A Bugger in the Engine Bay

A Bugger in the Engine Bay

Scott Spector

Keep it Cool Bro!

Dave has a nice condo at the beach, and he recently returned from a quick trip there. He asked me if I would give his engine bay a quik detail upon his return – that’s 4-ish hour and 250 mile trip to the home-20. I certainly obliged as I had some extra time on my hand and Dave’s a good friend and client. It went sorta like this…

“Dave, I’ll get started on cleaning your wheels but it’s going to be a while before we crack on the engine bay,” I said. He looked confuzzled so I continued. “The engine needs to cool before we spray any water or cleaners on it.” Cold water on a hot manifold can crack it, and water in many other areas of your hot engine will certainly evaporate. But, when it cools down, water vapor will condense out in areas where water ain’t supposed to go, i.e., ignition systems, wiring harnesses, etc. He seemed disappointed. Apparently, he wanted to have it clean and shiny for a dinner date with the wife. “Well Jim, we have options and a few steps, but we must let it cool off before we get stuck in.”

We removed all loose debris, blew out the bay with compressed air, covered any sensitive areas (if your car doesn’t have protective covers), rinsed it down with a pressure washer, sprayed an all-purpose cleaner and degreaser depending on condition, agitated with a variety of brushes focusing on heavy-use areas; and in some cases, we concentrate our efforts with a hand sprayer and cleaning solution, agitate to remove the stuck-on dirt, grease and grime and follow up with a full rinse. Next, we give it a blow down with compressed air or an air dryer to eliminate any water droplets prior to adding our silicone-free dressing.

It’s critical to ensure surfaces inside the bay are clean prior to applying a silicone-free dressing. Otherwise, you’re just making matters worse by adding dressing over dirt. Dave suggested we put the engine bay cleaning on sale once he saw how clean it looked. He’s right! A clean engine runs much better than a dirty one.  Have your engine bay detaiedl at least 2 times each year depending on how much you drive and what geography you live in (north exposed to road chemicals, beach areas exposed to sand, etc.).

Thank Dave for the SALE!

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