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How To: Clean Your Engine Bay

Discussion in 'Exterior / Detailing / Bodywork DIY How-To's' started by treeafodo, Sep 8, 2011.

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  1. treeafodo

    treeafodo Austin Registered VIP

    Nov 16, 2010
    Windsor, Ontario
    I cleaned my engine bay and decided I'd make a how to. Its simple and straight forward. This is my first how to so if i missed anything or you have any tips feel free to add them.

    First of all you will need a few things.

    Plastic bags, or Plastic wrap
    Engine degreser. You can find it at just about any store that carries auto supplies.
    A brush for the really caked on dirt.
    Duct tape for taping up the plastic
    and last of all, a garden hose.
    Here is everything I used.
    First of all you will want your engine completely cool, not even warm to the touch. If your valve cover and headers are cool enough to touch your good. Mine was VERY dirty. You could'nt even tell if there was paint under there. I dont think it was ever cleaned before so this works well. With a little bit of patience you can go a long way=)
    Next you will want to cover any electrical components. This includes your fuse box, battery, alternator and distributor. You might also want to wrap or tape any exposed wire connections. I put a plastic freezer bag on the distributor with an elastic band around it and taped bags to everything else.
    Now that you have everything taped up, generously spray on your engine degreaser. I used Gunk Engine Brite and it worked really well. Simple green also works very well from what I've heard.
    Once you've sprayed the degreaser on everything start a timer and let it soak in for 15 minutes.
    After that 15 minutes is up get out your garden hose. Rinse all of the degreaser off starting from the back work your way up to the front (i.e firewall to the rad support). Avoid soaking your engine, you only need to rinse off all the degreaser. Avoid over spraying around your spark plugs as water could lodge into there and cause problems later on. You do NOT need to use any pressure when rinsing.

    Now that everything is rinsed off REMOVE THE PLASTIC COVERS ( I almost forgot this part:lol:) and idle your engine for 15 minutes to allow your engine to dry. Dont worry if a little bit of smoke/steam comes from your engine. Its just water evaporating or the excess degreaser burning off, but keep a hose near by just in case.
    While your car is idling is a good time to wipe off excess dirt that didnt come off from the rinse. I wiped my rad support, shock towers, and the underside of my hood. I had TONS of dirt as you can see from the pictures and I found that the degreaser really loosened it up making it somewhat easy to scrub and wipe away.
    Depending how dirty your engine bay was you may have to do it more then once...like I did:lol: Repeat the process as much as is needed, just make sure you let your engine cool off before repeating.
    This is what I came out with after doing it the first time.
    Before and after. HUGE difference

    Thanks for reading, if I missed anything feel free to add it. Happy cleaning:D
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  2. gnos402

    gnos402 New Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    Degreaser is the bes, in my area its purple power, simple green, and super clean both purple power and simple green very affective and Ive never tried super clean so not sure how great it is or isnt, but for the sake of the bay I would definetly use degreaser way less time consuming. A honda that clean the car wash and dry the bay with a rag haha!!.

    And for the armor all or whatever I use very sparingly in the interior mainly the dash and a slight wipe over the other things just to keep them from drying. As for the engine, unless this is a show car sounds to me like a waste of money considering all the dust and dirt that will accumulate before your even done with the first wipe, and if you hit gravel enough said.

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