Keeping your engine compartment clean makes it easier for you to carry out repairs and maintenance. If you haven't cleaned the engine in a long time, it will take some time for the degreaser to soak in properly, and you'll have to put in some effort to get the oil residue off the engine block. It is best to clean your engine and engine compartment before you wash the car, because then you can be sure that you will get any residue from the degreaser off the paint. Regular cleaning of the engine prevents rust from forming. Dirt from driving and brine are the main causes of rust, so keeping your engine compartment clean will extend the life of your car's engine.
Method 1 of 3: Protecting and preparing your dirty engine
Step 1. Remove any debris in the engine compartment
Remove leaves, grass, twigs and other debris from the engine compartment before cleaning the engine. This kind of dirt can cause problems and even cause a fire if left on the engine or electrical system for a long time.
- Needles from conifers and leaves often end up at the bottom of the windshield and then end up in the engine compartment.
- Look for animal nests, especially when it gets colder outside.
Step 2. Disconnect the battery terminals
Using water in the engine compartment can cause sparks to electrical components, blow fuses and cause other damage. Prevent this by loosening the bolt on the negative terminal of the battery and sliding the ground cable off the terminal.
- You can choose to also disconnect the positive terminal, then you can remove the battery from the engine compartment for cleaning.
- Hide the ground cable on the side if you leave the battery in place to prevent the cable from coming into contact with the battery terminal.
Step 3. Cover exposed wires and electrical components
Your motorcycle is relatively waterproof, but by wrapping plastic around the electrical components you ensure a higher degree of safety. Cover the spark plugs, loose wires and the distributor cap, if your car has one.
- Small plastic bags or plastic wrap work well as water protection.
- Check your car owner's manual if you don't know if your car has a distributor, and to find the location of the spark plugs.
Step 4. Run the engine for five minutes
Grease on the engine is easier to remove when the engine is warm. Start the car and let the engine run for about five minutes. In this way you ensure that the engine reaches operating temperature and the dirt comes off more easily.
Do not run the engine for too long as you could burn yourself when cleaning the engine
Method 2 of 3: Degrease the engine
Step 1. Apply engine degreaser
There are many brands of engine degreaser on the market, and most of them are used in the same way. You spray the degreaser on the engine, from bottom to top, because that way you know for sure that you reach all the spots.
- Most degreasers come in a spray bottle, which makes it easy to apply to the engine.
- Read the instructions on the product you are buying to make sure you are using the correct method for this particular product.
Step 2. Avoid getting the degreaser on painted surfaces
Engine degreaser can make the top layer of car paint disappear, so be careful not to spray too widely when spraying the engine. If degreaser does end up on the wheel arches or other painted parts, make sure you can remove the agent immediately so that the paint does not damage the paint.
- Degreaser can dull car paint.
- Rinse degreaser off your paint as soon as possible.
Step 3. Let the degreaser work for three to five minutes
Degreaser dissolves the dirt on your engine. With a relatively dirty engine, it is sufficient to let the agent work for about three minutes to loosen the grease and oil. In the case of a very dirty engine, you can let the product act for five minutes before rinsing the engine.
- Always follow the instructions on the bottle, even if the duration is different from what we state here.
- The longer it can act, the better it will work.
- After about five minutes, the degreaser will begin to drip from the engine.
Step 4. Use a stiff brush to scrub the dirt off the motor
Take a stiff brush or wire brush and scrub off large patches of grease, burnt oil and dirt from the engine, with the degreaser still on the engine. Because you have already applied the product, the dirt will come off easily.
- Always wear safety goggles when cleaning your motorcycle so that the degreaser does not get into your eyes.
- Wear gloves to prevent prolonged contact of the degreaser with the skin.
- You only need to scrub the engine if there are larger pieces of dirt on the engine.
Step 5. Rinse the engine with a regular garden hose
Do not use a pressure washer to rinse the engine, as this may loosen wiring or damage the plastic covering electronics. A normal garden hose where the water simply flows out works best for rinsing the engine well and removing the dirt.
If the engine is still dirty after rinsing, you can apply degreaser again and let it soak for a few minutes
Step 6. Wash the car
After you have rinsed the engine, you should immediately start washing your car. This way you can be sure that your paint will not be damaged in the event that degreaser ends up on your paint.
- When washing your car, make sure to use a different bucket, sponges, and cloths.
- Wash paint that has come into contact with degreaser.
Method 3 of 3: Cleaning specific engine parts
Step 1. Use a wire brush to clean the battery terminals
Battery terminals often corrode, which can lead to problems with your car's electrical system. Disconnect the leads from the battery posts and scrub the battery posts with a wire brush until the metal is clean.
An anti-corrosion agent can help keep the battery terminals clean and maintain the electrical connection
Step 2. Apply baking soda and water to battery acid
If the corrosion on the battery is caused by battery acid, you can neutralize it by cleaning it with a mixture of baking soda and water. Sprinkle some baking soda in a bucket of water and mix it thoroughly. Submerge your brush in the mixture and scrub the battery terminals and other areas where battery acid has leaked.
With baking soda you can clean battery terminals well, and it neutralizes the battery acid at the same time
Step 3. Clean the plastic parts with a stiff brush and sponge
Plastic parts of your motorcycle, such as engine block covers and reservoir caps, are sometimes difficult to clean. Start with a stiff brush and some car shampoo or degreaser. When the most stubborn dirt has disappeared, you can remove the last dirt with a sponge and some car shampoo, then you can rinse the parts with water.
- You can remove the parts before cleaning them, but you don't have to.
- Do not use wire brushes on plastic, as this will cause scratches.
Step 4. Use brake cleaner on areas that are very dirty
brake cleaner dissolves dirt and evaporates quickly. Place the straw in the nozzle of the brake cleaner and aim it at areas that are difficult to clean or where there is a lot of dirt. Then scrub the dirt off with a stiff brush, then spray it again with brake cleaner to get it completely clean.
- Be careful when using brake cleaner in enclosed areas, as the fumes released can be hazardous.
- Brake cleaner is highly flammable, so never use it near a lit cigarette or fire.