Most of us spend our time washing and waxing the exterior of our car. Sometimes, the rims and tires get a good scrubbing too. However, how often do you lift up that hood to clean the engine compartment? Why should you keep your car engine clean?

Benefits of a Clean Engine

  1. Corrosion prevention: Salt, sand and road chemicals all for a corrosive layer around your car’s engine and hoses. Keeping them clean will prevent expensive repairs
  2. Easier Diagnostics: Any type of leak can be more easily detected when the engine and hoses are clean. It’s a good preventative practice to check the hoses periodically for any leaks.
  3. Fire Prevention: Over time, combustible materials such as oil, dried leaves and grasses can build-up in the engine compartment. When you add a hot engine to this mix of combustibles there can be a potential fire hazard
  4. Boost Your Resale Value: Keeping your engine compartment clean pays. Literally. A clean engine can increase the sale value of your car.

Keeping your car engine clean isn’t as hard as it looks. Today’s vehicles have all kinds of electronic components and tricky spaces. The task looks formidable but the concept is simple.

Before You Start

Before you clean your engine, you will want to place a catchment of some sort under the vehicle. You don’t want the grease and chemicals to land in your driveway and seep into the ground.

It is best to work only on a cool engine. A warm engine tends to dry up your degreaser as you are trying to work.

You Will Need

You are going to need:

Gloves: any type of hand protection will do. Wearing gloves just makes hand clean-up easier.

Long-handled brush: This will make it easier to reach further into spaces

Rags: Handy for wiping off excess as you go

Garden hose: Use water from a hose to gently rinse off the engine


There are many degreasing formulas available. Do some research and find the one that best suits your needs. You’ll also need a long-handled scrub brush and some elbow grease. Take more care around the electronics and wiring areas cleaning around them gently.


There is the idea that spraying water on the engine is detrimental to electronic components. There are stories of people taking their car to the car wash and using a high-powered spray to clean the engine of their vehicle. Afterwards, they began experiencing engine malfunctions. It wasn’t the water, per se, but the high pressure of the water that caused their electronics to become affected.

When rinsing, turn the water on low and simply let the water flow gently over the degreased engine, rinsing it well while avoiding fuse boxes. A little water goes a long way.


Next, blow-dry with pressurized air. If pressurized air is not available, a leaf blower works very well.

Finish by turning on your engine and letting it warm up so as to finish the drying process.

Now you are finished.

We hope these few tips on how to keep your car engine clean were helpful. Of course, if you have any further questions, please contact our car care experts at Southside Auto Repair; we would love to hear from you!

Southside Auto Repair