This blog post will answer the question, ‘What are the problems faced while washing a car engine?’, and cover topics like tools and other materials required to clean an engine, different ways to clean an engine, and types of engine cleaners.
What are the problems faced while washing a car engine?
These are the following problems that are often faced when washing a car engine?
- In the case of washing a car engine right before selling it to a potential buyer, it might come out as a way to conceal certain issues and ward them off. Spraying water recklessly can also damage the engine components leading to severe electrical issues.
- Sometimes it becomes a necessity to wash out the engine bay due to the uncontrollable buildup of dirt, gunk, etc. When done in a short time period, protective coverings over crucial electrical components might be absent and can lead to their corrosion.
- If the washing is done after the car has been allowed to stand in the sun for too long, the washed areas might dry up faster and result in the formation of spots. It causes stress in the metal engine components and can also form cracks on them.
- Sometimes, a power washer can damage engine electrical components severely due to the high pressure of the flow. Therefore, it is better to use a degreaser to clean the engine.
- Sometimes after the washing process, removing the plastic covering or the protective layer being used is forgotten, and the engine is turned on in that manner. This leads to the melting of the plastic causing overheating and in extreme cases, a fire.
Tools and other materials required to wash an engine
These are the following tools and materials required to wash a car engine:
- Stiff bristled brushes
- Dripping pans
- Safety glasses
- Spray bottle
- Absorbent pads
- Plastic bags
Different ways to clean an engine
The following are the different ways to clean an engine.
Degreaser and pressure washer method
One of the most common methods to clean a car engine. A degreaser is used to clean the entire engine bay. Parts that have persistent waste such as dirt and grime need to be brushed off by a stiff-bristled brush.
The water needs to be dried as soon as possible or else it might cause rust.
Glass bead and soda blasting method
To get rid of carbon deposits on the aluminum parts of the engine, baking soda or glass beads are used. This method is especially useful for cleaning smaller components of the engine.
However, it should be noted that if not done correctly, it can leave a residue behind that can cause a premature engine failure.
Hot tank method
This method involves the dirty engine components being dipped in hot water or in a chemical solution that is caustic by nature. This is mainly aimed at cleaning parts that have a serious waste buildup of dirt and grime. This method is, however, ineffective against rust and residue.
Carbon deposits in car parts like valves and exhaust pipes can affect performance drastically. This method involves releasing hydrogen and oxygen into the water via the car’s air intake and exhaust system.
The chemical result that occurs, as a result, helps in getting rid of the carbon deposits.
This method is helpful for performing a deep clean in case of the heavy build-up of dirt and grime. No chemicals are needed to clean as steam is hot enough to remove the heaviest and most persistent deposition of waste.
Different types of engine cleaners
These are the various types of engine cleaners available in the market.
Cleaners based on petroleum
These types of cleaners contain ethanol along with other distillates that help in cleaning dirt and grime buildups along with other lubricants.
Cleaners based on metal solvents
These types of cleaners are used to clean joints and other bearings and are particularly helpful in getting rid of persistent grease.
Cleaners based on vapor solvents
These types of cleaners need to be heated to vaporize before cleaning.
Cleaners based on ultrasonic waves
These types of cleaners manipulate ultrasonic waves to clean grease and grime from engines. They are, however, expensive to implement and are not used very often.
Cleaners based on foam
These types of cleaners are ideal for electrical components in an engine and must be wiped off without applying any water.
Cleaners that are environment-friendly
These types of cleaners are made from naturally available ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lime, soap, etc., and can be used without posing a threat to the environment.
Criteria for selecting the best engine cleaner
These are the following criteria that need to be followed to ensure we select the ideal engine cleaner.
The cleaner should not contain any toxic or environmentally hazardous chemicals that can pose a threat to both the driver and the car engine.
An ideal engine cleaner should not contain harmful vapors and should not emit any kind of odor from under the hood that can make driving difficult.
The cleaner should not leave behind any kind of residue as that is another problem added on top of cleaning an engine.
The engine cleaner should be flexible so that it can be used on different kinds of surfaces instead of a particular metal or alloy part. It should also be usable on rubber and plastic-based components.
Research shows the various steps to be followed while using a WD-40 degreaser to deep clean the engine.
This blog post addressed the question, ‘What are the problems faced while washing a car engine?’.
We came to know about the various tools that are needed to perform a car engine washing. Furthermore, different ways of engine washing along with different types of engine cleaners available have also been discussed. Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How do you clean a car engine?
Can you hose off your engine?
An engine can be cleaned by using a garden hose or a pressure washer, however, it is important to keep in mind that a pressure washer should be operated at low settings and should be sprayed from a distance.
Will WD-40 damage an engine?
WD-40 is more flammable than engine oil and can cause a huge fire.
What is the best engine cleaner?
Orange degreaser from Chemical Guys Signature Series is one of the best engine cleaners around as it implements a citrus-based formula to remove the buildup of dirt, dust, debris, and grime from the engine bay.