The engine is a piece of expensive machinery in the car. It’s probably the reason you bought the car. However, it’s not as fragile as you think. If you know certain things performing engine detailing can be as easy as washing the car. What is engine detailing? Engine detailing in all its essence is washing the exterior of the engine so it remains shiny and new. Dust and grease can settle on the engine. A well-maintained car does not just have a lustering exterior, but a spotless interior as well. And engine detailing is another aspect of cleaning the car.
Although cleaning the engine is just as simple as washing the rest of the car, there are certain do’s and don’ts you need to keep in mind. The process only takes a maximum of 45 minutes and we will guide you through the entire process.
Essentials for Engine Detailing
Here is a list of things you require before you start engine detailing. Have them ready before you proceed.
- Degreaser – A chemical product used to remove the grease from a vehicle or mechanical equipment.
- Wash Mitt – A terry cloth used to wash the body of the car or any smooth surface such as a car.
- Detail Brush – These are versatile brushes used for cleaning and detailing of AC vents, engines, leather, etc.
- Blower – It’s a mechanical equipment that creates air current used to dry or heat surface of a vehicle, among other uses.
- Paint Sealant – A liquid that protects the surface of a vehicle from extreme heat, chemicals, and ultraviolet rays.
- Rubber/Vinyl Protectant – A water-based conditioner to moisturize the interior of cars made from plastic and rubber.
Other things that you require are soap water, spray bottle, and microfiber towels.
Engine detailing should be performed with the utmost care to ensure that no damage can happen to to your vehicle. If you do not have the necessary tools or expertise you can always count on our mobile detailing in Calgary. We will come right to you and help keep your car in the best possible shape!
Process of Engine Detailing
Most people do not attempt to detail the engine in the fear they would critically damage the engine or simply because they lack the expertise to perform the procedure. But, once you know the secret that there is no secret, engine detailing is not that big a task. You can wash and polish the engine just like any other component of the car without the fear of damaging anything. You only have to be a little subtle in your approach, after all detailing the engine is not putting out a fire. Do not use excessive degreaser or put the water hose on high pressure. Engine detailing is an art and we will help you master the art. Here is the procedure for detail the engine.
1. Detail the Engine When It’s Cold
The first don’t and the most important. An engine that is hot or has run recently is not detailed. The best time to detail an engine is during the morning when the car has rested and cooled overnight. If you throw cold water on a hot engine you risk damaging the engine. The water can cause a sudden change in the temperature of the engine leading to crack on the engine block. You should never be pouring water on a hot engine, but if you have to do it, pour the water slowly. You may have heard that pouring water on a warm engine loosens the build-up, that’s correct, but you need to keep in mind the temperature of the engine, it should be warm not steaming hot. If the engine is just above the required temperature, the degreaser will dry and spot the engine.
2. Prior to Detailing, Cover the Engine Air Intake, Filters, and Alternator
Before you begin spraying water, cover the engine air intake, alternator, filters, and other electrical components. You do not want to spray water in these areas. Make sure you do not spray water directly on the engine bay or it can reach the alternator and short it out. It could also damage the voltage regulator. Place a cover on the air filter that protects it from water and remove the cover once the cleaning is done. As a general rule, you should not spray water or degreaser on any electrical components of the engine. The areas in which you think you cannot spray water should be cleaned by hand. And always remember to use only as much water or degreaser as you need.
3. Start Detailing by Degreasing
You should first degrease the perimeter of the engine bay. Select any high-quality degreaser available in the market. You have a range of choices that may vary from one location to the other, so buy the best one. The painted surface, fluid containers, and hoses can be cleaned with the degreaser. It will remove the wax and the dirt. The firewall that lies at the back of the engine bay requires a spray. So, spray clean the area. It’s deep so be thorough in the spraying and go as far down as you can. The degreaser is great, but don’t expect it to do all the work for you.
It will make things easier; however, there will be more work you need to do. Once the degreaser has some time to work on the engine parts, you can get the degreaser off by spraying water with a slow stream. If you think you require a little more pressure, use the thumb to press down on the hose. It will increase the stream force just enough the get the degreaser off the components and dirt with it. Once the degreaser is cleaned, anything that remains can be wiped with a clean cloth. Although your engine will already be looking good, it’s not yet achieved the luster you want. Now comes the manual work. Getting your hands dirty. You have to wipe the engine with a clean and dry cloth until it starts looking good.
Once you have rinsed, the next step has to be carried out by hand. For this process, you require wash mitt. But not the same ones you use on the rest of the car, wash mitts specifically designed for engine detailing. A separate wash mitt is important as it prevents cross-contamination. Additionally, you also require a detail brush that allows you to reach crevices and areas of the engine that are narrow and cannot be accessed by hand. The engine detailing brush is essential so have one before you start detailing. The brush has soft bristles and is chemical resistant. It comes in various sizes with as long as 18 inches.
Begin washing the perimeter and ensure all the dirt is effectively cleaned. The next area that needs cleaning is the middle of the engine. You may have sprayed some degreaser in this area so clean it. Fluid containers and caps may require some extra attention, so ensure you have cleaned them thoroughly. Use the detailing brush wherever you feel it’s necessary. It is designed for crevices; however, it works well in other areas as well. So, use your judgment to use the brush. Never use brushes made from brass or stainless steel on the engine or any other part of the car. It could leave scratches that can damage the beauty of your expensive engine.
Besides the degreaser, you may also require some soap water to get the job done. Fill a spray bottle with soap water and keep it ready. When you are cleaning the engine by hand, it will help you get the remaining grease off from the engine. Just remember to also have sufficient towels to wipe the soap water. You may also want to keep some microfiber towels that could come handy during engine detailing. Again, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to towels. There are numerous great brands available in the market. You can use your old towels for engine duty.
5. Dry the Engine
You have to dry the engine before you can start polishing. Even when the engine appears dry from the outside, it has nooks and corners where you can’t see and places where the brush or your hand cannot reach. They require specialized equipment – a blower. Have one at your disposal as it will come handy whenever you decide to detail your engine or wash the car. Choose your preferred brand of the blower. Ensure it’s a good brand and has various settings for the intensity of air blow. If you can’t get access to a blower, compressed air will do the job of driving out the water from crevices.
6. Shine the Engine
After all the dirt is completely cleaned, you can start the final process of lustering the engine and restoring it to its original beauty. You can use wax on the engine’s paint or a premium sealant. The carnauba-based wax won’t last on the engine for too long. The heat of the engine will melt and neutralize the effect of the wax. On the other hand a paint sealant is specifically designed for the job and can withstand the heat of the engine.
7. Shine the Hoses and Plastic
To shine the hoses and plastic you need a premium rubber/vinyl protectant. Wipe all the areas with the protectant so it’s protected from dirt and grease.