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How to Clean Your Engine Bay: The Ultimate Guide

How to Clean Your Engine Bay: The Ultimate Guide

Selling anything is about painting the picture of a lifestyle. It’s as much about showing potential buyers how the car could improve their lives or fulfil an aspiration as it is about the car itself. Part of that lifestyle is making the car look as good as it can.


The engine bay is the one area of a car that gets the dirtiest but also gets the least attention. If you’re planning to sell your car to a dealership, or privately, you can take a little time to clean your engine bay to help clinch the sale of your vehicle.


Engine Bay Cleaning

The engine bay is exposed to road debris from underneath and from any spills or sprays from the engine itself.


Depending on the age of the car and how many leaks you have had, the engine bay could be a dirty place indeed!


This presents two problems. One, it makes it difficult for an appraiser or buyer to properly inspect the engine. Two, it doesn’t look good.


If you spent time and effort cleaning the rest of the car, why not spend a few minutes cleaning the engine bay too?


How to Clean Your Car’s Engine Bay

Cleaning the engine bay is relatively straightforward but it is a dirty job. You’ll need a degreaser spray, plastic bags, soft brush, clean cloths and a water hose or pressure washer.


Cleaning goes a little something like this:


  1. Make sure the engine is cold
  2. Disconnect the negative terminal on your car battery
  3. Cover the battery, alternator, and distributor with plastic bags to protect them from water
  4. Remove any plastic engine covers so you can see the engine
  5. Spray degreaser wherever there is oil and grease
  6. Dampen the soft bristle brush and brush down the entire engine bay. Keep rinsing the brush to keep it clean
  7. Rinse the engine bay with the hose or pressure washer
  8. Clean any plastic engine covers
  9. Wipe down all surfaces with a dry cloth
  10. Check all pipes, hoses, and connections for damage and condition
  11. Replace the engine cover, and battery terminal, and remove the plastic bags


As long as you disconnect the battery and make sure any electrics are dry before reconnecting it, cleaning your engine bay is perfectly safe.


If you use a pressure washer, make sure to give extra attention to all connections, pipes, joints, and anywhere that pressure could cause damage or move a connection.


Once done, put everything back together and you should have a much cleaner looking car!


Admittedly, a clean engine bay won’t have the same impact as a gleaming interior or shiny bodywork but it all helps paint the picture of a well-maintained car and makes it easier for a buyer to imagine themselves driving it.


Whether you’re selling your car to a dealership, or privately, that’s the name of the game!


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Categories: sell your car