Summer Engine Bay Cleaning DIY

Are you the kind of person that wants to really have that leading edge in the ever so popular, who takes better care of ther personal property? Well why not add that extra wow factor with not only washing your car and vacuuming the interior, but clean your engine bay and really surprise your friends by going one step further with car care.

First of all, some items you will need:

-Brushes: Spoke, Wheel and Paint

-Car Soap, APC(All purpose Cleaner), AIO(All in one polish) Paint Cleaner or cleaner wax and engine/trim dressing

-Water Hose

-Masking Tape

-Towels (Bath, microfiber etc.)

-2 Gallon water bucket

-Optional Leaf Blower, air compressor or vacuum blower


Step One: You will want to mask off all areas that you do not want APC or engine dressing to get on, outside of the engine bay.

Step Two(Optional): Remove the air duct inlet and engine cover. Cover the air duct inlet hole with foil and insert enough rags to fill the power duct.  If you have an aftermarket intake system, it is your choice if you want to remove it or leave it on.  If you decide to take off the aftermarket system, fill the throttle body with rags.  Also, do not forget to cover anything else like the alternator, connectors, and anything else you are worried about getting wet.

Step Three: Rinse everything down to get rid of some of the dirt and grime, but do not forget to stay away from the things you do not want that much water hitting.

Step Four: Ready your APC (FS for really dirty engines 4:1 to 10:1 for light cleaning) and spreay everything down, including the underside of the hood.

Step Five: Obtain the spoke brush and start cleaning areas where you cannot get between.  Such as, behind the engine bay, inbetween the harness, in front of the engine bay, near the intake system and near the throttle body.

Step Six: After you get all the areas with the spoke brush, now it is time to clean most of the other areas that you can get with the wheel brush.  Starting with the hood and moving into the engine bay.  Also do not forget the engine cover and air duct inlet if you took it off.

Step Seven: The last thing for cleaning is to use the paint brush to get into those tiny areas you could not get with the wheel or spoke brush.

Step Eight: Rinse everything off with your water hose, being sure to remove the grease, dirt and grime and also to rinse off the APC.

Step Nine: Now it is time to dry.  Use anything from an air compressor, blower attachment on a vacuum, or leaf blower.  This will remove water faster and easier than a towel.

Step Ten: Use the towel of your choice and dry the rest of the engine bay and the hood.

Step Eleven: Break out the coarse steel wool and some aluminum polish and polish the intake plenum with it.  Note: Do not use coarse steel wool on a polish upper intake plenum or even anything underneath the hood that is chrome, polished aluminum or anodized metals.

Step Twelve: Wipe the aluminum clean and then dry with a new towel.

Step Thirteen: Put enginen cover and air duct inlet back on.

Step Fourteen: Using the engine dressing, spray all plastic pieces, hoses and harnesses.

Step Fifteen: Now its time to get the AIO, Cleaner wax or paint cleaner and clean all the painted areas with the cleaner of choice with a microfiber or terry applicator.

Step Sixteen: Wipe off all the paint areas with a dry towel.

Step Seventeen: Close the hood and start the engine.  Let it run for twenty minutes to let the rest of the engine and any other water to evaporate, allowing the engine dressing to dry. 

Step Eighteen: Turn engine off, wipe the engine bay down again with a towel and remove all masking tape, paper and stuffing rags.

Step Nineteen: Do not forget to dress the windshield molding.

Follow this guide and your friends will be so impressed with the cleanliness of your car, they may start asking YOU to help them out, and might spring a little cash or some cold beverages your way!