Pressure Wash A Car Engine

How To Pressure Wash A Car Engine?

So you’ve taken your car to a car detailer for them to bring your ride back to life. They have taken great care to vacuum the interior, wash and wax the exterior, and then spray a nice-smelling air freshener for that clean new car scent. However, most auto detailing companies fail to clean the most crucial part of your car the Engine.

It won’t be wrong to say that the engine is to a car that the mitochondria are to a cell; YES! This is a powerhouse that consistently produces energy. Road grime, grease, and dirt can quickly build up on your car engine, reducing its shine and efficiency. Therefore, not washing an engine is like wearing fancy clothes without bathing for days, GROSS!

Pressure washing the car engine is an excellent way to eliminate that filthy black coating on the powertrain. However, the debating point is that can you pressure wash an engine?

The good news is YES! All you need to do is to read this step-by-step guide on pressure washing car engines at home. Don’t miss out on the engine wash benefits at the end. So, lets VROOM VROOM!

How To Wash Car Engine At Home in 5 Easy Steps

Protect The Fragile Engine Components From Damage

car engine

Luckily, modern automobiles come equipped with sealed electronic components to protect them from wear and tear. However, prevention is better than cure, so we suggest you grab some plastic wraps and extra-long rubber bands to cover the sensitive areas around the engine.

Here are the components you must never forget to cover:

  • Alarm systems

  • Terminals and wiring for batteries

  • Spark plugs and distributor cap

Ensure that you have checked the IP rating of your car engine, and if it is not mentioned anywhere, assume that it is less than IP 5 and should be covered with a polythene bag during washing. Here ‘5’ suggests that it can withstand strong water jets, and less than 5… well, you are obviously wiser.

A Strong Detergent Will Get Half The Job Done


It’s time to experiment with popular brands claiming to have the town’s best cleaning chemicals. Let us begin this detergent battle and choose which is the best under different circumstances.

Note that you should use a non-corrosive degreaser and, if possible, use a biodegradable detergent as they are eco-friendly that will prevent toxic runoff. Apply the degreaser thoroughly around all the corners and use a firm brush to loosen the grime and clean hard-to-reach areas.

If the car engine is dusty and not too oily, use an all-purpose cleaner spray bottle and wipe off the dust with a damp cloth. Moreover, if you want to spend money on concentrated degreasers, we suggest you make your DIY engine degreaser. Here’s a quick recipe for you that works wonders:

  • Create a mixture by combining an equal amount of baking soda and dish soap.
  • Add a small amount of white vinegar to the mixture until it becomes a thinner consistency. Apply the mixture to your engine using a brush.

It’s Time To Pressure Wash!

How to wash car engines at home? Your search history is full of these queries. Hence, without further ado, let’s get to the main point.

Now after you have let your detergent mixture sit for 15 to 20 minutes, it’s time to set up your pressure washer. A 1500 PSI would be more than enough and is a safe yet effective PSI rating. The engine will experience less force if you use a 25-degree lifting nozzle and a 40-degree spraying nozzle and hold them 3 to 4 feet away from the engine.

Use An Air Blower To Dry Excess Water

airblower to clean excessive water

An air blower is handy for blowing water from narrow spaces between the car engine parts. It will save you time from manually wiping the wet parts with a dry cloth.

To proceed, you must remove the plastic bags to safeguard the electrical equipment and air filter.

Spray On Some Protection (optional)

Use plastic/vinyl care spray to clean areas not made of metal. Armour All is a well-known brand. Remove any extra by wiping it after letting it sit for a few minutes.

Buff the protector to a nice shine using a microfiber towel or another soft cloth. Your plastic and vinyl coverings will be prevented from drying out and cracking by doing this, improving their appearance.

5 Mind-Blowing Engine Wash Benefits:

Who does not love the feeling of driving a nice clean car? Besides bragging about it around your friends and family, it also brings some excellent benefits you need to know. These are the 5 advantages that you can look forward to.

Gives New Life To The Engine

The grease and dirt can promote the build-up of rust if not properly maintained. When the debris is blasted away, it improves functionality and extends engine life. Here’s to more rides and adventures.

It Helps In Identifying Engine Leaks

Tough stains and grime blocks passageways between engine parts, so the fluid gets trapped inside, making the leaks undetectable. In contrast, a clean engine makes identifying and addressing potential problems more manageable.

Early detection allows for timely repairs, potentially saving you from more extensive and costly repairs down the line.

Improves Cooling

Pressure washing helps the car engine’s deep cleansing, which helps in better heat distribution in the engine parts.

Cleaning dirt and debris can protect the engine from overheating by allowing air to flow freely around engine elements, such as the radiator and cooling fans.

Protects From Rust And Corrosion

Over time, dirt, grime, and other contaminants may build up on the engine parts, creating the ideal conditions for corrosion.

These corrosive substances can be removed from the engine through cleaning, which lowers the risk of rust or other engine damage.

Makes It Look ‘Oh So Beautiful!’

Keeping your engine bay clean can significantly improve the overall look of your vehicle. It shows attention to detail and gives a sense of pride, especially when showing off your car on visible projects like car shows or modifications.

A clean engine makes it easier to spot any missing or loose parts, resulting in a tidy and well-maintained appearance.

Bonus Tips To Make Your Life Easier

Check The Weather Forecast In Advance

We recommend you choose a sunny day for pressure washing so the warm air can speed up the drying process.

If you don’t want to ruin your mood and car, make sure you check multiple forecasts a day before so you are well equipped with essential equipment.

Check PSI Rating

Choose a wider nozzle over one with a narrow tip.
Also, keep your distance. High-pressure water jets near the engine are damaging to sensitive parts.


Is it okay to pressure wash an engine?

Modern vehicles come with covered air cleaners and weather-proof wiring connectors; therefore, pressure-washing car engines are safe.

A pressure washer not only makes your task more accessible but also saves you time.

You can safely and effectively clean your car’s engine using the pressure washer tools suggested for precision cleaning.

What do you cover when pressure washing an engine?

When pressure washing an engine, it’s essential to cover sensitive areas to protect them from potential water damage.

Cover the air intake, electrical components, alternator, distributor cap, and any exposed wiring with waterproof covers or plastic bags.

Ensure the covers are securely in place to prevent water intrusion. Double-check for leaks or openings that may allow water to penetrate sensitive components.

Is it safe to spray your engine with water?

Spraying water on your engine can be safe if done correctly and with care. Avoid spraying a hot engine, use a gentle water flow instead of high-pressure jets, and cover vulnerable areas.

If you need clarification on the procedure, it is always advisable to consult the vehicle’s manual or seek professional assistance.

Is it safe to wash the engine at a carwash?

Wondering how to wash a car engine at the car wash? We suggest you pick a reputable car wash that uses water-resistant covers, uses appropriate cleaning techniques like low-pressure washing or engine-safe cleaning solutions, takes care of sensitive areas, and complies with manufacturer guidelines.

Ask them about their procedures and express any worries you may have to ensure they handle engine cleaning with care and expertise.

Final Verdict

Remember that a clean car engine isn’t just about appearances. It also plays a vital role in your vehicle’s overall health and performance. While the washing agency may have done a great job on the exterior and interior of your car, it’s crucial to pay attention to the engine.

However, it’s important to take precautions when pressure washing, such as protecting sensitive areas, using a suitable detergent, ensuring proper drying, and optionally applying a protective spray.

With the proper precautions and steps, you can give your engine the attention it deserves and reap the benefits of a clean, efficient, and well-functioning vehicle. So, next time you show off your shiny car, don’t forget to boast about your sparkling engine too. Happy Cleaning!

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