How to Wash an Engine Bay


Many vehicle owners wonder if washing an engine bay is a necessity. We have all heard the tales of damage caused by engine washing, how the very thought of water makes an engine no longer run..... The fact is modern engines can take a lot more abuse than you can imagine. With weather-tight connectors, distributor-less ignitions and newer gasket technology, the water sensitive devices are well protected and will easily resist frequent washing. This article shows the most basic engine detail using the most basic tools.

Here is where we start, always work on a COLD engine.

Dirty Engine

Here we are using Kleenzit All Purpose Cleaner diluted 1:4 (Kleenzit:Water). Simply spray the Kleenzit on the entire engine bay. Agitate any stubborn spots or any thick deposits with a light brush or towel. Try not to spray any liquids directly into the alternator, you can also cover the alternator with a plastic bag for extra peace of mind.

Engine Cleaner


Let the Kleenzit Sit

After Kleenzit has sat for a minute simply spray off using a garden hose. With a quality All Purpose Cleaner such as Kleenzit it is not necessary to use a pressure washer. Pressure washers on engine bays can cause damage if not used correctly. The high pressure can get under seals designed to keep water out under normal circumstances. If you can not resist the urge to use a pressure washer be sure to use a lower pressure nozzle. Again, avoid aiming water directly into alternator.

Rinse Kleenzit

High quality all purpose cleaners such as Kleenzit will rinse clean and leave no residue on plastic items. This picture shows the results of Kleenzit with NO dressings!

Kleenzit with NO dressings!

Before applying a protectant or dressing you want to dry the engine bay. Here again we use the most basic method by simply wiping dry using a waffle weave microfiber towel. You can also use compressed air or a leaf blower if you have those tools.

Waffle weave microfiber towel

At this point applying a protectant or dressing is optional. On older cars with weathered plastic/hoses it may be necessary. Here we are using Poorboy's Natural Look Dressing.

You can spray directly on the plastics or spray onto an applicator and wipe on. Avoid getting any dressing directly on any belts.

Let the dressing sit for a few minutes, no rush to wipe it off. Here is the finished product. This basic engine detail took no longer than 10 minutes and the results speak for themselves!

Products Recommended in this Article:

The Cookie Monster

20" Long Handle Hog Hair Brush

" Black Applicator

All Purpose Cleaner

's Natural Look Dressing

Dehydrator Drying Towel - Mini

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