How To Clean An Engine Block: Simple And Easy Steps To Have Your Engine As Good As New

Has it been ages since you last cleaned your engine? Want to prep the car for selling it? Is your engine brimming with grease and grime? Whatever the reason behind cleaning an engine, it is a job that can be done easily on your own.


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If you fail to keep your engine clean, dust and other accumulation damages the shaft bearings in the crank and cam and the lifters. Dust can also clog oil galleries, limiting access of oil to the engine. This can affect the engine performance and even damage it permanently.

Further when you know how to clean an engine block, you can have the engine cleaned thoroughly on your own without having to take it to a professional. And regular maintenance of the engine helps to keep your car running smoothly and the fuel efficiency will also be more. This DIY guide will help you to keep your car engine maintain its stellar performance level. So, here are the steps involved in cleaning an engine block.

Why Do You Need To Clean Engine Block?

Cleaning inside an engine block helps prevent deposits from forming in the engine particularly in the engine injectors. This leads to low fuel efficiency and low performance.

Without regular cleaning, oil sludge can build up resulting in lower oil effectiveness. Heat generated during the engine operation will not be dissipated properly. The volume of oil will be reduced as a result.

Cleaning the outside of the engine prevents dirt from entering the air filter and affecting its performance.

How to Clean an Engine Block

Prior to beginning on the cleaning part, dismantle the engine block from the car carefully.To remove the engine block you have to drain the coolant and disconnect hoses like exhaust pipes. Have a look at this video to have a clear idea of how to remove the engine block

Tools Needed:

  • Protective gloves – Use chemical resistant gloves to avoid damage from toxic substances
  • Safety goggles – The goggles keep the toxic material emitted during cleaning away from your eyes. You can also use glasses.
  • Large tub –Ensure the engine block fits inside it fully.
  • Scraper made of plastic- This is ideal for removing rust.
  • WD 40- This helps to lubricate the engine parts.
  • Air compressor- This tool helps to remove the dirt and debris easily.

Step by Step Instruction!

Step 1:

Wear protective gloves and safety goggles prior to starting the cleaning process. The safety goggles help prevent any irritants in the engine whole you clean and gloves help to safeguard your hands from the harmful chemicals present in the cleaning liquid.

Step 2:

Use a plastic scraper to clean the gasket present on cylinder head. Avoid using metal scraper because it can cause scratches on the metal surface.

Step 3:

Place your engine block in a tub. Place it carefully and avoid banging the engine while placing it as the nozzles jutting out from the engine can get damaged. Now pour liquid engine parts cleaner over the engine block.

Step 4:

Clean engine block completely with the help of a cloth rag. Avoid using any scrubbing brush or steel brush for the cleaning.

The cleaning liquid is sufficient to remove any burnt oil and carbon deposits present in the engine.

Make sure you remove as much of the deposits as you can with the cleaning agent and rag by cleaning all the accessible places including the nooks and crevices present in the block.

Step 5:

Once you have scrubbed the engine fully, place a second tub nearby and fill it with water (warm water is preferable). Immerse engine block inside the second tub. If it is not submerged fully, add more water to the tub until it is fully immersed.

Let the engine sit for some time. This will help to remove any remaining deposits and also flush out the cleaner. You can also use a pressurized washer spray for rinsing the engine block thoroughly.

Step 6:

Remove engine block and keep it on a solid and sturdy surface. Use a dry rag to remove excess water present in the engine. Make sure you dry all the tiny nooks and corners effectively.

Step 7:

Once you have completely dried off the engine using the rag, you have to use compressed air for a more thorough drying. This will help to clean off any debris or dust adhering to the block.

Step 8:

When the engine block has dried off completely, keep it covered with a clean and dry cloth. This will prevent dirt from entering the engine. That’s it. Your engine is clean and ready to go.

Step 9:

Now inspect the engine for any cracks. If you find any damages you have to replace the engine or have it repaired.

Step 10:

Spray WD-40 on the engine and let it sit for some time before you reinstall the engine in your vehicle.

While you are cleaning, ensure you do not allow the wastewater to enter into the sewer gutters. It is against the law to dump water that is untreated into the gutters. So collect waste water from the cleaning process and make sure you dispose it off in the proper way. Dispose of the mats and rags you had used in the proper way.

Final Thought!

Cleaning the engine is a crucial part of maintaining your vehicle. It houses all the essential components needed for smooth running of your car. So knowing how to clean will keep the car performing well. Further cleaning also helps detect any tears, leaks or other damage to an engine. It prevents corrosion, and deposits from getting into the fluids in the car. You will be able to get better mileage after cleaning the engine as fuel efficiency is improved. This also helps if you want to sell the car.

Now that you know how to clean your engine block, you can do it regularly and have your engine performing efficiently always. You will not have to face low engine performance or overheating of engine due to dirt and grime clogging the engine parts. Hope you liked our tutorial on how to clean an engine block. Please post your comments below and remember to share this post on social media.

About the Author Alice Brown

I am just a car girl. Simply interested in the automotive and vehicular world. I started out as an apprentice mechanic working at my father’s garage. I'm hoping my two cents will help you fix a blinking light on the dashboard or that cranking noise that you don’t seem to know where it is coming from.

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