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How to clean a car engine

Over time deposits on the engine make it and the underside of the bonnet messy. If that’s happened with your car, you might want to clean it up. Before you grab a bucket and a brush, find out how to clean a car engine from us or you might ruin some of the car’s most expensive parts.
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Step 1

You will remove more of the mess if you warm the engine up slightly. Don’t get it to operating temperature but run it for a minute. While you’ve got the engine running, move the car to an area when the soap and debris won’t cause damage to your property.

Step 2

Now you’re prepared to work on the car. Lift the bonnet and remove the negative terminal cable on the battery and then the positive one. Cover exposed electrical components with a plastic wrap to prevent them from being exposed to water. Also cover the air intake but this time use aluminium foil or plastic.

Step 3

Now you’re ready to get to work. Take a brush and clear off loose dirt or debris from the engine surface. A paint brush is the ideal tool here. You’ll now need to mix a solution of “grease cutting” dish detergent and water. Use something like 2 cups of detergent to every gallon of water to get the right mix. When it’s ready brush your solution onto the engine beginning with the dirtiest areas. When that’s done use a garden hose to rinse the engine through thoroughly.

Step 4

You’ll need to take a bit more care if you want to carry out a more comprehensive clean. You should consult the car’s service manual to find out which materials you can use to clean the engine block and the other metal parts. You don't want to get water in the engine or make an expensive mistake. This is the stage at which you could make a serious issue for yourself so only consider cleaning the engine block if you’re confident that you have everything you need.

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