The engine bay cleaning process can be simple, safe and inexpensive. However, it is a topic where you will definitely find people at opposing ends of the spectrum. One one side you will have proponents that claim nothing needs to be done in the engine bay, as far as cleanliness is concerned, plus they might argue introducing water via a hose sprayer is just inviting problems. The other side of the argument is that modern engines are engineered to handle moderate levels of water spray, and would benefit from cleaning once in a while. Let’s look at some reasons that would make one consider cleaning their engine bay, what low cost options and materials you would need for such an undertaking, and what precautions and steps to follow.
DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.
Reasons For An Engine Bay Cleaning
If you were to review comments on some forums, some people state that an engine bay cleaning would be advisable for a number of reasons. For example it would;
i) keep mechanical components and belts free of grease and grime, thereby enabling them to function properly, wear longer, and ultimately save you money,
ii) enable you to see if and where you might have some leaks, enabling a quick repair before something catastrophic and expensive occurs,
iii) keep your engine bay looking good, possibly making it easier to sell at resell time, and finally,
iv) stoke that sense of satisfaction you get from looking after your own Jeep.
Thus it’s evident that there are a number of good reasons for an engine bay cleaning once in a while. Ultimately it ends up helping you to save a little money by avoiding premature maintenance items, and aids in locating necessary repairs before catastrophic and expensive consequences.
Only a few items are required if considering an engine bay cleaning. The internet will have a variety of techniques on how to do this, but the following items are required for the process described in this article and this video. Basically you will need;
- A spray bottle of degreaser,
- An old brush to use for agitation of stuck on grime while soaking in the degreaser,
- A foam cannon to further clean off the now dirty degreaser from the engine bay,
- A hose to wash off the soap and degreaser
- A air compressor or leaf blower to blow off excess water on the engine bay,
- A detailing cleaner/conditioner and microfibre towels for the hoses and plastics under the hood
The following instructions can be followed to quickly and inexpensively perform an engine bay cleaning. A video on the process can be found at this link.
Precautions: Before you start, put a plastic waterproof bag over the air intake and electrical components such as the alternator. Do not apply full water pressure on such components.
Step 1 – Begin spraying the engine bay with a degreaser. There are many reviews online about different degreasers available to do this job. LA’s Totally Awesome is not just one that has proven to be very effective, but a one litre bottle can be purchased very inexpensively at The Dollar Tree.
Step 2 – Use an old brush to agitate any grime or dirt that may require some loosening.
Step 3 – This step can be skipped if you do not have a foam cannon and pressure washer, but if you have one, spray the engine and degreaser with a foam cannon for additional cleaning. How to use a foam cannon for cleaning can be viewed on a video at this link.
Step 4 – Rinse down the engine bay with a hose being careful not to spray full-on into any components like the air intake and alternator, or other electrical components.
Step 5 – Use an air compressor or leaf blower, to blow excess water off of the engine bay and facilitate drying.
Step 6 – Use a conditioner/cleaner to detail the hoses and plastics in the engine bay. 303 Aerospace protectant is the best product from my experience for this type of job. The video at this link explains where it can be found for a low price.
Step 7 – Step back and enjoy the engine bay cleaning job you just did.
So not only can you be satisfied with a nice clean engine bay that looks great, but you can also enjoy the fact that you are saving money by knowing which inexpensive products to use, by extending the life of belts and some other components, and by catching any engine bay issues before they become more catastrophic endeavours down the road. Links to products used can be found on the Featured Products page of this site.