How To Detail Your Engine Bay

Many people don’t detail their engine compartment simply because they're afraid of causing damage. The truth is you can safely wash and detail your engine compartment with a little extra care and help from Sonax.

Pre-detail considerations:

Never detail a hot engine. If you spray cold water on a hot engine, you run a much higher risk of causing damage. If the engine is too warm, the cleaner will dry and spot engine surfaces. The best time to detail your engine is in the morning when it has been sitting all night. We recommend dividing the engine bay into sections and working one section at a time to avoid having the cleaner dry on the surface.

Before you begin detailing, cover the alternator, any exposed filters, the engine's air intake and any other sensitive areas or components. Cover your exposed air filter with a bag while detailing and be sure to remove the bag before you start your engine again. Custom electronics or aftermarket addons may have connections and gauges that need to be covered. You can always hand clean these sensitive areas after you get the rest of the dirt out.

Don’t soak the engine with cleaner or use the hose at high pressure. We recommend using a nozzle that provides a gentle shower of water rather than a high-pressure jet or stream of water. Use only as much water and cleaner as needed to get the job done..

Items you will need:

1. Sonax Engine Cleaner (SON- 543200) - Quickly and reliably cleans all oil and grease from engines, machine and assembly parts and tools. Phosphate-free, solvent-free.

2. Sonax Intensive Cleaning Brush (SON-491700) - SONAX Intensive Cleaning Brush is a sturdy brush with durable bristles for intensive cleaning work.

3. Microfiber towels or blower for drying

4. Sonax Plastic Care (SON-205141) – Sonax Plastic Care can be used to restore shine and provide protection on all rubber, vinyl, and plastic surfaces.

Engine Detailing Process:


1. Spray Sonax Engine Cleaner on the surface to be cleaned. Pay extra attention to areas that usually get extra dirty, like fluid containers and hoses. Extra dirty areas may require a little extra dwell time for the cleaner to get the best results.
Agitate the cleaner with a brush if needed to loosen up dirt, grease, and grime. We recommend having a variety of brushes on hand to get into all the intricate nooks and crannies of your engine compartment.  You may find that a wash mitt or microfiber towel works well in some areas. We suggest having dedicated mitts or towels just for the engine bay to avoid cross contaminating the rest of the car.

Rinse with a slow stream or shower of water to gently flush away the dirt and cleaner.

The next step is to completely dry the engine. You can use microfiber towels, but a car dryer or blower is most effective to get water out of places you can't reach with a towel. If you don't have a blower, you can use a can of compressed air to blow water out of crevices.

After you have cleaned all the dirt off and the surface is completely dry, carefully remove the covers from the alternator, air filter, and any other sensitive areas.  If you prefer the look of a fresh, clean, undressed engine bay, you can stop here.

For an extra bit of shine and protection under the hood, spray Sonax Plastic Care directly onto rubber, plastic, and vinyl surfaces.  Sonax Plastic Care has a self-leveling effect, so there is no wiping or buffing required.  Just let it dwell on the surface for 15-20 minutes and it will be dry to the touch, leaving behind a nice satin sheen.

How To Detail Your Engine Bay
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  • SONAX Plastic Detailer

    SONAX Plastic Detailer - 500ml

    SONAX Plastic Detailer- the quick and universal solution for your complete car! For interior: cleans and maintains all plastic components (e.g. cockpit, door trim panels, center console, seat linings etc.). Its simple application quickly ensures...
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  • SONAX Engine Cleaner - 500ml Spraying  SONAX Engine Cleaner

    SONAX Engine Cleaner - 500ml

    Quickly and reliably cleans all oil and grease from engines, machine and assembly parts and tools. The product has an outstanding infiltration ability, enabling it to reach even the most inaccessible places. Phosphate-free, solvent-free.   Quickly...
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