Do Car Engines Need to Be Cleaned?
March 6th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Engine bay cleaning is a must for any car. If you clean your car engine regularly, you can identify problems that can affect your vehicle’s performance. Plus, you can prevent dirt, gunk, and other debris from damaging your engine’s appearance.
How Often Should You Clean Your Car Engine?
There is no set timeline for cleaning your car engine. In fact, where you live usually plays a major role in how often you should perform car engine cleaning.
Typically, if you live in a city or other urban area where there is little to no debris on the roads, you should try to clean your car engine at least twice a year. If you reside in a dry area where large amounts of dust can accumulate in your engine bay, you should clean your engine approximately every three months. Or, if you live in an area where you encounter extensive rainfall or snowfall, performing engine bay cleaning every two months can be beneficial.
Is It OK to Wash a Car Engine?
You can wash a car engine, but it is important to do so safely. Because if you make even a single mistake, you could encounter a variety of problems.
For example, wires, sensors, and other sensitive engine components can be exposed to water if you choose to wash your engine on your own. In this instance, the components could start to malfunction due to water damage, leading to costly engine part replacements or repairs.
Will a Clean Engine Improve Your Car’s Performance?
The primary benefit of engine bay cleaning is enhancing your engine’s cosmetic appeal. So, cleaning your car engine won’t necessarily result in performance improvements, but it could help you reduce the risk of expensive, time-intensive engine repairs.
In some cases, a minor engine oil leak can be identified and isolated when you clean your car’s engine. You can also use engine bay cleaning to evaluate the condition of various rubber hoses and plastic parts and remove debris from them as needed. Engine bay cleaning provides a golden opportunity to examine your car’s oil level and accessory belts, too.
Car Engine Cleaning Tips
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to get the most value out of engine bay cleaning, such as:
1. Check Your Engine Coolant
Engine coolant helps keep your car from overheating. However, engine coolant can sometimes get contaminated due to a bad head gasket or cracked cylinder head that allows oil to seep into the fluid. If your engine coolant looks like sludge, the coolant is likely contaminated. And when you clean your engine, you can replace the coolant at the same time. You can also check your coolant level and top it off if necessary.
2. Get an Oil Change
Dirty oil can cause car engine components to wear down quickly and reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy. If you discover that your engine oil appears thick, you’re likely dealing with dirty oil.
If you find dirty oil during a car engine cleaning, schedule an oil change. Generally, an oil change is recommended every 7,500 to 10,000 miles, and older cars sometimes require oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. But when it comes to dirty oil in your car engine, you should address this problem as soon as possible.
3. Receive a Full Engine Tune-Up
Cleaning your car engine is just one way you can enhance your vehicle. If you conduct a full engine tune-up in conjunction with cleaning your car engine, you can ensure all of your engine components are clean and work correctly.
Several engine components should be evaluated during a tune-up, including:
- Spark Plugs: Located in your car engine’s cylinder head, spark plugs create the ignition required to start the combustion process that puts your vehicle in motion.
- Hoses and Belts: Engine hoses and belts help manage your car’s cooling, charging, and air conditioning systems.
- Air Filter: An air filter helps keep dust, pollen, and other debris outside of your engine.
A car engine tune-up should be scheduled approximately every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or once annually, whichever comes first. After an engine tune-up is complete, you’ll lower your risk of engine problems.
4. Should You Perform Engine Bay Cleaning on Your Own?
Engine bay cleaning can be a fun and rewarding experience if you know how to clean your vehicle’s engine properly. When in doubt, it is beneficial to employ auto body repair professionals who know the ins and outs of car engine cleaning.
Auto body repair professionals are happy to help you clean your car engine, as well as offer engine repair tips and recommendations. They can also offer car engine advice to help you keep your engine performing at peak levels. Auto body repair professionals can even help you establish a schedule to undergo car engine cleaning and other vehicle maintenance.
Make it a habit to get your car engine cleaned regularly. That way, you can keep your engine looking tremendous and identify and resolve engine problems.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Montclair, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the Inland Empire region.
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