Keeping your vehicle clean is one of the most basic aspects of car maintenance. A clean body will allow you to see any potential problems in the paint that might need to be addressed. Also, driving around in a dirty car can make you a careless driver. You need to be proud of a clean and shiny car, or carelessness can settle in. Feeling careless while driving ends up in scratches, dings and other damage. You’ll end up losing a lot of money that way. The problem is that most drivers, even the ones who really do care about their car’s appearance and longevity, usually forget the crucial bit that is engine bay cleaning.
There are way too many car owners that never clean their engine. They usually end up like that because they don’t understand how easy and simple it really is. If not that, it’s because they’ll work on the rest of the car and by the time engine cleaning comes around, they are too tired to do that. Many drivers feel that cleaning the engine is too risky and/or complicated. It really is not that hard. Cleaning your engine with a quality engine degreaser is almost like washing anything else. All you have to do is take the necessary steps to ensure you don’t get certain parts wet and you’re good to go.
Here are some simple rules you have to follow:
- Never spray a hot engine with cold water. Let the engine cool a bit. Warm is OK, just not hot.
- Cover the alternator, distributor cap and fuse box with a plastic bag. Cover the carburetor or exposed intake filter if you have one.
- Spray the engine with water first before spraying with engine degreaser. This will help disperse properly diluted amounts of degreaser.
- Don’t spray with high pressure.
- Let the engine dry almost completely before you store the car with the hood closed.
Maintaining a clean engine provides many of the same benefits a clean exterior provides. You can easily see any oil leaks when you have a clean engine. You can also see any cracks in rubber piping, cracked harness or cables and other possible problems.
When you take a car in for service, you want it to have a clean engine. Car technicians prefer working on a clean engine and a clean car. The fact is, they’ll be more careful with your car. If they see a grossly dirty car they automatically think you don’t care much about it. It you don’t, why should they? Right?
Some of the points above never cross some car owner’s minds. They think that the engine is just there to work and that scheduled maintenance is enough. But no, there are way too many downsides to neglecting the appearance of your engine bay. This weekend, take the time to clean your car’s engine. Then, try and schedule an engine cleanse at least once every 2 months. If your engine is very dirty, take it somewhere where the oily water is collected. Don’t just clean it in your driveway. You can do that if it’s just dirt. But if oil leaks are involved, the responsible thing is to clean your engine somewhere where the dirty water is collected and filtered.