Car Engine Cleaning Tips

Lavaggio motore

Car engine cleaning tips are important for many reasons. A clean engine runs cooler which helps with fuel efficiency. It also helps prolong the life of your engine. So cleaning the engine the proper way requires the best practices methods, which is what we include in our Car Engin Cleaning Tips.

A Clean Engine will Increase a Vehicle’s Resale Value

Another benefit is when you go to sell or trade-in, a clean engine will increase a vehicle’s resale value. This is why car dealers always make sure the car is detailed and the engine is cleaned. Unfortunately, since there are many ways that an engine can be damaged, you need to make sure you follow the procedures.

A Heated Pressure Washer is Preferable

Car engine cleaning tips are fairly straightforward because the cleaning process is easy provided you have the correct chemicals and equipment to do it. A heated pressure washer is preferable but in no way necessary to properly clean an engine. With a heated pressure washer or a steam pressure generator you can use less chemical and degrease the engine faster.

Cold Water Works Too

If you don’t have access to heat, a cold water works too. FYI, you can clean an engine without a pressure washer. However, you need to use a much higher level of chemicals and putting that much water on your engine for the length of time it takes is inadvisable. Water and your engine are not a good mix, so if you can get a hold of a pressure washer it is better. This is why having a good template from a quality car engine cleaning tips page makes sense.

Wipe the car engine

When Cleaning an Engine, Less is More

With regards to water pressure, when cleaning an engine, less is more. Forcing water into an engine is something you don’t want to experience. Especially since it’s probably a customer’s vehicle. So both water and pressure are better to use sparingly. Let the chemicals and degreaser do the work for you. Anywhere from 1,000 PSI on up to 2,000 PSI is more than sufficient. Any more than that and you run the risk of injecting water into places you don’t want water in your engine.

Engine Running or Not?

This topic alone could fill several blog posts. For now, let’s just say that the great debate among car detailers for many decades has been whether to keep a car engine running while you are cleaning it. This is one of those areas that we need to add our standard disclaimer that we take no responsibility for any damage that you do to an engine. We can only tell you how we did it for years and you decide how to proceed from there.

We Started Out Leaving the Engine Running

At our shops, our process changed over the years. At first we started out leaving the engine running. I ran the car engine for about 15 minutes to warm it up. Then I would cover up air intakes, electrical boxes, wiring harnesses and spark plugs. A generous amount of cleaner/degreaser solution was applied and allowed to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. After the soak, the engine was started. A heated pressure washer on the high heat/steam setting is used to spray the engine clean. We never had an issue with any of the thousands of cars that were cleaning in this way.

Our Engine Cleaning Process Changed as Degreasers Got Stronger

Even in industries as slow moving and stale as auto detailing, car chemical companies still attempt to make better products. This is what happened that caused me to rethink our engine cleaning process. I started noticing that the degreasers we were buying were showing improved results over the coarse of a few years. Our engine cleaning process changed as degreasers improved. It made sense since we no longer had to apply so much water and steam to engines to clean them. We were still careful to cover delicate electronics and wiring harnesses, but we were able to use a lot less water. 

Your car engine cleaning chemicals make a world of difference. Don’t just buy a cheap degreaser. If you are doing this professionally, then set yourself apart from every Joe Schmo who can buy cheap cleaners for this engines and do it at home.

Have fun and enjoy the process. You shouldn’t have any problems as long as you follow the tips outlined above and use common sense along with a good safety regimen.


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