How to Clean an Engine
Here's how to degrease and clean your car's engine. Years of dirt, mud and oily deposits can cause your cars engine to look filthy and old. Oil deposits can also run off and burn on hot Exhaust components causing a pungent small. A clean engine is much more inviting to work on and demonstrates how an owner cares for their car. Start by covering the alternator, distributer, air intake or carburetor. Seal any open electrical connections with electrical tape. Most of the connectors under the hood have a rubber seal on them and are waterproof anyway. Remove the engine covers and radiator shrouds. Park in an area that allows you to collect the degreaser or wash it down thoroughly. Some degreasers will damage asphalt. Use a can of engine degreaser and liberally spray the engine bay. Focus on dirty areas filled with oil buildup, especially around the valve covers. Then coat the inside of the fenders, firewall and the hood. Get under the car and spray the oil pan, subframes and control arms if they've got oily deposits. Let the degreaser sit for 10-15 mins on the engine and do its work to desolve the grime. Get out your brother's toothbrush and start scrubbing away at hard to clean areas with the degreaser as a solvent. Use a rag to wipe down all surfaces on the engine. This will remove excess degreaser and clean the surface of oily deposits before rinsing. Use a low pressure garden hose to rinse the engine thoroughly. Do not spray directly at the battery, alternator, distributer, any electrical connectors or inside any fluid reservoirs. This can cause short circuits or the check engine light to come on. Be thorough with the rinse, engine degreaser is flammable and could combust when you start the engine. Remove any plastic bags from the intake, alternator and distributers. Start the engine and let it warm up, or take it for a test drive. The heat of the engine will cause the water to steam up and evaporate. The engine area will smell like degreaser for a day or two. Once the engine is clean and dry, replace all the plastic engine covers. To top it off, use some engine dressing, tire shine or Amour-all type product to shine up the plastic parts of the engine and give it that glossy look. An engine should be cleaned at least once per year.
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