Should You Wash Your Car Engine? – A Guide

Contrary to popular belief, it is important to keep the engine clean and washable. The myth that moisture damages the engine’s electronic components is not entirely true, as if it were, when it was raining, the vehicles could not move due to the water entering the cabin from below. The fundamental point is the sudden change in temperature and the washing process.

Why Should We Wash the Car Engine?

An internal combustion engine, a product of its design and operation, emits gas emissions from and around it.

The main reasons are:

  • Emissions from inside the engine coming out of the valve cover and the oil level pipe. From these two points the main gases are fuel residues, nitric acid, sulfur oxides.
  • Emissions from the evaporation of liquid in the battery or electrolyte. The main ingredient is sulfuric acid.

These emissions are deposited on the metals of the engine cover or cover, creating corrosion, especially at the edges, which can lead to their weakening. This will only be felt before a collision or accident. They are also deposited in rubber ducts and on the outside of electrical wiring, degrading them and accelerating their crystallization with temperature changes. Finally, the acids present in these emissions corrode the electrical terminals from the earth as part of all circuits in the motor.

General Precautions

Washing should be done when the motor, as well as the electrical components, are at room temperature you can also hire specialize mobile car valet. In other words, they must be cold. The main component that determines the standby time for cooling is the computer for which it is specified:

  • Computer inside the cabin: standby time 30 minutes.
  • Computer in the engine compartment mounted directly on the engine: 2 hours
  • Computer in the engine compartment, but mounted on the periphery of the engine: 1 hour and 30 minutes

The electrical connectors must be in good condition, thus guaranteeing that moisture does not enter their interior, which could cause short circuits and permanent damage to the computer.

Procedure and Preparation of the Engine for Washing:

  • Open the breastplate
  • Cover the computer with plastic.
  • Cover the ignition coils with plastic.
  • Cover the fuse boxes with plastic. (The fuse that must be protected the most is the one that allows the electrical supply to the computer, which is marked for example as: EFI, ECU, ECM, MPFI.
  • Applying a good degreaser is the first cleaning secret.
  • Proceed to wash the vehicle outside, to allow time to cool down.
  • It is important during the exterior washing, to apply the water jet directly to the radiator panel, which will clear the ducts allowing a better operation of the cooling system.
  • Protect the computer with a damp cloth.
  • Cover the ignition coils and fuse boxes with a damp cloth. This in order to further lower the temperature of these components, accelerating the total cleaning process.
  • Finish the external cleaning of the vehicle. (This step also saves time).
  • Manually clean all visible and exterior engine components (this is the second secret to good cleaning).
  • Pour cold water into the engine. In this step, the following precautions should be taken:
  • Cold water must not contain steam as this is dangerous, as it can enter any electrical component or connector. This means that steam washing is prohibited.
  • Water flushing should be done at low pressure, no more than 30 pounds (psi).
  • Do not direct the jet of water directly at the computer, coils or fuse box.
  • Blow away the fundamental electrical components of the motor. In this step the pressurized air must be directed to:
  • To the sparklers and its surroundings. Moisture around them can internally break the coils.
  • Around the computer, so that when the engine warms up and therefore its interior, the steam does not enter the connector.
  • Around the coils and fuse box.

Final Procedure

Once the washing process is finished, the following must be done last:

  • Manually dry any point of humidity that is on the motor.
  • Give between 20 and 30 minutes for its natural drying. During this period, you can take advantage of the time, doing the vacuuming and cleaning the interior.

The Result: Clean engine, with better performance, accompanied by proper maintenance and longer life.

As can be seen, what seems like a simple process and / or service really requires a lot of care, which can only be carried out in specialized and responsible Service Centers such as 5 Star Valeting Solutions, especially due to the greater content of electronic components, of great value, present nowadays in vehicles.


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