I thought, “there has to be an easier way to detail the engine bay, a way that also reduces the amount of water used”. Yes, I finally found and successfully applied one. Some of the tools used are just not what you may expect. Here is the process:
TIMING: Choose a time when the outside temperature is low but at least 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That may be early morning or late evening. If you are working in a garage or shade, you may have some or enough protection. High temperatures will dry the cleaning products too quickly. Also, if you have just been driving the vehicle, open the hood to let the engine cool down for at least an hour.
INSPECTION: Inspect the engine bay to make sure the intake manifold, fuse boxes, spark plugs and other areas with delicate electronics are properly covered. For most vehicles manufactured 2005 or after, the components that should not be exposed to water are already covered up and all you have to do is double check the tightness of the covers. If you ever need to cover up any components, I strongly suggest you use aluminum foil as it properly molds around parts and stays in place.
PROTECTION: Since you will be dealing with chemicals, it is important that you protect yourself. Protect your body from absorbing any of the chemicals through your eyes, nose, mouth and skin. You will need gloves, glasses and a mask.
WASHING: To the strength recommended on the degreaser container, mix the degreaser with water in a one-gallon manual sprayer. Fill up a two-gallon manual sprayer with water. Using the two-gallon sprayer pre-rinse the hood and engine bay to wash off any loose dirt. With the degreaser-water mixture in the one-gallon sprayer, spray the engine bay and hood. Limit getting liquid/ water on to the heat shield on the hood as more water/ liquid may make it heavy enough to fall off. Wait about seven minutes for the degreaser to work. Depending on the amount of dirt, you may need a tough bristle brush for some areas and/ a soft bristle brush to agitate the dirt. Scrub as many parts of the engine as you can reach without bending or breaking any components. Use detailing and bottle brushes to brush around nuts and the more tight areas. Rinse with the water in the two-gallon sprayer. You may run a second round of degreasing and rinsing if needed. Or if the engine is too dirty, you may need to use a garden hose for rinsing instead of the sprayer. Also, if you are not a fan of the Simple Green cleaner and degreaser, you can use a dedicated engine degreaser.
DRYING: With a leaf blower, dry the engine by blowing off the water and reaching as many parts as possible.
SHINING: Now that the engine bay is clean and dry, spray on your choice of engine shine. Rub it in to as many surfaces as you can reach with a microfiber towel or microfiber applicator pad. Spray a mist of the engine shine on to the microfiber towel or microfiber applicator pad to rub onto and shine the hood except the heat shield.
This method limits the amount of water exposed to the engine and engine components. The sprayer nozzle is able to reach more parts of the engine. It is so convenient that you can almost detail your engine from anywhere permitted. Congratulations and enjoy your work.
………. Follow product manufacturer instructions …….
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