advise you to follow our recommendations:

  • Forget about high-pressure water treatments! Strong pressure can flood an engine, break joints and damage hoses and wiring.
  • Schedule at least an hour of time for the entire procedure. After all, preparing to wash an engine can take no less time than the procedure itself. Haste can only do harm.
  • Choose only high-quality car chemicals for bath procedures.
  • Carefully follow instructions. The temperature at which a detergent should be applied, how long it should be left, how to wash it off correctly, and so on. Please note that you need to choose a suitable place for washing, so as not to wash car chemicals in a lake or river where people bathe. Be conscious — take care of nature!
  • Be sure to close an engine air intake. Also cover a battery pack and, if possible (a layout in some models is very tight), a generator.
  • Wash off car chemicals carefully, preferably with a low-pressure hose or water from a bottle.
  • Wipe an engine, wires, and attachments. Life hack: you can more effectively remove the remaining moisture using compressed air for cleaning computer equipment (sold in spray cans).
  • Start an engine and let it run at idle for 15-20 minutes, while leaving a hood lid open

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