Cleaning your engine bay isn't something that most people think about every time they wash their car or every other time for that matter. Although unfortunate, out of sight, out of mind usually applies to this particular element of auto detailing. Just like with the rest of your vehicle, cleaning helps to keep the resale value hight by preventing damage. If your engine bay is covered in oil and dirt, chances are that all of those nasty substances are allowing premature wear and tear on your engine's components. Things like worn pulleys and bearings, gasket leaks and unidentifiable cracks and damaged hoses could be lurking beneath that layer of grime. It needs to be cleaned off frequently.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
RINSE IT OFF
1) A quick pre-rinse will knock off the loose dist and grit, making it much easier for the degreaser to spread and penetrate as well as prevent spots from the soap drying out too quickly. It's important to remember to do this while the engine is cool. It doesn't have to be cold but you don't want to spray cold water on hot parts. Just pop the hood and allow it to cool off for about an hour.
COVER ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
2) You'll need to disconnect the negative battery terminal or cover with one of the plastic bags and tape it closed as best as you can. It's also a good idea to cover up the alternator, carburetor, and distributer the same way if they are exposed. You want to make sure that you don't make any temporary circuits with all the water that's introduced in your engine compartment.
3) Apply a liberal amount of degreaser to everything under the hood. Go heavier on the degreaser for the dirtiest parts. Be sure to let it sit for a few minutes to allow the degreaser to work its magic. It's important to note that you should always follow the instructions on the bottle. You can now use the wash brush to scrub the dirtiest areas and loosen the dirt and grime
SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB
Using your scrub brush, you'll want to scrub any areas that have caked on grime and grease. By now the degreaser should have penetrated the surface grime and it should be scrubbed away pretty easily. Be sure to pay attention to the areas that you cannot see as well. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't benefit us at all here.
RINSE AND REPEAT
With your water hose, spray the inside of the engine's compartment and all of the areas that you've scrubbed. You should notice anything that you've missed. You'll want to apply more degreaser, especially to those areas that you may have missed. Scrub and rinse the soiled areas until all traces of grime and buildup are gone.
After rinsing, you'll want to grab a clean and dry terrycloth to dry off all the areas that we've sprayed, At this time you can now remove any tape and plastic from any electronic or sensitive engine components. Make certain that you've removed all tape and plastic from your engine's components prior to starting and driving. You don't want that tape or plastic heating up, melting then being slung all over your engine compartment.
After cleaning, you may choose to apply a dressing to the plastic, vinyl or rubber surfaces to make them stand out. Be sure to use a non-solvent based dressing to prevent a fire hazard.
You'll want to apply the dressing directly to a microfiber cloth or sponge and apply evenly along the surface, then start buffing in a circular motion.
And as always, if you need some expert advice or direction on which product you need, feel free to reach out to us.