Under the Hood: A Guide to Painting Engines in Auto Painting Careers
August 23, 2017
Did you know that you can paint a vehicle’s engine block? While most people think that automotive painters are mostly concerned with the exterior of vehicles, many owners also know that professionals can help paint interior components as well.
Many people paint their engine blocks for aesthetic purposes. However, painting a car’s engine also comes with some practical benefits too. For example, it can be handy for preventing rust. In addition, some vehicle owners will even paint their engines a lighter colour, so it’s easier to tell if there’s a leak. Whatever your future clients’ reasons for wanting their engine painted, the following information will help guide you through the process.
When Painting an Engine After Car Painting Courses, Start by Removing Engine Parts and Wires
The first step in painting an engine is to remove parts that may get in your way or get damaged during the process. As a precaution, you should always start by disconnecting the battery to ensure there are no electrical hazards. Then, you can get to work disconnecting and removing other parts like the air conditioning compressor, alternator, smog pump, or whatever else the engine may be equipped with.
You’ll also want to disconnect wires and hoses that may get in the way and impede your ability to paint the engine. Remember to label each wire carefully, so you know exactly where to hook them back up again. Once you’re finished, you can then tape or block off any holes or openings into the engine so no paint gets inside.
Clean the Engine Surface Before Starting to Paint
The most important step in creating a long-lasting and beautiful paint job is cleaning the engine block thoroughly before beginning any painting. Depending on the age of the vehicle and how well it has been taken care of, it may require quite a bit of elbow grease to get it clean enough for paint to properly adhere.
Start by rinsing the entire engine with water, and then apply a degreaser and let the solution sit for about ten to fifteen minutes to loosen grease, dirt, and grime. After letting the degreaser sit, use pressurized water to rinse it away. For really dirty engines, you’ll probably need to use a brush to manually remove leftover grease as well as reach the small nooks and crannies of the engine. If there’s any grime left over, repeat the process until the engine is clean.
You’ll also want to ensure that any previous paint that is lifting or corroding is removed. Most professionals with auto painting careers recommend blasting the surface with a baking soda mixture. Baking soda is hard enough to remove old paint and rust, but not hard enough to damage the surface of the engine. Once you’re finished, the engine should be squeaky clean and ready for paint.
Pros with Auto Painting Careers Know to Paint the Engine with High-Temperature Paint
The next step is to start painting the engine block. Unlike exterior painting jobs in car painting courses, when painting an engine block you don’t need to use primer. Metal used to manufacture engine blocks is typically more porous than sheet metal and, therefore, will hold paint much better without needing primer.
Make sure to buy paint specifically formulated for engines, as high temperatures under the hood could cause the paint to crack if it cannot withstand the heat. In addition, it’s best to use a small detailing gun when painting to reduce the amount of overspray and improve precision. You’ll likely only need two thin coats to create a great paint job. Just ensure you let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.
When handing the keys back to your client, you’ll want them to be blown away by your fantastic paint job. To really bring it home, don’t forget to clean the surrounding areas and wires. It’ll create a fantastic finish that’ll be sure to wow your client and keep them coming back to you for their next paint job.
Do you want a career that allows you to perform impressive paint jobs on cars?
Contact Automotive Training Centres to learn about becoming an auto refinishing prep technician!
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