Selling your car can be a trying experience, regardless of how clean and neat you keep the vehicle. You will find, however, that the process is much smoother when you have maintained the car’s visual appeal during the time that you have owned it. You may think that the interior and the body are the only parts that need to be cleaned, but it’s always a good idea to keep the engine cleaned, as well. To a potential buyer, a clean engine that is free of dirt, oil and grease implies that the vehicle has been well cared for during the time you have owned it. It is always best to clean the engine whenever you wash the vehicle. This will help prevent the buildup of grime within the engine compartment and make the job much easier over the long term.
Begin by propping up the hood on its prop rod. Then, start the engine. A small amount of warmth helps to loosen the grime on the engine. While it is running, spray the engine and the engine bay with a diluted mixture of water and degreaser. The kind of degreaser that you use in the kitchen is sufficient for the task of cleaning your car’s engine, and won’t damage the rubber hoses and belts. Make certain that you completely coat all of the surfaces of the engine, and then allow the degreaser to stand on the engine for a few minutes. In order to best clean the engine, the degreaser must be warm, but not hot enough to evaporate. When you begin to see steam rising from the engine, shut off the engine. Place a bag over the alternator and the air intake, and then hose off the degreaser from the engine with a garden hose set to its most powerful spray pattern. The degreaser will soap up on the engine, but will after a few moments begin to wash out through the bottom of the car’s engine bay.
When the degreaser has been removed from the engine, allow the engine to run for a few more minutes to evaporate off any remaining water that may still rest in the cavities of the car’s engine. You can use a leaf blower or compressed air to make this process go more quickly, if necessary.
To detail the car engine, spray the hoses and wires under the hood, as well as any plastic covers, with a silicon-based tire detail spray. This is the chemical that makes your tires shiny after you’ve washed them. When the engine has cooled, wipe the spray onto the the hoses and wires with a clean rag to work the chemical into the rubber. This will last for approximately one to two weeks, depending on how much you drive the vehicle. If it remains undriven while you are attempting to sell it, the engine detailing job you performed should last as long as it takes to sell the vehicle.
Autopia Car Care.com: “Engine Detailing (Clean, Degrease, Protect)”; http://www.autopia-carcare.com/inf-engine.html
Auto Geek.net: “Engine Detailing”; http://www.autogeek.net/engine-guide.html