A mucked up and dirty engine can definitely pose problems to any car owner. The engine can run at higher temperatures if it is not cleaned and maintained properly. Aside from this, a dirty engine makes it harder to see any glaring problems like leaks and the like that could easily be spotted if the engine had been cleaner. Making the engine work at higher temperatures makes your car less fuel efficient, thus wasting money in the process. This also makes the life of the engine shorter and should you choose to sell your car down the road, you may get significantly less for not taking care of it well. To ensure that your engine is running under optimal conditions and that you can preserve the integrity of your vehicle for as long as possible, it will be important that you habitually clean and degrease your engine.
- Grease is hard to remove when it’s on a cold engine so you want to heat it up about to make it easier to take out. Park your car on a flat area and apply the handbrake. Let the engine warm up for a few minutes. Make sure that you don’t wait for longer than three to five minutes, because any longer would make the engine hotter than ideal. Turn the engine off once you feel that you’ve done enough to loosen the gunk in your engine.
- Place a tray underneath the engine bay to catch the grease under your car. The waste that comes out of the engine is not exactly friendly to the environment so do Mother Earth a favor by making sure that it doesn’t spill. If you’re working at your garage, having a catch tray for the grease also makes your parking surface stay clean.
- Open the hood of your car. With the use of plastic bags and electrical tape; seal off the electrical parts under the hood. This would include the electrical wires, distributor cap (for carbureted cars) or injectors (for EFI) and ignition coil among other things. If you are unsure, it would be better to err on the side of caution and seal those items anyway.
- Cover the air intake box.
- Apply the degreaser starting from the bottom of the engine, working upwards. Let the degreaser do its work for about ten minutes, but don’t let it dry up on the surface of the engine. If there are grease spots that aren’t removed by the degreaser, you may help it along by using a long-handled brush to physically scrub it away.
- Use a high pressure hose to clean under your hood once you see that your engine is grease free. Dry the components with a towel or rag and remove the protective coverings of the electrical sections and the air intake box. You may also turn on the engine for five to ten minutes to dry the engine completely.
- Take the catch tray below your car and transfer the collected grime to a plastic bottle. Auto shops usually dispose of these wastes for a minimal fee.
After you’ve degreased your engine, you would usually feel a slight, but noticeable, improvement in performance. Auto care specialists usually recommend degreasing your engine every two to four months.