The question of “to wash or not to wash the engine” has been a fierce debate among car owners for many years. Some are sure that the engine, like the whole car, must be kept in perfect cleanliness. And therefore, wash it more often. Others are convinced – often from their own painful experience – that this is an unnecessary procedure, with a high risk of damaging the power plant or attachments. If you are afraid to wash the engine because you think it will damage the car and you will have to look for a company that buys junk cars in Brevard or another city, then this article is for you.
Benefits of an engine wash
The most obvious argument is the neat appearance of everything under the hood. However, it makes little sense to meticulously bring the engine “to a dazzling brilliance” – no one will see it anyway. So aesthetics can be considered the least significant reason for washing.
It is more important to regularly remove dirt, chemical, or oily deposits in inconspicuous and often hard to reach places. Otherwise, the engine itself, its attachments, and the engine compartment will gradually be drawn into a carpet of dust and dirt. Because of it, heat transfer may be disturbed, current leakage may occur, and sensors and servos will stop working normally. All this can cause deviations in the operation of the motor and even create the risk of a fire in the car.
In addition, washing will slow down the corrosion of metals caused by aggressive reagents flying from the road. And it will protect against:
- premature aging of plastic parts;
- wire insulation;
- rubber bands, which are very numerous under the hood.
In other words, it will extend the life of the car.
Finally, external cleaning of the engine will be useful before a major overhaul – to assess the condition of the oil seals and gaskets, and the health of the heat exchangers and ensure cleanliness when disassembling / assembling the unit.
Cons of washing the engine
The main argument “against” is usually called the presence of electrical wiring and electrical units (generator, starter, actuators) under the hood – and we know from childhood that water and electricity are poorly compatible things. This statement is not the main one, since the electrical equipment of modern vehicles involves interaction with moisture. And SUVs are completely designed in such a way that they can overcome serious fords, literally plunging the power unit into the water.
Thus, the threat to the vehicle when washing the engine is not the water itself, but the pressure with which it is supplied. The impact of a hose jet, or worse, a pressure washer, can “break through” the seals on spark plugs and ignition coils, wiring, and sensors. In addition, there is a risk of tearing cable clamps or clamps on lines, dampers on air ducts, or clips of soundproofing mats. Protective covers of electronic components also run the risk of failing to cope with their duties.
Another risk when washing the engine is improperly selected detergents. The active foam that covers the body is unsuitable for motors. It is impossible to wash it off completely, and the residues are guaranteed to lead to the oxidation of contact pairs. Volatile solvents or degreasers are more dangerous. They may wash away dirt, but they are flammable and cause a fire.
When do you need to wash the engine?
Given the pros and cons of the procedure, you can plan the cycle of motor washes. Cleaning is best done in the spring to wash the engine from the winter “chemistry”. If the engine compartment of the car is designed so unsuccessfully that dirt and dust are abundantly drawn in during summer operation, then you can repeat the procedure before the cold weather. If you drive a lot off-road or on dusty primers, you should wash the engine compartment even more often to avoid “cementing” dirt.
As for the service wash, it should be done only after the car has been inspected by a master – it is more convenient to diagnose some defects and smudges on an unwashed engine. It is possible, by the way, that one more sink will be required – after the repair.
For the same reason, it is not necessary to wash the engine before selling the car. You will most likely do this out of good intentions to show the car in a favorable light, but a potential buyer may suspect you of exactly the opposite – that you want to hide defects. After all, a working vehicle does not have a perfectly clean engine.
Is it worth it to wash the engine at the service
Having decided to wash the engine at a car wash, specify what they mean by “engine washing” and what means the masters use. The so-called full, but at the same time, low-budget car wash often comes down to spraying some composition under the hood and washing it off with the same device that washed the body. Such a procedure turns out to be very superficial – at best, dust will be knocked off the external parts of the motor and its plastic lining. And it’s good if nothing is damaged on the engine itself.
Instead of such a wash, it is better to choose partial or local cleaning of the engine compartment with a vacuum cleaner – the costs of effort and money are almost the same, and the engine will benefit from clean radiators, pans, and air ducts.
But a real full or professional engine wash is a time-consuming process and not at all fast. Therefore, the cost of such a service from companies that specialize in detailing is usually much higher. But, it is worth asking what the price is due to. Some companies explain it by using some advanced or tricky two-component detergent recipes. Although, in fact, the same surface wash with a certain restorative effect is obtained.
Washing a car engine is normal, but do not forget about the safety of the products used when washing, as well as the permissible pressure of the water jet. Those who sell the car are advised not to wash the engine, as it is easier for potential buyers to assess the condition of the car in an unwashed state. If you’re having trouble selling your car, then JunkCarsUs can help you with that. The company is engaged in the purchase of old, damaged, and even drowned cars.