Cleaning a car’s interior and exterior is a regular item on car owners’ maintenance checklist, but what about under the hood? Your engine is a complex piece of machinery and it operates under considerable stress all while being covered in grease, dirt and grime.
Cleaning your engine can have several benefits that will help you maintain the functionality of your car. Here we will look at why cleaning your engine is important, pricing for car engine detailing in North York and Toronto, the process for cleaning an engine and how often you should get your engine detailed.
Main Takeaway: Car engine detailing is important both as a maintenance item and for cosmetic reasons. For as little as a hundred dollars, you can help to maintain your car and potentially avoid bigger repairs.
Engine detailing can be especially beneficial if you plan to resell your car. Strive to have your engine professionally detailed at least twice a year for maximum benefits. As little as once a year can also be beneficial while some cars will need more frequent detailing to maximize results.
In this Article:
- What Affects the Cost of Car Engine Detailing?
- Why Does Car Engine Detailing Matter?
- Will Cleaning Your Engine Keep it from Overheating?
- How Often Should You Get Your Engine Detailed?
- Should You Clean Your Engine by Yourself?
What Affects the Cost of Car Engine Detailing?
Car engine detailing prices range from around $100 to $300 and beyond. Why does the cost vary so much? The final cost will depend on 3 factors: 1) the type of car, 2) where you get your engine detailed and 3) method of cleaning.
- Type of Car: Larger cars mean larger engines and more time and products for cleaning. If you drive a large SUV or truck, expect to pay in the mid to high range.
- Location: One of the most cost effective ways to have your engine detailed is to have it as part of a package deal. Cardetailing.ca offers car detailing as an add on service to our competitively priced interior and exterior detailing packages. When combined with an existing package, you will not only save money but also time. Engine detailing can usually be performed at the same time as other detailing services, ensuring your car will be ready quickly.
- Method of Cleaning: Some cleaning methods, especially older, DIY methods are cheaper but also have potential to cause damage or be difficult for a novice. Specifically, hot water cleaning, which involves soaking engine parts in hot water, may prove difficult for those with limited car experience. Baking soda and similarly abrasive methods and materials can sometimes do more harm than good. Though this method is effective and reasonably priced, it is the one most likely to leave behind debris and cause issues. Professional cleaning, usually steaming, is often the best option. While pricier, it is more effective and beneficial.
Why Does Car Engine Detailing Matter?
You don’t see your engine, so why does it matter if it is clean? While appearances may not be important, a clean engine does have benefits, including:
- Find Problems Early: Regular, thorough engine cleaning will often reveal worn out parts before they become a bigger problem. Generally, you should inspect your engine from time to time for worn out parts and engine cleaning is another opportunity to ensure this is done.
- Easier Leak Detection: If your engine is covered in grease and dirt, it can make it more difficult to find the source of leaks when they occur. As a bonus, this will also make it a cleaner job when you do need to inspect your engine.
- Reduce Wear: Built up grease and dirt may not have a huge effect on overall performance of an engine, but it can affect individual parts. Specifically, plastic and rubber components can wear out more quickly when exposed to excessive grease.
- Resale Value: Regular cleaning can help with all of the above issues, but it is often most important to get detailing done before you attempt to sell your car. This is especially true if you are selling your car on your own. Buyers will be looking under the hood and a new engine will not only look nice but give the impression that the car has been gently used and well taken care of.
Related Article: What is the Cost of Car Detailing for a Sedan?
Will Cleaning Your Engine Keep it from Overheating?
While a cleaner engine does have a host of benefits as we looked at in the previous section, keeping your engine from overheating likely is not one of them.
Though a build up of grease and dirt may trap a small amount of heat, it is not likely to be enough to cause or accelerate overheating. Instead, overheating is more likely to be because your oil is low, there is a problem with your cooling system or there is a weakness in the belts or hoses.
The way that cleaning an engine can help with overheating is by making it easier to catch weak and problematic parts before they break. Also, if you do find yourself with an overheated engine, it will be an easier and cleaner job identifying the source of the heat if the engine is not covered in grease.
How Often Should You Get Your Engine Detailed?
Most engines should be professionally detailed at least twice a year. This is also the most common recommended schedule for detailing the exterior and interior of your car. Just like with other car detailing services, you should aim to have your engine detailed before extreme temperature changes, usually before winter and before summer.
This change in seasons is harder on your car due to conditions such as salt on the road in the winters and mud and heat that comes from the warmer months.
Detailing your car before these changes will help prepare your engine to take on the extra strain. It is also a good way to find worn out engine parts before you find yourself stuck on the road with car trouble.
Is More Frequent Detailing Beneficial? While twice a year detailing is most common, some cars can benefit from four times or more. Specifically, if you tend to drive on muddy or dirt roads often, your car likely needs more frequent cleaning. Rough terrain like this is also more likely to cause scratches and other damage due to debris. Detailing will find these issues and fix them before they get worse.
Should You Clean Your Engine by Yourself?
While mistakes made during cleaning can usually be fixed, you may find that trying to save money by cleaning your engine yourself will end up costing more money when something goes wrong.
Do it yourself methods and products for engine detailing can be especially tricky if you are inexperienced. For example, older engines may not be safe to clean with water. There are also multiple engine parts that should be treated gently and not sprayed with high pressure water both on new and older cars.
You will also need to be extremely careful with any electrical components and ensure any cleaning products and moisture are fully removed. At Cardetailing.ca, our experienced technicians mask off sensitive parts of the engine before carefully removing dirt and grime.
If you can not fit multiple professional engine cleanings into your schedule or budget, consider having it done only once a year instead of 2 to 4 times. This will still be beneficial without the risks that come with doing it yourself.
You may also want to wipe down parts of your engine in between professional cleanings. This can be beneficial if you tend to drive on dusty, dirty roads often.
For a quick spot cleaning of your engine, follow these tips:
- Keep it Cool and Dry: Before any cleaning or maintenance, your engine should be thoroughly cooled. A warm engine will not only be more difficult to handle, but warm parts are also more prone to damage when exposed to cold water. You will also want to ensure your engine is thoroughly dry once you are done. Choose a warm but low-humidity day to perform engine cleaning to help aid in drying.
- Protect Electrical Components: Electrical components can easily be damaged by moisture so it is important to cover them with plastic before any cleaning. You can potentially skip this step but it is not recommended unless you have experience with cleaning an engine already.
- Be Thorough but Gentle: While your engine may need to be scrubbed in certain areas, it is better to go more gently unless you are very confident in cleaning. Ideally, you will only perform a touch-up cleaning in between professional cleaning sessions to avoid causing damage.
Related Article: What is the Cost of Car Detailing in Ontario?
Car detailing and engine detailing are an important part of maintaining your car inside and out. To maximize the benefits of engine detailing, you should aim to have your car detailed twice a year. Detailing before you resell a car can also help you get maximum value for your vehicle.
Ready to get started with a better, cleaner engine? We’re here to help. Car Detailing North York and Toronto offers affordable car and engine detailing packages to fit your schedule and budget. Call us at 416-650-5483 to schedule your detailing today!