Is It Ok To Pressure Wash A Car Engine?

How To Pressure Wash a Car Engine

It’s good that you’ve finally decided to wash your car engine bay; we all know that car owners don’t usually pay attention to this area when washing their cars.

Typically, you only open the hood when something is wrong with this car, or you want to fill a lubricant/coolant, but today, you wish to wash the components under the hood. So, how do you wash a car engine?

Is it ok to pressure wash a car engine? These are some questions you should ask before going on to carry out a thorough car wash that will touch every part of the car.

The engine is the most critical part of your car. You can wash it using a pressure washer, and this article explains how you can do this.

Is It ok To Pressure Wash A Car Engine?

Using a pressure washer to tidy up your engine bay is an excellent idea and beats using a garden hose. However, before you start spraying water on the bay, ensure that certain vital components are covered.

Don’t just get a pressure washer and start spraying water on your engine; such a careless act can cause costly damages.

Also, you should read your car’s manual to see how frequently your car manufacturer recommends you wash the engine and how you should do that.

Well, how and when to wash your engine is not written in most car manuals, but it’s a recommended action.

In some manuals, you’ll see a small section where it is indicated that people living in snowy areas with salted roads should clean their auto engines with non-corrosive chemicals at the end of the season. This action is alleged to help make the engine last longer and perform efficiently.

At this point, it is certain that washing your car engine is a safe activity, but requires guidelines and specific tools (ex. pressure washer).

Read Also: Do Garaged Cars Last Longer?

How To Pressure Wash a Car Engine

Is It Ok To Pressure Wash A Car Engine

First things first, turn off the engine and then follow these steps below to clean up your engine bay.

1. Protect Electrical Components in the Engine Bay

Since you’re not certain about the IP rating of the electrical components under the hood, you can assume they are IPX4 or even lower. Hence, you should get a plastic bag or saran wrap and cover them all up. What are the components you need to protect?

  • Car alarm system
  • Distributor cap
  • Alternator
  • Spark plugs
  • The battery terminals
  • And any other electrical components you see under the hood

2. Use Chemical Solutions to Degrease the Engine

Your car engine is very greasy due to accumulated dirt plus oil drops. We recommend you use the Simple Green Degreaser – it is a very reliable solution that will degrease your car engine and make the washing seamless.

Get a brush, spray the degreaser around the engine, make sure it gets into all the corners, and then use the brush to circulate the solution, ensuring that it penetrates every corner of the engine.

Please ensure that the engine is off while you do this; else, you can sustain burn injuries, and the degreaser won’t work.

3. Use Your Pressure Washer

After you must have properly covered the various electrical components that can be affected by water and you have degreased the engine itself, then it’s time to wash.

The best and recommended way to wash your car engine is by using a pressure washer. You can purchase car pressure washers from online stores and also offline stores.

But before triggering the washer to spray water on your engine, wait for a while to allow the detergent you applied to settle properly. Rinse with your pressure washer and watch how neat your car engine will appear.

Important Note: Don’t use the maximum “pressure” level of your pressure washer. Use low or medium pressure level.

No doubts, after pressure washing the engine, you may still find little dirt in some corners. You can wipe them off with a damp rag. Afterward, use a microfiber towel to dry the entire bay.

What more?

If you wish, you can use plastic spray car products to spray down some parts – this is not compulsory, anyway.

Remove the plastic bags you used to cover the electrical components, and that’s all! You have successfully cleaned your car engine without damaging any component.

Now, ask yourself, is it ok to pressure wash a car engine? You already know the answers, and it is YES. Hopefully, the car engine washing guide provided in this article will help anyone seeking to know how to wash a car engine.

Most importantly, if you forget to remove the plastic covering or whatever material you used in protecting electrical components during the wash, at the time you turn on the engine, and it heats, those plastics bags will melt. Washing a car engine won’t take up much time once you’ve got the cleaners you need to use.

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