Engine Bay Detailing Tips and Tricks

Getting a super clean engine bay for your vehicle is a great final touch when it comes to detailing your vehicle. It’s not too hard, but it just takes a little bit of time to get done.

Today, we’ll go over some tips and tricks when it comes to detailing your vehicle’s engine bay.

If you’re looking to hire a professional Salem Oregon auto detailing company, we also offer engine bay detailing as part of our services.

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The first thing we recommend doing is disconnecting the battery at the very least. If you can completely remove the battery, that’s even better.

The reason we want to do this is because we want to make sure that there is no electricity running through any of the wiring on the engine. If we get water on electrical components that shouldn’t get wet, there’s a chance they could short out.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to use a lighter stream of water when cleaning your engine. You don’t want to use a pressure washer when cleaning an engine.

This is because there are various electrical cables, and you don’t want to be too aggressive when washing because it could damage the cables.

On top of that it’s important to try to avoid getting too much water on your vehicle’s alternator, distributor caps, or spark plugs if they’re on top of your engine. The main reason for this is that we don’t want to have too much water getting in those areas because it can cause issues when the battery is reconnected.

An additional thing to check on when it comes to preparation are anything that can be opened. These are things like the oil dipstick, radiator cap, coolant cap, and really any other refillable component on your engine. We want to avoid water getting into any of those areas as much as possible.

Dry Clean

Before we actually start using water to clean the engine, we first want to get rid of any dirt and debris that is sitting on the engine as is.

Any larger debris like leaves and sticks are fairly self explanatory, you can just go ahead and remove those. The dirt on the other hand can be a bit more tricky.

We recommend using a brush and a shop vacuum to get rid as much of the dirt as possible. The reason we do this is to prevent that dirt from running down into harder to reach places once we start bringing in water and soap.

Wet Clean

Now it’s time to actually start cleaning the engine bay. There are a handful of things you’re going to need to get this done. Those things include some water with a little bit of dish soap, some brushes, microfiber towels, and a garbage bag.

The first thing you want to do is put a garbage bag over the engine for the first step in the process. To start, what you want to do is apply some of the soapy water to the painted walls and components to the side of the engine.

Once you’ve applied the soapy water to the side of the engine bay, you can agitate it with a brush and then rinse it off with a hose set to the shower setting. When you’re done, you can dry it off.

Now, once you’re done with that you can remove the garbage bag from the engine. The reason we had it on there is to avoid getting too much water on the engine itself.

In order to clean the engine, you want to avoid using a hose entirely. To clean the engine, use the soapy water you have in the spray bottle, and spray a bit at a time on the engine. When you’ve sprayed a section of the engine, you can use a brush to agitate the grease and dirt. At that point, use a microfiber towel to remove the dirt and grease that you agitated.

Avoid using a hose or water as much as possible when cleaning the engine, because you want to prevent too much water getting onto electrical components.

Once everything has been cleaned, go over the engine bay with a microfiber towel and get rid of as much water as you can. If there is any standing water on the engine, make sure you get rid of all of that before continuing forward.

The Final Touches

This last step is completely optional, but it will make your engine bay look that much nicer. To make your engine bay really stand out, you can use a spray wax for the paint and trim restorer for the plastics and rubber.

Use the spray wax underneath the hood, and on the sides of the engine bay. This will help to protect the paint, and help make it look that much better.

Then, take the trim restorer, apply it to the plastic and rubber pieces in your engine bay. After applying it, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe away any remaining material.


After doing all of that, you’re done! You should have a great looking engine bay.

If you’re looking for a professional Salem Oregon auto detailing company to help you with detailing your engine bay, reach out to us today.

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