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How to Clean a Car Engine in 9 Simple Steps

Don’t you jazz up when your automobile is spick and span? A well-kept automobile looks fantastic, whether in your driveway or rolling down the street. You might even think it drives better. However, if you genuinely want to make your vehicle lovely, you must also take care of the muck and filth within the engine. Is your car engine a greasy mess? Don’t you know how to clean a car’s engine meticulously? Do you require advice on cleaning your car engine? Even though the engine bay is weather-resistant, openings around the hood and the front of the car allow dirt and dust to enter. Learn how to clean car engine efficiently.

Regular maintenance is necessary for our automobiles to be dependable over the long run. Components of car engines remain operational smoothly through maintenance, cleaning, and part replacement. Therefore, pay attention to the significance of a clean engine bay. Learn efficient engine cleaning techniques by reading on. Cleaning your engine can seem complicated. How do you wash a large piece of metal and plastic? — by following these nine steps, you can make it a quick afternoon project. It will leave you feeling extremely satisfied.

Clean the Car Engine in 9 Simple Steps

Modern car engines are water-resistant since driving in the rain might be problematic otherwise. However, your car’s engine needs routine cleaning to maintain smooth operation and maximum power.

Verify whether cleaning is necessary before cleaning the engine of your automobile. After that, create an engine cleaning routine. To clean a car engine, a warm day is a perfect choice. The drying of the moisture in the compartment will proceed more quickly on a warm day. You can accomplish it on your own if you have good guidance. Here are 9 quick and inexpensive ways to clean your car’s engine.

1. Let the Engine Cool Down


engine turn off


Make sure the engine is cold enough to touch before continuing. Allow your engine to cool if you have a drive before cleaning the machine. To get quick cooling, you can lift the hood. However, spraying water to accelerate might fracture and blister the engine, causing damage. Please wait until it is cold enough to touch.

2. Remove the Dirt


removing car engine dirt


Use a stiff-bristled brush or one with wire bristles to clean any caked-on dirt, oil, or grease from the surface. Alternatively, a scraper can be effective as well. It would also be beneficial to remove buildup dirt by rubbing a brake cleaner into the lifter bores, cylinder bores, oil galleys, and freeze plug holes.

You must remove the loose derbies before you begin cleaning. You should notice debris in the engine compartment of your automobiles, such as dust, stones, grass, leaves, and sticks. Using your hand for larger particles, you can get rid of them. Use a blower or a brush to remove all the derbies in the engine that your hand cannot reach.

  • Pine needles and leaves frequently gather at the bottom of the windshield before falling into the engine compartment
  • Keep an eye out for little animal nests, especially as the weather becomes chilly

3. Cover All Electrical Components and Unplug the Battery


unplug car battery


Cover all exposed electronics or wires. Although your engine is waterproof, you may increase safety by covering all electrical components in plastic. Cover loose wires, the distributor cover (if your car has one), and the spark plug inlets.

After this, directly spraying water into your engine compartment might cause some electrical parts to arc, breaking fuses or doing other damage. To avoid this, unplug the battery’s terminals and slide the ground cable off the termination.

  • If you want to take the battery out of the engine bay and clean it, you can also opt to unplug the battery connections
  • If you decide to leave the battery in the car, tuck the ground wire to one side to keep it from touching the connector

4. Apply the Engine Degreaser


applying engine degreaser


Try to use the best engine cleaner to clean your car’s engine. Engine degreasers come in a variety of brands, yet they all generally function in the same way. You should apply degreasers to the engine from the bottom in an upward direction to achieve a wide implementation.

  • Usually, degreasers come in spray bottles to make it simple to apply them to the engine.
  • Read the directions on the best engine degreasers you can buy to make sure you use the optimal technique for the cleaner.

5. Let the Degreaser Sit


Degreaser on car engine


It would help if you permitted the degreaser to work on the grease. Apply the degreaser correctly and let sit for at least three to five minutes to remove the oil and grease. Three minutes would be enough if you frequently clean the car engine and there is little to no dirt. For thick, greasy grease and filth, it is necessary to let it rest for more than five minutes otherwise.

6. Scrub the Engine with Brush until Clean


scrubbing car engine


You must scrape the dirt to remove it after soaking it. You can use a synthetic bristle brush for this task. Take the brush and scrub the area with it in a gentle manner. Scrub it again with the second degreaser application if it comes off slowly. When scrubbing, you must put on protective clothing, such as gloves and safety glasses. This will shield your skin and eyes from dangerous degreaser chemicals.

7. Dry the Engine


drying car engine microfiber


If you have compressed air, it will make drying simple. If you have one, use it to eliminate all the remaining moisture on your engine surface. Drying unapproachable areas with compressed air is extremely simple.

Alternatively, a microfiber towel can also remove moisture nicely. Use a microfiber cloth to gently clean the car engine, ensuring it is dry and leaves no moisture behind.

8. Apply Engine Protectant


engine protectant car


Applying an engine protectant is vital to free your engine from rust and corrosion. Make sure to select a protectant that is suitable for your engine. There are various diverse types available in the market. Before starting the engine after application of the protectant, be sure it has dried fully.

9. Reconnect the Battery and Start the Car


car battery connecting


It is time to reinstall the car battery after drying the engine and the compartment. First, remove the plastic cover from the parts. Now plug the battery’s positive and negative terminals.

To determine whether your engine is operating, start it. Once the engine starts running, it begins to heat up and dry the remaining moisture.

Benefits of Cleaning the Car Engine

The most crucial part of your automobile is the engine. Therefore, maintaining it in an attractive shape should be essential. Unfortunately, even though it is beneath the bonnet, it frequently becomes dirty.

A stifling layer of filth undoubtedly amassed over time. Poor engines will experience suffocation if neglected. The following are the main justifications for learning why cleaning an engine is so important.

  • Pristine engines perform far more efficiently than those coated with crud
  • Leaks, breaks, and other issues are much simpler to identify
  • Additionally, a degreaser may dissolve tenacious oil deposits
  • A power washer can remove accumulated filth and grime from difficult-to-reach areas
  • Regular cleaning keeps your car’s engine from rusting and increases its lifespan
  • An encouraging indicator for potential buyers is a fantastic sale price
  • Your pride and excitement will shine both within and outside


Although it can appear difficult, cleaning your car’s engine is extremely easy! Make sure to clean a car’s engine frequently to keep it from getting too dusty and challenging. Your engine will appear cleaner with just an hour of effort. Each year’s rapid degreasing can offer you an effective and clean engine! This extends the life and worth of your automobile, which is beneficial if you ever want to sell it. You can clean your car’s engine and save time and money if you follow these simple procedures.


Is it Safe to Wash the Engine with Water?

Yes, you may use water to clean a car engine. However, it would help if you exercised caution since you do not want to overwet the engine.

1. Use a hose with a nozzle to manage the water pressure.
2. Keep the engine from becoming too wet.
3. Additionally, make sure the engine is entirely dry before starting it.

Can I use a Pressure Washer to Wash the Engine?

Another often-asked issue is cleaning your engine bay with a pressure washer. This query is also challenging. Please refrain from doing so if you are unsure whether your engine is watertight. Some areas still need to be coated for additional protection, even if the automobile is brand new and you believe it can withstand a pressure wash.

You may use a pressure washer to clean most of the engine compartment of your vehicle if the exposed areas are covered by other components, such as plastic shields. However, we advise against using a power washer with a PSI rating greater than two thousand.

Your automobile's engine may be pressure washed, but you must be careful not to approach too close to delicate sections, such as electrical wiring. After pressure washing, it is crucial to ensure all the soap is gone.