The engine is exposed to dirt and debris every time you drive it and gets dirty quicker if you drive on dusty roads. There is nothing much that protects the engine bay. So, In this article, we’ll see How to Steam Clean and Pressure Wash Engine Bay of Jeep Wrangler.
Dust and larger debris will settle on your engine and other components making the whole engine bay dirty. An old or faulty air filter also allows dust and debris to pass through getting into the engine bay and engine internals which is not a good thing.
What are the advantages of cleaning the engine bay?
There are no significant mechanical advantages of cleaning the engine bay, and there are four significant advantages of cleaning your wrangler’s engine bay
When your engine bay is clean, you can determine oil and grease leakages from components like the valve or the cover gasket. When you discover any leakages earlier, the better.
This is because you can isolate that particular leak(s) and repair it before it worsens, leading to major engine issues. Apart from spotting oil and grease leakages, you can spot any issues with your engine, such as an open line.
It also helps you learn your engine bay, especially as a new wrangler owner. You learn where everything is placed and where it can be found. This helps you troubleshoot some issues for yourself without the help of a mechanic.
Cleaning your engine bay makes your wrangler look appealing to you as the owner or to others who are just admiring your wrangler or as prospective buyers.
A clean engine bay gives the prospective buyer thoughts that you regularly maintain your wrangler. When you are cleaning, you can go an extra step higher to detailing it.
Cleaning your engine also prevents fires. The engine operated at high temperatures that might ignite any flammable substance such as dry leaves and combustible papers in the engine bay, leading to a fire that destroys combustible components in the engine bay, which leads to severe damages, some of which are permanent.
Also, You will have to newly replace the burnt components. Cleaning the engine bay helps you spot and remove any flammable substances in the engine bay.
Cleaning the engine way will extend the lifespan of the engine and also increase the performance. Dust and salts will influence rusting in the engine bay. Dust absorbs moisture which leads to rust, while salts naturally cause rust even without moisture.
When rust eats into the engine, it reduces the performance and the lifespan of the engine. After cleaning your engine detail, prevents dust and rust from accumulating in the engine bay. Accumulated oils and grease also negatively affect your fuel consumption up to -5% of the average fuel consumption.
Precautions when cleaning your engine bay
Ensure that the engine is completely cool to prevent any damage due to rapid contraction. Some of the engine bay components are made of metal that contracts quickly. The worst that could happen is that the engine block will crack if you use cold water if it’s extremely hot.
Wipe the electrical components, connecting the wires with a soft dry cloth, and cover them with tape to protect them from getting wet. As such, components get damaged by moisture.
Methods and procedures for cleaning the engine bay
Steam cleaning the engine bay of jeep wrangler
This is the easiest and fastest engine bay cleaning method.
- Open the hood and secure it into place using the hood latch. If your engine has a hard plastic cover on it, remove it. Most plastic hardcovers in Jeep wranglers are removed by yanking outwards and upwards towards you.
- Remove any loose dust and debris in the engine bay using a a air blower, making sure to get even the tight spots that the leaf blower or vacuum cleaner can reach into. Then use a soft brush to loosen any buildups on plastic parts and a stiff brush for metallic parts. Then blow off or vacuum one more time to remove the dust and debris.
- Applying degreaser. Most degreasers come in spray bottles and if you have a degreaser without a spray bottle, put it in one. Spray the degreaser starting from the lower to upper areas of the engine bay. This prevents the degreaser from dripping as you spray it. Remove any grime by brushing it off when you come across any when applying the degreaser. Allow the degreaser to soak for around 5 minutes, ensuring that it does not dry off.
- The degreaser loosens any remaining dirt in the engine bay, even in the tightest spots. You can now use a steamer to rinse off the degreaser together with the dirt. Use the steamer in wet mode with the standard nozzle and avoid knocking off electrical wires and components.
- Wipe any extra moisture off using a clean, soft cloth to remove any extra moisture. Remove anything you had put on the electrical components to protect them from moisture.
- If you had removed the hard plastic engine cover, clean it with a soft brush, soap, and degreaser and make sure it is dry before reinstalling it on the engine.
Pressure washing the engine bay of jeep wrangler
This is not the best method to clean your wrangler’s engine bay, but some do it anyway. There are some precautions before you pressure clean the engine bay.
You can do it safely but completely cover all electrical components and wiring in the engine bay. This can be done by wrapping the electricals with a waterproof plastic bag and use tape to hold the bag in place.
- Open your wrangler’s hood and secure it in place using the hood latch.
- Remove the hard plastic engine cover. Use a air blower or a vacuum cleaner to remove loose debris and dust, ensuring every tight space you can get into. While doing so, loosen any buildups using a soft brush for plastic parts and a hard brush for metallic parts.
- Once you have removed any buildups, loose debris, or dust, you can apply the degreaser using a spray bottle from the bottom of the engine bay to the top. This prevents the degreaser from dripping. Spray the degreaser thoroughly in the engine bay and let it soak for around 5 minutes and ensure it does not dry.
- Setting the pressure washer. The right way to set the pressure washer is by having a 40-degree spray nozzle tip attached to a lance with 2x garden hose pressure.
- Once you have the recommended pressure settings and nozzle tip, hold the nozzle at least 3 feet away from the engine bay. Rinse off the degreaser 2 or three times all over the engine bay while checking if there is any degreaser left. If there are some parts the pressure washer can’t get to, you have to rinse the degreaser using a damp cloth.
- Clean the engine cover and let it dry off while wiping off excess water using a dry clean cloth. Once everything is dry, reinstall the engine cover and remove the plastic bags off the electrical components.
Steam cleaning or pressure washing, which one is better for your jeep wrangler?
Steam cleaning is far better off than pressure washing due to the few risks involved. Steam washing does not use as much water as pressure washing; thus, the risk of damaging components prone to water damage is low.
However, pressure washing is more available than steam washing, especially if you want to clean your wrangler’s engine bay from your garage.
When using either method, just make sure electrical components such as the distributor, alternator, fuse box, and every other component are prone to damage by moisture. Newer wranglers have water-protected electricals, unlike older wranglers. Regardless of your wrangler’s age, always cover electricals before you clean your engine bay.
If your wrangler’s engine bay is not that dirty, you can clean the accessible parts of the engine bay with a damp cloth rinsing it once it becomes dirty. This is an easy way of keeping the engine bay clean, especially after steam or pressure is cleaned.
How to detail the engine bay in jeep wrangler?
If you want your engine to look cleaner and newer for long, you should detail it. Ensure the engine is completely dry before you start detailing.
- If there are any faded plastics or rubber, use a restorer to return them to their original colors. Most plastic and rubber components are black in color, and you can use a black-on-black restorer to do the job. Spray the solution on the faded components and after two or three minutes, wipe off the excess solution.
- After you have restored the color on the components, apply a protective coating on the components. Use a vinyl revival solution and a microfiber cloth. Spray the vinyl revival solution on all plastic and rubber components in the engine bay.
- Let it sit for around three minutes, then wipe off the excess solution. For tight spots, spar the solution on a small paintbrush and use it to apply the solution.
- Use a small size soft paintbrush to dust electrical components. Remove remnant dust if it remains on the surface of the electrical components using a dry microfiber cloth.
For a good wrangler, the engine bay should be clean at all times. Some go to the extent of cleaning the engine bay every time they clean their wrangler, which is a good practice.
This keeps the engine bay clean at all times. A clean engine bay ensures efficient engine cooling. It also protects the engine bay components from wearing out due to accumulated salts, grease, and oil in the engine bay.