3 Steps to Detailing an Engine for Students in an Auto Detailing Course

auto detailing course

Maintaining a clean engine bay not only helps keep a vehicle looking its best, but also makes sure that it’s running its best too. When debris, dirt, and grime build up in an engine it can cause several issues. The engine may not be able to cool itself as well when covered in dirt, and leaves or debris may cause an electrical fire hazard. In addition, a build-up of dirt in the engine can make it difficult to see fluid level indicators or detect if there are any leaks in the engine. Encouraging your future customers to get their engines detailed regularly may help prevent more costly issues down the road.

Detailing an engine may sound intimidating, but it’s actually one of the easier parts of the vehicle to detail when armed with the proper knowhow. Here are three steps to follow when detailing an engine!

Step 1: When Auto Detailing an Engine, Start by Preparing and Protecting the Area

The first step when detailing an engine is to remove all chunky debris from the engine. This could include grass, twigs, or leaves. The best method to remove this debris is to use an air blower. However, if you don’t have access to one you can gently use a hand brush to clear the debris away.

Modern day engines are designed to protect their components from water damage. That being said, it’s always safest to protect any electrical or susceptible areas of the engine from water. You can do this by sealing off any sensors, spark plug openings, electrical devices, and other water-sensitive areas. Experts recommend doing this by covering them with a plastic bag.

Many auto detailing professionals will run the engine for about five minutes before beginning to clean it. That’s because the warmth the engine generates will help loosen baked-on grease, making the engine much easier for you to clean.

Step 2: Apply Degreaser to Clean Grime When Auto Detailing an Engine

Now that you’ve finished preparing and protecting the engine, it’s time to start cleaning it. As graduates of an auto detailing course know, when opting for a degreaser its best to choose something that isn’t too harsh like a citrus or water-based degreaser. This may require a bit more elbow grease on your part, but it will protect the engine from harsh and damaging solvents that could deteriorate the engine’s rubber and vinyl compartments.

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Use a gentle degreaser to avoid damaging the vehicle’s engine

Start by spraying the degreaser on lower areas of the engine and begin working your way up. Using this method will help prevent the degreaser from dripping on you. After you’ve sprayed down the engine, let the degreaser sit and work its magic for three to five minutes. Be careful not to let the degreaser dry.

For vehicles that are extremely dirty, you may need to assist the degreaser by using a cloth or brush to clean heavily soiled areas. For vehicles that aren’t as dirty, it’s likely the degreaser will remove most of the grime for you. Once the degreaser has worked its magic on the engine for the allotted amount of time, you can begin to rinse it off using a low pressure hose. Be careful to avoid running the stream of water over any electrical areas for too long.

Step 3: When Auto Detailing an Engine, Finish by Protecting the Area

After you’ve finished rinsing down the engine, it’s time to make it sparkle for your clients. It’s a best practice to not let the engine air dry, as doing this can cause unsightly water marks. Instead, use a warm air blower to blast any water out of the engine to leave a sparkling finish.

After the engine is dry, you can apply engine protectant to seal the engine from moisture. In addition, you can apply rubber and vinyl protectant to the hoses, wires, and plastic shields to keep them safe from any damage or corrosion. To top things off, buff any shiny areas with a clean microfiber cloth for a great finish.

auto mechanic careers in Cambridge
Buff the engine when you’re done to leave a nice finish

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