Cleaning Up a Greasy Engine Compartment

If you’re a car jockey, you’ve probably been degreasing engines for years. If you aren’t, here’s a good reason to consider it, at least at trade time; a clean engine will bring you more money. You should definitely degrease a messy engine compartment before you sell a car to a dealer, or via private sale. You will be glad you did because it will bring in more money.

Fortunately, degreasing an engine isn’t that hard to do. There are many engine degreasing sprays on the market today that eliminate the hard work. You can find them at most auto supply stores and hardware stores. Degreasing sprays come in two types: solvent and water-based. Both types work well. If you’re sensitive to solvents, choose a concentrated water-based product. Many professionals prefer solvent-based degreasers, though, because they work a little faster and seem to cut through heavy grease buildup a little better. The downside is their strong solvent smell. If your engine is really a greasy mess, choose either a foam or a gel formula such as Gunk Heavy Duty Gel Degreaser. This type of cleaner hangs onto the grime and penetrates it better.

Here’s how to degrease your engine: Degreasers work best when the oil and grease on an engine is a little soft. So start the engine up and let it run for about 5 minutes. Then hose down the engine with the degreaser. Aim carefully to prevent the overspray from jumping out onto your cars paint. After you have coated everything, let it sit on the engine for 15-20 minutes so all the grease softens up.

Next step is to take a garden hose with a good spray nozzle and wash all off the engine. This will likely make quite a mess so be ready to get rather oily and wet. It is basically imperative that this be done outside. When you are done spraying off the grease, take a good look at the engine and see if you have removed all the accumulated grease. If not, apply another coat of degreaser and repeat. It often takes a couple of iterations to properly degrease an engine well.

By the way, when you are finished degreasing, consider using an engine protectant. Gunk Engine Shine is a popular brand. The engine protectant spray imparts a slight shine to all the under-hood parts and a protective layer of oil to make cleanup even easier next time.

Technical Source: Lebanon Ford


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