In addition to a regular car wash, it is recommended to carry out engine cleaning from time to time. There are several reasons to do this:
- After loss of oil
- After the winter
- After driving through mud and the like
- After injuries caused by rodents
If you notice the loss of oil or other liquids from your car, you should find out the cause. In order to do so, it is necessary to wash the engine area in order to locate the defect. With engine cleaning, there are some general things to keep in mind. Only continue with this if the engine is cold, otherwise it can cause costly damage if the hot engine block comes in contact with cold water. In addition, electrical components such as the control unit should not come into contact with water to avoid short circuits.
Experienced drivers can carry out an engine cleaning on their own. The basic concern: an oil separator and a good detergent. Find the alternator and, if necessary, the distributor cap. Then spray on the engine cleaner and let it work for a few minutes. With a broom, you can remove debris even from areas that are difficult to reach. With a high-pressure washer (set to minimum pressure), the loosened dirt is rinsed away – however, you must not use it on electrical components – and then the engine must be left to dry thoroughly. You can mostly find an oil separator at special car washes – while engine cleaning on your own property or on the street is regulated by rules. Speaking of rules: some car dealers refuse engine cleaning with a high-pressure steam cleaner – under threat of loss of warranty.
If you want to be on the safe side, you can leave the engine cleaning to a professional who specializes in it. Otherwise there is a risk that the engine will no longer start or will not work smoothly. Another (somewhat more expensive) method is to clean with dry ice, which excludes water damage. In addition, one should invest a few kroner on engine sealing (without wax). This has no visual effect, but it protects the engine from moisture inside.
When you drive to the car wash, the question of the right choice arises for many drivers. Is basic maintenance enough, or should the chassis also be cleaned? As a general rule, only the visible surface needs to be cleaned – once a month, if necessary more often in the winter.
Especially in the colder periods of the year, remnants of road salt accumulate on the chassis, and this can affect the material. In this case, it is especially useful to clean the chassis. However, this can also cause injuries, and should therefore be done manually.
In a Bilvask, steam is sprayed against the chassis with high pressure. This can get into moving mechanical parts or electronics, and can lead to the car no longer being able to be started. This should be avoided at all costs. In addition, water containing salt encourages corrosion in winter. If a professional washes the chassis, he can also check for defects, which is especially recommended for used vehicles.
Rainy weather is generally the most practical and gentle option for washing the chassis, since the water rinses the car clean. Apart from that, it is sufficient to wash the underside of the car gently two or three times a year.