Is it safe to detail your engine bay?


Detailing the engine bay can often seem overwhelming and potentially scary but in reality it's one of the easiest areas to care for. Many owners fear they will ruin some part of the engine with a simple cleaning, but the truth is the modern day engine bay is so well protected it's hardly a concern anymore. With minimal effort you will be amazed at how easy and affordable it is to make your engine bay look like new again. You only need a degreaser, protectant, protectant applicator, and a cloth or brush to work in the degreaser. The process should only take 20 - 45 minutes depending on how dirty the engine bay is.

Prep work and precautions

While the vast majority of vehicles are extremely easy and safe to work on we'll go over some basic precautions that apply to some select vehicles. If you are working on a classic car or any older model (mid 1990's and older) you may want to be extra cautious. Electrical components are generally well covered, but if you have any visible avoid hitting them with a high pressure water flow. They are meant to resist moisture but it's possible to get water in there if you were careless or if they were defective. To be conservative wrap exposed electrical connections in tin foil. The air intakes are usually protected but avoid hitting them with a direct stream of water, if needed cover them with a plastic bag because you don't want to flood the air intake with water. If you have an exposed aftermarket air filter make sure it's covered by a plastic bag. If you have any exposed belts or fans cover them up with a plastic bag or tin foil. After you have checked off these areas you are ready to begin detailing. Again most of these areas are not of concern to the modern day vehicle but you should check just to be safe.

How to detail your engine bay

Step 1: Prior to starting, the engine bay should not be hot but it's okay if it's just barely warm. Some detailers will turn the car on for 1 - 2 minutes just to get it a little bit warm.

  • Step 2: Mist a light degreasing solution across the entire engine bay including the flipped up hood. Many light degreasers will work. We use a citrus based degreaser that is gentle yet powerful. Let it dwell for at least 1 - 2 minutes.

  • Step 3: Agitate visible build ups with a brush or rag. A small brush is very helpful as it get's in to those tough to reach areas with ease.

  • Step 4: Apply a fine mist of water starting top down to rinse away the dirt and contaminants.

  • Step 5: Spot treat any remaining areas and re-rinse the engine bay down with a fine mist of water.

  • Step 6: Dry the engine bay top down with a microfiber towel and you should see a noticeable improvement already. We use compressed air beforehand to help remove any small pools of water that may be hard to access.

  • Step 7: If any of the vinyl, plastic, or rubber are faded use a product like to bring a darker and richer appearance back. If the material is not faded but you'd like to provide a darker appearance and protection, apply your favorite protectant to the surface.We use 303 Aerospace Protectant. It leaves outstanding protection and adds a like-new finish to anything vinyl, plastic and rubber. Do not apply the protectant or cleaners to any mechanical pieces like moving belts and fans.

  • Step 8: Remove any plastic bags or tin foil you used and start the engine just to be certain you are all set.

How Often Should You Detail Your Engine Bay? The engine bay should be detailed every 3 - 6 months to keep it clean and well protected.

COST — Includes; Deep cleaning of engine, underneath hood, all hinges, jambs & seals. Plus, all surfaces dressed.

Engine bay cleaning/degreasing/shine=  $45