Today I came across this very dirty engine from a 2007 Honda Odyssey while detailing the minivan in Columbus Ohio. I don’t believe it had ever been cleaned. It had years of dirt and grime caked everywhere inside the engine compartment. It was time for a bath!
The photo above shows the engine after it had been sprayed with Meguiars Super Degreaser. This is an amazing product as it absolutely melts dirt, grease, and grime loose from the engine compartment. After I sprayed the engine with the cleaning solution, I let it set for a few minutes. The Meguiar’s Super Degreaser does a great job loosening the dirt, so there is not much “scrubbing” necessary, usually.
I always start the engine and let it run when I rinse the engine with water. The photo above shows using a power washer to rinse the engine. Normally I would not stand this close to the engine, but to take a picture with one hand, hold the power washer sprayer in the other, and get everything in the photo, I had to stand pretty close. Also, never soak the engine down with tons of water, all that is necessary is to RINSE the engine off with a very light amount of water. The work is basically done after degreasing the engine.
With the engine still running, it’s time to dry the engine compartment. I use a blow gun along with compressed air. Simply dry, dry, and dry again. After a minute or two of drying, the engine is now ready to be dressed.
I use a Non Silicone Engine Dressing that will not harm the engine in any way. The reason I use non silicone is so the electrical components inside the compartment will not attract silicones and possibly damage the engine. This is a sure way to avoid that risk. The photo above shows me spraying the dressing onto the engine. Normally, I would not use that much dressing. But again, I used a lot for the photo. I spray the engine with the dressing (Engine is not running at this time because the fan on the engine will sometimes blow the dressing everywhere). Once the engine has a very light coat of dressing, I close the hood, and let the car run for a few minutes. The heat from the engine helps dissipate the dressing until it becomes clear, and shiny! Once the engine runs for a few minutes, I open the hood, and use a shop towel that will not soak up a lot of dressing, and spread any excess dressing evenly inside the engine compartment. Compressed air is another good way to do this, getting the dressing in the cracks and crevices.
The engine looked fantastic in person. The photo however, is not the best, as there is a lot of glare off the yellow battery on the right, and off the center of the engine. I believe one can tell how effective and important it is to detail the engine of a car. It makes it easier to work on, and definitely increases the value and appearance of the car when one is trying to sell. When a potential customer looks at a car to buy, I always suggest popping the hood immediately for the buyer to see. That will set the tone for a good sale, the buyer will believe that the seller that taken care of the car, and really makes a great first impression.
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