How to Clean Your Car Engine and the Cost Range
Keeping your car's engine clean is an essential part of vehicle maintenance. A clean engine not only provides a better appearance but also prevents the accumulation of dirt and deposits that can harm engine components. So, is it safe to clean a car engine?
The engine bay is an area that requires extra caution when cleaning due to its potential serious impacts, ranging from stalling to fires. As a safe solution, it is recommended to clean the engine bay using a damp cloth. There's no need for water spraying or steam use.
Cleaning a car engine should also not be done casually. Proper techniques are necessary for this task. In this article, we will delve into the details of this process, its benefits, the cost of services, and things to consider when cleaning a car engine.
Benefits of Cleaning a Car Engine
Some people tend to focus on the cleanliness of a car's interior and exterior while neglecting the cleanliness of the engine. However, the car engine is the driving heart that plays a crucial role in overall vehicle performance. So, why is this important? Let's explore the benefits of cleaning a car engine.
1. Preventing Heat Dissipation Obstruction
Dirt, dust, and oil drips that adhere to the engine can obstruct heat dissipation. An overheating engine can experience reduced efficiency and poor performance. Regularly cleaning the engine will help maintain the engine temperature within normal limits, avoiding the risk of overheating and extending the engine's lifespan.
2. Preventing Damage to Open Components
Car engines consist of open components such as alternators, power steering units, and AC belts. Accumulated dirt on these components can lead to wear or corrosion, reducing their lifespan. By keeping the engine clean, you can prevent damage and excessive wear to these components.
3. Enhancing Radiator Fan Performance
Efficient heat dissipation is crucial to preventing the engine from overheating. Dirt on the engine can also affect the performance of the radiator fan, which functions to cool the engine. By keeping the engine clean, you help the radiator fan work better, maintain a stable engine temperature, and reduce the risk of overheating.
4. Optimal Electrical Connector Conditions
The advancement of modern car technology has integrated many components through electrical connectors. Dirt and dust on the engine can disrupt these connectors, affecting electrical flow and the performance of other components. Preventing these disruptions by keeping the engine clean reduces the risk of component damage and serious electrical problems.
How to Clean a Car Engine
It's important to know the correct steps to follow in the cleaning process. Here are the essential steps you should take:
1. Warm Up the Engine
Before starting the cleaning, turn on the engine and let it run for about 15 minutes. Afterward, allow the engine to cool briefly. This helps loosen the dirt adhering to the engine, making the cleaning process easier.
2. Ensure the Engine is Cool
Never attempt to clean a hot engine. Wait at least 30-45 minutes after driving before starting the cleaning process. This will protect both you and the engine from drastic temperature changes.
3. Be Careful with Light Dust and Dirt
Begin by cleaning light dust and dirt from the engine's surface. Use a brush or a small broom to remove dust from the surface and crevices of the engine. Do this carefully, and avoid using water at this stage.
4. Apply Degreaser
The next step is to apply a degreaser. The purpose of a degreaser is to dissolve stubborn stains like oil, grease, asphalt residue, and other dirt, especially on the lower parts of the engine.
5. Allow Soaking Time
After applying the degreaser, give it time to soak and work. Usually, waiting for about 5 to 7 minutes is enough before moving on to the next step.
6. Brush Cleaning
Once the degreaser has soaked in, proceed to clean the engine using a brush. Use a brush with a straight and wide tip. The straight-tip brush is used to reach hard-to-reach areas, while the wide brush is for cleaning large areas. This will facilitate the cleaning process.
7. Rinse with Clean Water or a Jet Steamer.
After you have cleaned the engine with a degreaser or specialized engine shampoo, the next step is to rinse it. You can do this with flowing, clean water or by using a jet steamer. However, it's important to use low-pressure water rather than high-pressure. This is crucial to prevent water from entering the engine gasket area. Avoiding water from getting into the oil system is key to preventing further damage to the engine.
8. Inspect Thoroughly
During the cleaning process, ensure that you clean the engine meticulously. Avoid leaving "water spots" that can diminish the final cleaning result. Make sure every corner and part of the engine is cleaned evenly. Once the engine and cleaned components are completely dry, carefully reinstall the car battery, ensuring stable electrical connections.
How Much Does Car Engine Cleaning Cost?
The cost of car engine cleaning services varies depending on the type of car and the location of the cleaning service. According to Dokter Mobil, the general cost range for car engine cleaning is between IDR 450,000 and IDR 750,000.
If you want a comprehensive car cleaning package, you can choose the car grooming services provided by car salon treatments. This treatment involves thorough cleaning and protection to keep your car in prime condition, including the exterior, interior, and engine detailing.
If you opt for engine detailing specifically, the cost is typically around IDR 300,000. However, this price can vary depending on the complexity of the detailing process you choose. Regardless, be sure to select a reputable and trusted car cleaning service that adheres to industry standards.
Things to Consider When Cleaning a Car Engine
While you can easily follow the steps for cleaning a car engine, make sure not to take it lightly. For this reason, let's explore some important things to consider when cleaning a car engine on your own.
1. Choose the Right Location
When initiating the cleaning process, make sure to select a location not exposed to direct sunlight. This is crucial because some car engine components, especially those made of rubber and plastic, are vulnerable to heat and sunlight. Ideally, perform the cleaning in a garage. If that's not possible, ensure the car is positioned to protect the engine from direct sunlight exposure.
2. Disconnect the Car Battery
Before proceeding with any water-involved cleaning, make sure to disconnect the car battery. This will protect the car's electrical system from the risk of short-circuiting during the cleaning process.
3. Pay Attention to the Engine Bay Lid
Start the cleaning by washing the bottom side of the engine bay lid. Use a brush or broom with an appropriate cleaning solution to remove dirt and debris. Do this carefully and avoid direct contact with electrical components.
4. Use a Steamer or Cleaning Solution
You can use a steamer or a mixture of cleaning solutions to clean the engine more efficiently. Be sure to follow the steamer's usage instructions correctly. If using a cleaning solution, ensure it's suitable for the type and surface of
5. Inspect the Front of the Engine and Lights
Remove the front grille to clean the front part of the engine bay thoroughly. You can also clean the car lights with toothpaste, which can help restore the clarity of foggy lights.
6. Dry Thoroughly
After completing the cleaning, make sure to thoroughly dry the cleaned parts with a microfiber cloth or chamois cloth. Ensure there's no water trapped on the engine's surface.
Before concluding the cleaning process, ensure there's no soap or cleaning solution residue left on the engine. Such residues can lead to corrosion or other damage to the engine surface.
8. Restart the Engine
Finally, start the cleaned car engine. This will help dry any remaining water on the engine and return the engine to normal operating conditions after the cleaning process.
By carefully following the tips on how to clean a car engine mentioned above, you can ensure that the car engine cleaning process is carried out safely and effectively. Remember that the car engine is a sensitive component, so always handle it with care. If you do want to clean the engine bay, it's advisable to take it to a professional detailing service for proper and safe cleaning.