Engine Compartment Cleaning Fayetteville AR
Fort Smith, AR
A Clean Engine Compartment Can Pay Dividends
By Bill Siuru
Vehicles owners often spend hours cleaning and waxing the exteriors of their vehicles and time keeping the interiors spice and span. However, they never pop the hood except maybe to check fluid levels. After a few years, the engine compartment becomes a real mess. Fortunately, today's fuel-injected, electronically controlled engines are whole lot cleaner than the days of the carburetor. Still it is important to keep a clean engine compartment.
For starters, cleaner engines run cooler since dirt a thick film of crud can interfere with heat transfer from the engine. This is especially important with modern engines that operate hotter in more compactly configured engine compartments. It is easier to see oil, ATF and coolant leaks and well as when belts are about to go south in a tidy engine compartment. When repairs have to be made, it is much more pleasant to do the work in a clean environment. If you drive in a dusty areas, dirt and dust particles can lead to premature wear of components and belts. If you live in the salt belt, a saline solution that occurs whenever the engine compartment is damp can lead to rusting. The biggest reason to keep engine components free of oil and fuel soaked gunk is to prevent underhood fires.
Unless an engine compartment is hopelessly dirty and you might need a professional cleaning, the job can be done in your driveway with a garden hose and cleaning products specially designed for the task. Make sure any cleaning products used are environmentally friendly. Better yet, do the job at a self-serve car wash designed to handle the greasy run off.
Cleaning should be done with a warm, but definitely not a hot, engine. The engine should be warm enough to soften grease and other dirt to make it easier to remove. Before starting. Check the battery and cables. Clean any corrosion using the traditional baking soda solution. This will insure that highly corrosive battery acid is not sprayed around the engine compartment or onto the body. When using the baking soda, make sure none gets into the battery itself where it can degrade the electrolyte.
Next cover anything that could damaged by large amounts of water. This includes air intakes, air filters, oil dipstick, breather caps, distributors, coils and electronic black boxes. Use different size plastic bags for covering items. Seal the bags using rubber bags. Masking tape will often loosen when hit with water and plastic tape can be hard to remove after getting wet. Aluminum foil also works well because it can be shaped around the part. However, make sure it will not fly off when hit with high pressure water.
Spray the warm engine and compartment with the degreaser according to directions on the container. Start at the bottom and work upwards. Since degreasers will remove wax, cover the body to prevent removal by the overspray. Better yet save the waxing job until after doing the engine compartment. Let the degreaser sit for...