Do You Need to Clean Your Engine Bay?

Jack Dreyer | Wednesday 15th December 2021 10:33am

Person wiping car engine

While the exteriors of our nation’s cars enjoy frequent washing, waxing, and polishing, the mechanical interior is often neglected.

In fact, it is rare that the under bonnet area receives any attention at all — bar the odd repair or oil change. But the engine bay can actually get incredibly dirty over time, accumulating all sorts of grime whipped up from the road while driving.

After all, the more you drive, the more dirt your engine bay collects.

Considering the fact that the engine is the most essential piece of equipment in a car (without which we simply could not drive), surely it makes sense to treat it to a clean every once in a while?

So, whether you’re planning on selling your car or just fancy giving it a deep clean, read on to discover exactly why you should be cleaning your engine bay.

What are the benefits of a clean engine bay?

Your car’s engine bay can get clogged up with leaf litter and dust from the road, especially when left to sit in one place for too long like over the winter months.

Better performance

A cleaner engine bay correlates to better performance. For a start, leaf litter may block air intake so it is wise to clear out any debris that may obstruct airflow for cooling purposes. In addition, batteries can operate better if the terminals are properly cleaned, electrical-greased, and covered.

With excessive debris under your bonnet, open-element electrical components like the alternator run the risk of getting clogged up, while belts can slip or deteriorate if they aren’t cleaned regularly.

Heightened resale value

Though the under-bonnet area is not the first thing people see when they view a car, it still plays an important role in the sale price. Having a clean engine bay gives the impression that you care about your vehicle and have maintained it to a good level. As a result, a potential buyer is far more likely to pay more for a car with well-cleaned hidden parts than otherwise.

Peace of mind

Though it sounds obvious, having a clean engine bay means you can rest assured that no accidental damage from debris will affect your under-bonnet area.

Since you can’t always see underneath your bonnet, for many drivers this can be a source of anxiety. Cleaning the engine bay, then, is a quick and easy way to dispel any fears that your engine parts may get blocked or arbitrarily encounter damage.

Increased visibility

Without the debris and dirt littering your engine bay, it becomes much easier to see what’s going on in there. For a start, clearing away the leaf litter and rubbing off the dirt makes it far simpler to see if a gasket leaks.

With a clear engine bay, any leaks that might occur can be detected, traced back to their source, and seen to far easier than in a dirty bay.

How to clean your engine bay?

Luckily for you, you can clean your engine bay in a matter of minutes and with very basic materials. Just follow these simple steps:

1.) Park on a flat surface and let your engine cool off before conducting any work under the bonnet. You won’t want to touch a hot engine or spray cold water on it.

2.) Before doing anything else, remove the negative battery cable. This will reduce the risk of you damaging any of the battery’s inner components and will also keep you safer too.

At this point, it is also wise to cover up the battery, distributor, and alternator with a waterproof sheet to protect them from any potential water damage.

3.) Remove any leaf litter and brush away other debris.

4.) Use a degreaser spray or paste to cover the engine bay, rub it in with a soft bristle brush (to avoid scratches), and then rinse off with a hose. It is important to use a gentle hose setting as strong jets may damage components.

5.) Use a microfiber towel to dry the excess water off, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. Don’t just leave it to air dry as this may allow moisture to gather in isolated areas.

6.) Remove the waterproof cover and reattach your negative terminal once everything is dry.


So, it is safe to say there are a whole host of benefits to cleaning your engine bay. When also considering how simple it is to clean under your bonnet, it seems like a no-brainer.

If you have any other questions about cleaning your car, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts at your local Kwik Fit, who would be happy to help. Or, in the meantime, head over to our blog for Car Spring Cleaning advice and handy Brake Disc Cleaning tips.

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Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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