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How To Detail Your Engine Bay

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Engine Bay detailing

Stage 1

Safety First: Water and electrics do not mix, the use of high pressure hoses and steam cleaners may be useful for some people but if you don’t know what your doing or have concerns about using those methods then this ‘cautious’ guide is for you!

Some water will be involved in this process so ensure any air filter openings, Battery terminals, distributor, spark plug openings and any other electrical devices are protected with a plastic bag, wrap the bag around the item or use a wire ‘tie’ don’t use carrier bags as these have holes in them!

This stage will be the most boring but shouldn’t be skipped on. The engine bay should already be waterproof to some extent but it is best to take every precaution.

Stage 2

Degreasing the engine bay: Start by allowing the engine to warm slightly by turning it on, this will help to ‘melt’ any grease already on the engine. The engine should be hand hot.

Use a spray engine degreaser, for the bay below I used Autoglym engine and machine cleaner. You can so the whole bay at once but I prefer to split it into sections and work one area at a time. Spray the degreaser liberally around your chosen segment and leave it to ‘sit’ for a few minutes. Using a stiff detailing brush or I used a 1.5 inch paint brush agitate the area that you have sprayed, getting into all the nooks and crannies. To prevent splashing any on your skin it is advised that you start from the lower parts of the engine and work your way up.

Once you have cleaned one area it is time to hose off. I would advise an open hose with the water pressure at half pressure at the tap head. Simply rinse the part that you have cleaned without directing the water onto/into any electrical areas. Repeat this stage until the entire engine bay is clean.

Stage 3

Protecting the engine bay: This is the fun and easy part; simply spray Autoglym vinyl and rubber care liberally onto all parts of the engine. Do not wipe off. Remove plastic bags and turn engine on for 5 minutes or go for a short drive. The heat from the engine will dry any excess material and leave a sparkling finish. You may however want to wipe large flat areas such as engine covers to prevent spotting.


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Or do it the 'old fashioned way'.

Do an area of the engine compartment each weekend then over a period of time it will eventually improve area by area.


I use 'Solvo Autosol' for aluminium, 'Armour All' for Plastic parts and Rubber hoses and normal car polish for under the bonnet/paintwork areas.

Then ...

...You drive a couple of the days in the rain and it's all dirty again :lol::lol:

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