As the spring shoots begin to pop up, the days get lighter, and the edge is taken off that cold winter chill, we get ready for a time of renewal. And for a lot of people that means a spring clean – your chance to shake off the winter and prepare for the new year ahead.
And taking care of your car should be no different. The cold, dark, damp winter months can take their toll on your car, especially your engine, so why not give it some TLC? While cleaning your engine isn’t difficult, you should already have a bit of familiarity with your car engine first. We recommend taking a course first, or reading up on the parts of your car engine so you do not harm yourself or your car.
Engine Block Cleaning
It might be a spring clean, or you might want to sell your vehicle, there are a number of reasons why people decide to clean their engine blocks. So how is it done?
- Remove Battery Cables – Make sure that you first remove the negative cable, so that you can’t short the circuit and create a massive and potentially damaging power surge.
- Clean the Cables – Corrosion on the cables is a common cause for starting and charging problems. So remove any corrosion, and try to do this on a regular basis to extend the life of your battery, alternator, and charger. You can soak the cable ends in a clean tin with CLR – or another corrosion neutralizer, and then use a terminal brush to get them really clean.
- Battery Tray – Battery trays are also very susceptible to corrosion, so try to give this a regular clean as well. The tray is removed by loosening and removing the hold down clamp. Remember not to smoke near the battery as it can give off a highly flammable gas.
- Corrosion – Corrosion can be removed using a wire brush – you can also use a paste made of baking soda and water to neutralize any spilled acid.
- Grease – Now that they are clean, you can install new posts if you wish. Protect them with dielectric grease to help to protect them from oxidization. This grease is non-conductive and water resistant, but can soften some silicon seals – so if you have silicon seals, use white grease.
- Hold Down Bolt – Coat the hold down bolt with an anti-seize compound.
You are now ready to clean your engine block.
- Use mineral spirits and compressed air to clean the engine block.
- Use a tray under the stand to catch falling detritus and waste.
- Use rubber gloves and a face mask
- Use paper towels and ATM (Automatic Transmission Fluid) to clean the bores.
- Leave a film of ATM to help prevent rust and leave a garbage bag over the engine block when you’re not working on it.
- Clean aluminum parts with CLR and plastic parts with soapy water.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your engine block, make sure that it is dry, then you can check that it’s all working properly.
By giving your engine block a thorough and regular clean, you can not only keep it looking great, but also working great and saving you money. Working with chemicals or near a car battery can be dangerous, so we recommend consulting an expert first, and of course wearing the proper protective equipment. If you are uncomfortable with going near your car’s engine, bring your vehicle to Waterdown Collision and we’ll happily get your engine block looking like new.