Is it a Good Idea to Clean Your Car’s Engine Bay?

Washing your car is typically part of your routine maintenance when it comes to keeping it in top shape, but what about your engine bay? After all, the engine bay is typically the dirtiest part of the car and it looks like it could use a good cleaning from time to time. But is it really a good idea to clean it?

Why would you want to clean the car’s engine bay?

Your car’s engine bay is so dirty because it’s constantly exposed to the outside elements from below the bay and gets riddled with dirt and grime from the engine itself, especially if the car previously had an oil leak. The main reasons that you might want a clean engine bay are if you plan to sell the car and want to make it look presentable or if you’re trying to track down a fluid leaking from your engine. Having a clean engine bay can do wonders in impressing other people, almost as much as a clean interior.

A dirty engine bay |
A dirty engine bay | Wikimedia Commons

How do you clean a car’s engine bay?

There are a couple of different ways to clean an engine bay. You can do it at home if you have access to a water hose and some cleaning products, at a car wash with a pressure washer, or you can have it professionally done if you don’t want to do it yourself. But if you would like to clean your engine bay at home, here are the simple steps to do so:

  • Let your engine cool off for at least 30 minutes if it was just running as spraying cold water on hot metal and plastic parts can cause them to contract at a rapid rate and crack.
  • Remove your negative battery cable to lessen the risk of damaging any electrical components.
  • Cover the battery, alternator, and distributor with plastic bags so that they don’t get wet.
  • Spray the engine bay with a degreaser. You can typically find a degreaser at your local auto parts store and if you want one that’s eco-friendly, then we suggest using Simple Green.
  • Scrub your engine bay using a soft-bristle brush to clean up all of the extra-dirty parts.
  • Rinse the engine bay with the water hose, while doing your best not to concentrate the hose in one place for too long. Just do an even spray throughout the engine bay.
  • Dry the engine bay using old microfiber towels.
cleaning your engine bay | Youtube

10 Things You Should Never Use to Clean Your Car

It’s a good idea to clean the engine bay from time to time

While some mechanics might tell you it’s not a good idea to clean the engine bay ever, as you might damage some of the electrical components, just know that newer engine bays are pretty well-isolated from incurring any water damage.

Technically, it’s safe to clean your engine bay and we recommend it from time to time in order to keep it clean, just like you do with the rest of the car. Also, a clean engine bay is much easier (and cleaner) to work within if you have to do any maintenance work. If anything, your mechanic might even thank you for it.