Often, when people thing of car detailing, they don’t think of detailing their engine, but that’s a crucial part of a quality full car detail service. Regularly having a full car detail that includes engine detailing not only helps to have your engine looking good, but it can prolong the life of the plastic, silicone, and rubber components of your engine and make it easier to see and diagnose any potential problems with your engine. Through this article, we’ll walk you through the process of detailing your engine.
Preparing to Detailing Your Engine
The first step is preparing yourself to detail your engine by getting all the proper tools and chemicals necessary to get the job done correctly. You’ll need the following things: a source of water with low pressure, a common garden hose will do nicely, a variety of brushes, a degreasing agent, a rubber or vinyl protectant, several clean microfiber towels or rags, and several sheets of plastic (like garbage bags). Do your research to ensure you pick up the right cleaning solutions that will do the job correctly without causing any damage to your engine.
The Degreasing Process
Before you even so much as open your hood, you need to hose down your front bumper and fenders thoroughly, ensuring their fully wet; this will help to dilute any degreaser you accidentally spray past the engine, keeping it from damaging the finish on your car’s paint. Next, be sure to cover the alternator and battery with the garbage bags to keep them from getting wet as they are highly sensitive to moisture. Now, you’re ready to start your full car detail.
First, you should start by wetting your engine and the underside of your hood with your low-pressure water source. It’s crucial that you mist the engine with an indirect spray as opposed to spraying it directly with water, as the latter can cause damage. Once your engine and the underside of your hood are thoroughly wet, spray degreaser generously, letting it sit for a few minutes to truly soak in and penetrate the grime and grease. Then, using your brushes, scrub the engine thoroughly, taking special care to avoid any covered areas in the engine and any electrical connectors. Be careful to not scrub the painted areas too hard, as it could cause some damage to the finish.
Finishing the Full Car Detail: Rinsing and Protecting the Engine
After you’ve scrubbed the entirety of the engine bay thoroughly, you need to rinse off the engine and the exterior of your car with your low-pressure water source. Be sure that you aren’t directly spraying any water on electrical connections or covered areas. Once thoroughly rinsed, weather allowing, let the engine bay air dry. Weather not allowing, you could also start the engine and idle with the hood closed for about ten minutes. Afterward, dry the remaining water with towels, taking special care to dry any remaining water on the underside of the hood.
After you’ve ensured everything is completely dry, spray the entire engine bay with your protectant and restart the engine. Let it idle with the hood closed for ten minutes. After those ten minutes have passed, turn the engine off and wipe any excess protectant with a clean towel to finish up your full car detail.
Professionals recommend a full car detail service with engine detailing once or twice a year. Depending on the environment in the area where you live, you may need to do this more frequently. It’s good to get in the practice of occasionally touching up your engine detail to keep it as clean as possible and running as smoothly as possible.