Can You Pressure Wash Your Car Engine?
December 7, 2020
You probably don’t think twice about using a power washer to clean the exterior of your car but can you pressure wash your car engine? It is tempting to tackle a build-up of oil and road grime on the engine parts and components with a powerful concentrated jet of water. After all, this useful piece of equipment is great for lots of other cleaning jobs around the home.
As you know, a pressure washer uses high-pressure jets of water to quickly and efficiently dislodge, dirt, grime, mold and mud from patios, driveways, external staircases, fences, garden furniture, brickwork, walls, concrete surfaces and so on. It will also clean under the hood of your car. However, you need to bear in mind that your car engine is an intricate and sophisticated piece of machinery, fitted with pistons, cylinders, ignition coils, connecting rods, spark plugs and so on. Before you reach for a power washer to clean your car engine, take a look at the following pros and cons.
Can You Pressure Wash Your Car Engine? The Pros and Cons
Can you pressure wash your car engine safely? Yes, you can, but it is important that you know how to use a pressure washer before you go anywhere near your engine. You need to familiarize yourself with the instructions and different settings first to make sure you select the correct pressure and jet fitting for the job. Another must-do in engine detailing is making sure the engine is not running while you clean it. Jetting water onto a hot engine is asking for trouble.
Pros of Using a Power Washer to Clean your Car Engine
Power Washer Tools Make the Job Easier
A typical power washer will come with a range of different tools and attachments. This makes it easier to target specific areas of the engine. Using the recommended pressure washer tools for precision cleaning will help you to clean your car engine safely and efficiently. For example, instead of using the jet spray nozzle, use a lightweight pressure washer hose attachment instead. Some models of pressure washer also have a gun with a touch-sensitive trigger that allows you to easily adjust the water pressure and the detergent dose. An LCD display takes the guesswork out of this, too.
Can You Pressure Wash Your Car Engine to Save Time?
Yes, it is much quicker to use a power washer to clean your car engine than doing the job by hand. Engine cleaning is an intricate and time-consuming job but pressurized water jets can loosen grease and dirt deposits where a brush or cloth can’t reach. It also speeds up the rinsing process. A power washer quickly and efficiently rinses off degreaser products to leave your engine sparkling clean.
The Convenience of Cleaning the Car Engine at Home
It is convenient to use a power washer at home. Also, if you have already invested in a power washer to clean your driveway, patio, wooden deck, fencing and so on, it makes financial sense to make use of it whenever you can. However, it is worth bearing in mind that you can also have your car engine cleaned expertly at home if you use mobile detailing services. A detailer will come to your home at your convenience. You can leave the intricate work to the professionals, safe in the knowledge that your car engine is in good hands.
Cons of Using a Power Washer to Clean Your Car Engine
High-Pressure Water Jets May Harm Engine Parts
A pressure washer is super-efficient at shifting oil and dirt but you must be careful what else it might dislodge in the process. Can you pressure wash your car engine safely? Yes, it is possible but you must protect the distributor, fuse box, alternator and all other electrical parts with a waterproof bag/plastic wrap before you begin jetting your engine with water. Other components like air filters are also susceptible to damage. If you are worried about doing more harm than good, it is advisable to seek out the help of detailing specialty services.
Some Pressure Washer Cleaning Agents Are Not Suitable for Car Engines
Can you pressure wash your car engine using any type of cleaning product? No, it is not advisable. Some cleaning agents contain harsh chemical cleansers that could interfere with the smooth running of the engine. Ideally, use a good biodegradable degreaser detergent that is safe to use in pressure washers and car engines. Alternatively, a homemade engine cleaner will also do a great job and you will know exactly what ingredients you are working with.
High Water Consumption
Can you pressure wash your car engine without using a lot of water? Not really. Power washers use a gas-fueled or electric motor to pump water through the system at very high pressure. As a result, the water consumption of high-performance machines can be 2-4 gallons per minute (GPM). It is more economical and efficient than using a standard garden hose but there are eco-friendly alternatives that maximize water efficiency. For example, you can steam clean the engine bay. Jets of steam are great at eliminating engine grease and gunk while using the minimum amount of water. Steam cleaning is also much safer on electrical components, seals and so on.
Older Car Engines Are More Susceptible to Water Damage
The question of can you pressure wash your car engine also depends on the age of your vehicle. Engines in newer cars are fitted with waterproof wire connectors and protective covers to shield sensitive parts of the engine, whereas older cars will generally have poorly sealed electrical connections and more exposed components. However, regardless of the age of your vehicle, it is always wise to proceed with caution when using a power washer under the hood or enlist the help of auto detailing services.
It is important to keep your car engine clean and well-maintained, otherwise it could affect the performance of your car. Keeping your engine clean will also help to extend the life of your vehicle and increase its resale value. So, can you pressure wash your car engine to remove grease and road grime? The answer is yes, providing you take extreme care not to damage electrical parts and air filters in the process. Bear in mind, too, that car pressure washing should not be a rushed job. If you don’t know what you are doing, it could result in costly engine repairs.
Understandably, you might feel a little nervous about directing pressurized jets of water onto your car engine. If this is the case, why not schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts? You can have your car professionally detailed. Not just the interior and exterior but also the engine. Our professional detailers know how to protect an engine’s electronics and connectors with their careful cleaning techniques.
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