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Engine degrease

What is an engine degrease?

Engine degreaser is a formula that comes in liquid or aerosol form. There are various types of degreaser available and they all claim to do the same job, which is to remove oil, grease and road grime from a car’s engine. Some are more environment friendly than others so it’s a good thing to check the labels. However, even if you do use a biodegradable or environmentally safe engine degreaser once it has been applied to the engine it is no longer safe and considered hazardous waste, due to it doing it’s job and dissolving harmful properties like oil and other contaminants. So capture and disposal of waste is important when degreasing an engine.

How to tell if you need to degrease an engine

It’s not imperative that the engine needs to be degreased often, but there are some benefits of having a clean engine, especially if you have oil leaks, looking to do work on or around the engine or looking to sell the car. If you look at your engine and can see residual oil, grease and grime buildup, that is a good sign you might consider degreasing the engine.

How important is it to degrease an engine?

You might be asking why would you need to degrease an engine? It’s usually hidden under the bonnet and out of sight but if you are looking to sell a car then cleaning the engine and engine bay are just as important as detailing the car. A clean engine and engine bay give the impression that the car has been taken care of and the cleaner and newer it looks increases the value.

Mechanics will often clean dirty engines before inspection as it’s easier to identify if there is a problem like an oil leak. If the engine is clean then it is easier to pick up on smaller issues before they become larger and more expensive problems. It’s really difficult to see a problem as grime build-up hides engine issues. 

Also, it’s not nice working on a dirty engine. Mechanics appreciate a clean workplace to carry out repairs, and it’s a much more pleasant experience when it’s clean!

Degrease engine

How is an engine degrease carried out

Engine degrease isn’t recommended to be done at home unless you can collect the waste product and dispose of it safely. Select self serve car washes provide engine cleaning bays and car detailers are able to carry out engine degreasing. If you are tackling this one yourself here’s a quick rundown on how it’s done:

  • Find a suitable place to degrease the engine
  • Have degreaser, water, scrubbing brush, towels and protective safety equipment ready
  • Rinse engine bay with pressure washer or hose (on low pressure)
  • Spray degreaser all over the engine
  • Scrub areas to shift stubborn dirt and grime
  • Let it sit for a little while
  • Pressure wash or hose off the degreaser, using a low-pressure setting
  • Blow off any water with compressed air or garden blower, leave the bonnet up and allow it to dry - if you don’t have a blower then you can remove excess water with towels or leave the vehicle in a sunny area to dry.
  • Remove waste product

Car’s have electrical components and air intakes inside the engine bay. Take care to avoid spraying water on the alternator, sensors and intake when degreasing the engine. You wouldn’t want to do all that cleaning only to have the car not work afterwards.

Here’s a detailed article on how to clean your engine bay

How much does it cost to degrease an engine?

Degreaser can be purchased in cans, bottles or in large concentrated quantities these can vary in price from tens of dollars to hundreds. If you were to DIY it won’t cost an arm and a leg, the main cost is in finding the correct place to do it and the time. If you were to get a mechanic or car detailer to degrease the engine it’s not overly expensive and they are well equipped to collect and dispose of the waste.

Where can you get an engine degrease?

When you next book a service you can ask the mechanic to degrease the engine, while it is in the workshop or you can go to a professional car detailer and have them degrease the engine. The best way to locate and book an engine degrease is with AutoGuru, they have the experts for all your auto needs in one place.