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How To Clean Your Diesel Engine Like a Professional

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A clean diesel engine is a healthier engine, and cleaning one isn’t hard when you have the know-how. Learn how to give your engine that sparkling clean shine.

In truth, cleaning a diesel engine isn’t very different from cleaning a normal engine. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths regarding diesel engines, with one of them being that diesel engines are messier and get dirtier faster than normal engines. This isn’t true, but diesel engines do still require regular cleaning.

Cleaning the engine keeps it running well for longer and increases your vehicle’s value should you ever want to sell. Whatever your reasons, you can learn how to clean your diesel engine like a professional here.

Remove Debris

Loose debris left under the grill and hood can be dangerous if left for too long. If you see any sticks or leaves, you’ll need to remove them, which you can easily do by hand. Once you’ve done that, you can take a brush—ideally, a brush detailing set made for engines—to sweep out any other loose dirt or mud particles.

Loosen Up Oil and Grease

At this point, you’ll want to turn on the car and allow the engine to run for about 10 minutes to loosen up oil and grease. The hot air should fill up the compartment and melt the oil. Allowing the engine to heat up will make the rest of the cleaning process a lot easier.

Protect Parts Under the Hood

Parts under the hood, such as the sensors, alternator, power steering filler, and air intake, should all be covered as they’re sensitive to the cleaning process. You can do this by putting plastic bags over these parts and sealing them with rubber bands. You can also wrap these parts in aluminum foil—just be sure to remove all of it when you’re done.

Degrease and Scrub

Next, apply your degreaser—ideally solvent-based—to cut through oil faster. Each degreaser product has different instructions and will recommend a specific amount of time to let the product sit. Generally, you can allow the product to sit longer if your engine is especially dirty. Once the product has set, use a long-handled brush to scrub in a circular motion while being careful not to remove the plastic or aluminum coverings.

Rinse and Let It Dry

While it may be tempting to use high pressure for a faster rinse, there are fragile parts that can end up damaged. You can use a regular hose on a gentle setting to wash off the product and use a dry rag to wipe up as much water as you can. Letting the engine run will also allow the water to dry, but if you do this before wiping down excess water by hand, you can end up with mineral spots.

Now that you know how to clean your diesel engine like a professional, you can have a sparkling clean engine in no time!

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