In this free step by step guide:
- Discover how to quickly and safely clean the vast majority of engine bays
- Learn the areas to avoid with your pressure washer
- See how to save time and money by using the correct products
- Learn how to achieve a show-worthy finish with minimum effort
Why spend time detailing your engine bay?
- It takes your full detail to a new level
- It’s quicker and easier than most people think
- It can prolong the life of vital components
- Because, when it comes to detailing – the details really do matter!
Seven Steps to Engine Heaven, and all in under 20 minutes
It's an age old statement we know, but a sparkling engine bay really is an amazing finishing touch to any detail. The strange thing is though, there seems to be just one thing stopping most people from achieving the bay of their dreams - and that's fear! You see, engine bays may be extremely complicated, but the good news is that nowadays, on the vast majority of cars out there, cleaning is far safer, and far easier than you may think. The truth is that car manufacturers design their engines and ancillaries with protection in mind, making the detailing process a much simpler task than in years gone by.
So, here's how it done, and all the products to use, in seven simple steps.
Step 1: Assess and protect
It’s not only important to ensure that the engine bay is cool, we always start the process with a thorough assessment of the layout. Some older vehicles, which may have little or no protection for their electrics, may not lend themselves as well to the following process, in these cases spraying a little Finale Quick Detailer directly onto a microfibre cloth and working in to remove grime is an effective method. Finale is also useful for sprucing up engines where only light soiling is present.
For modified vehicles, very often an open cone filter is used for power tuning and it’s not a good idea to get these wet, so you’ll need to protect them, either by using plastic sheeting as a cover or bagging them up completely.
Step 2: Pre-rinse
Now we’re ready to get cleaning and, just like when it comes to your exterior, a good rinse with a pressure washer is important to remove any loose dirt and debris.
It pays to be thorough here, getting your washer right down into the bay and on to the chassis rails, and all around the shuts and arches. Crucially though, be sure to avoiding spraying water directly on to any exposed electrics, any fuse boxes, the battery or the alternator. These areas will usually be protected, but be cautious as to where you're pointing your lance.
Don’t forget the underside of the bonnet, either – grimy bits here are all too commonly missed.
Step 3: Use Verso First
As always, we start at the top and work down. A 1:5 dilution of Verso All Purpose Cleaner is ideal for areas such as the underside of your bonnet and soiled panel shuts. Simply spray on liberally, agitate with a detailing brush and rinse away the grime.
Step 4: Deep Cleaning and Degreasing with Eradicate
Working on any greasy bay requires a real heavy hitter, and that’s where our Eradicate Engine Degreaser comes in. Perhaps the best thing about this versatile cleaner is that it may be devastating to oil and grime, but it’s gentle enough to be used on every part of your bay from the plastics and rubbers, to bare metal and painted areas.
We’re always inclined to do a little pre-soaking here, liberally applying Eradicate over the entire engine bay and leaving it to dwell for a few minutes. This will ensure it starts to break down even the most stubborn grime.
Step 5: Brushing-in
Agitation is the next stage, and this is basically giving your Eradicate even more bite, helping it lift away the most ground-in contaminants.
All that’s needed here is a Detailing Brush (or a selection of different sizes, for the more awkward areas) and it’s a simple as lightly brushing in the product to all areas under the bonnet. You’ll see that it foams up effectively, giving it serious cleaning power. Here you're quite literally scrubbing away the grease and oils.
Step 6: One More Rinse
Once agitated we can move on to the final rinse. Don’t forget that the grime will be already lifted from the surfaces and suspended in the Eradicate solution, so it will only be blasted away completely here. Once again it pays to be thorough.
Step 7: Finishing
Your engine bay will now be spotlessly clean, but (in perhaps the easiest job ever in the history of detailing) you can push the finish to the next level with Dressle All Purpose Dressing.
One of the real unsung heroes of our range, we’ve designed this one as a true ‘spray and walk away’ product. On engine bays, we like to use Dressle immediately after rinsing, applying liberally across all plastics and rubbers… and then we simply shut the bonnet, and wait.
After a few hours your Dressle will be fully cured, and your bay will transcend from this…
… to this. And all without you having to do a thing.
Alternatively, to target specific areas or for a quick finish, you can spray directly onto a microfibre cloth, and wipe across surfaces.
So, there you go, that’s all there is to it! One immaculate engine bay, with just three products, and all in under 20-minutes.