Many people don’t detail their engines simply because they don’t understand how to do it, and they’re afraid of damaging something. Actually your engine is a lot more resilient than than you may think. You can wash and detail your engine without much fear of damaging anything. Remember that you are detailing and not watering your lawn. Don’t soak the engine with degreaser or use the hose at high pressure. Engine detailing takes a little care and attention to detail in order to do a good job.
Never detail a hot engine. The best time to detail your engine is in the morning when it has been sitting all night. If you throw cold water on a hot engine then you run a much higher risk of causing damage. You definitely want to make sure the engine is cool before you start work. Some detailers recommend warming the engine to loosen build-up but it should only be slightly warm. If its too warm, the degreaser will dry and spot engine surface. Before you start detailing, cover the alternator, any exposed filters, any computers, and the engine’s air intake or filter. Those are the areas that you really don’t want water or degreaser Be sure to remove all covers before you start your engine. You might also want to consider any other areas of the engine that might not be water friendly. If you have done any custom work then you may have electrical connections or gauges that you want to cover. Just think about what you wouldn’t necessarily want to get too wet. You can always hand clean those areas after you get the rest of the dirt out. Remember: Use the minimum of water and cleaners to do the job.
Start by degreasing the perimeter of the engine bay. The painted surfaces are fine to use a degreaser on, but it will remove wax. Make sure you get the fluid containers and hoses degreased as well. Those are areas that usually get extra dirty. Spray down the firewall at the back of the engine bay and be sure to get as far down as you can. Degreaser won’t do the whole job for you, but it will certainly make things easier. To get the degreaser off you simply need to rinse it with a slow stream of water. You can use your thumb over the end of the hose to create a little pressure, but for the most part the degreaser will do the work and get the dirt off. Anything that doesn’t come off can just be wiped down. Again, a clean engine doesn’t come in a bottle or a can. You usually have to wipe it down by hand in order to get the engine really looking good.
After you have rinsed what you can, the rest needs to be done by hand. It is best if you have a wash mitt that is specially designated for engine detailing. You don’t want to use the same one for the engine that you would use for the rest of the car in order to prevent cross-contamination. For crevices and any areas that you can’t reach by hand, use a chemical resistent soft bristle brush. Wash the perimeter of the engine and make sure that all the dirt is gone. You can also begin washing toward the middle of the engine where you may not have sprayed any degreaser. The fluid containers and caps are usually very dirty and take some scrubbing to get clean. Some areas may require you to use the brush to get the grime off. Always use soft bristled brushes and never use brass or stainless steel ones.
Mix up a soapy water solution in a spray bottle to help get in the nooks and crannies for this detailing. You can also use a good quick cleaning product, like some of the quick detailer type of products. Make sure you have a lot of shop towels handy to wipe down the areas when you are finished. You may also want to demote some few microfiber towels just for engine detailing. The engine needs to be completely dry before applying any protectants. Don’t use carnauba waxes as this environment is too hot for them. Use a shop vac in reverse (blower) mode or a leaf blower. This will get water out of places you can’t dry by hand. Most protective coatings come in a glossy finish but there are some available in a matte finish if you prefer.
Dragon Detailing is a top rated, mobile detailing Orlando FL company.