Cleaning a car engine should be every body’s business. Keeping your engine clean will not only make your daily driving safe and efficient, it will also add value to your car in case you resell it. You should learn to know more about engine degreasers from now on. You can read more about tips for your car The 10 Most Important Things to do for Your Car.
Unlike removing water spots on a car or removing bird poop stain, cleaning your engine is more complicated. But you can definitely do it by yourself with some enthusiasm on your part. The process of cleaning the exterior of your car engine is called de-greasing and there are several products that you can use to do it efficiently.
We will introduce you to some of the market’s best engine degreasers which you could order easily online and deliver to you free of charge. Car experts suggest that it is best to clean your engine and engine bay first before washing your car so you can ensure you wash and rinse off any degreaser (also knows as a solvent degreaser) that may reach painted components.
But before we start with the list, here’s some advice from the expert degreaser about this activity.
How an engine degreaser works
A clean engine bay will make it easier for you or your trusted mechanic to do maintenance and repairs. A clean engine also runs better because it will have a lesser chance of getting moving parts and air intakes clogged of grease and other debris. That’s why it is best that you help your engine perform well on a long-term basis by keeping it clean and tidy. Moreover, a clean engine will allow you to easily notice issues (such as oil leak) earlier and fix them before they can pose a major problem. Solvent degreasers usually come in fluid form, although some products are in foam.
A degreaser works by loosening up the accumulated grease (or grime) on the engine and its parts (including hoses, valves, seals, and other moving and stationary parts). Before applying a degreaser, the engine should be run for at least 5 minutes to keep it warm (unless otherwise specified on your chosen degreasing product). A warmer engine will enable the degreaser to penetrate the stubborn grime more easily, thus, loosening it up quickly.
Soaking the grime and soot accumulating on the exterior of the engine for some time (5-10 minutes or longer) will make the degreaser more effective. When the dirt and grime are loosened up, you can wash the engine with warm water (you can use a garden hose to wash the engine). But be careful not to wet electrical lines (you can cover susceptible electrical cables before you wash the engine).
Types of engine degreaser
Petroleum-based degreasers are usually cheaper than water-based ones. These solvents are strong and powerful cleaners but can be more abrasive compared to the latter because of its strong chemical content. Some of these products (but not all) are harmful to plastics, chrome, painted surface, and aluminum (unless otherwise specified). If you use this type of cleaner, check first the instructions.
This environment-friendly cleaner has water as one of its main ingredients. A water-based degreaser is milder and gentler to engine non-metal parts than petroleum-based cleaners. It is also as effective as a cleaning agent. However, the drawback is that this type of degreaser carries a higher price compared to petroleum-based products.
How to choose the best engine degreaser
There are many brands of engine degreaser out in the market, but there is surely one brand that will suit your engine and the parts associated with it. Here are some of the factors that you should consider before buying the perfect engine degreaser for your car:
Choose the best engine degreaser for your car by considering what type you should use: petroleum or water-based. If your engine has plastics, painted surfaces, and other parts that are not conducive for a strong degreaser, then you might consider using a water-based formula.
If you want an engine cleaner that can be used for other home applications aside from your engine, the product usually comes milder that works on a variety of surfaces. You can choose the one that has the better value with a wide range of application. But if you have an engine that has thick grime and rust (you might overlook the cleaning for a long time), it is better to use a petroleum-based one to assure a thorough cleaning.
Most petroleum-based degreasers have a strong odor. If you don’t like the smell, you can use a dust mask to block the stingy odor or use a solvent degreaser with added perfume (such as the citrus-based kind, etc.) which is also water-based.
The last thing on your mind would be the price of the product that you intend to use. After considering the magnitude of the grime adhering to the engine and your available budget, find the best engine degreaser where it has the most cleaning power. Some products come in gallon-sized containers with surprisingly cheap prices. But check out each product’s capability in de-greasing your engine and settle for the one that matches your expectations.
MEGUIAR'S D10801 Super Degreaser - 1 Gallon
Chemical Guys CLD_997 Diablo Gel Wheel and Rim Cleaner
Wheel Cleaner 1 Gallon Bulk Refill - Safe for all Wheels Tires and Rims
Top 9 Ranked Engine Degreasers
The Gunk EB1 Engine Degreaser Original has a heavy-duty property for stuck up soiled grease, oil, and grime. This product has diverse applications which can be used for multiple types of vehicles other than your car. It can be used for ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and other similar engines. The product is designed for DIY enthusiasts which don’t need any other chemical for mixing as it is ready-to-use any time.
The Original Engine Brite by Gunk works perfectly for your engine. This amazing engine degreaser is well-known for being tough on dirt, road grime, oil builds up, and stuck up grease. This product is designed for use on old engines with an extremely greasy state. The Gunk EB1CA is a long-lasting solution for a dirty engine with an affordable price.
If you want your engine to be both extra clean and aromatic at the same time, the Chemical Guy Signature Orange Degreaser is your guy. This citrus-based mild cleaner is perfect for a new car that had run less than 5,000 miles. But still, this orange degreaser on spray bottle is tough on oil, hard-headed grease and grime, and dirt and debris.
If you really want the most value for your money, try the POR-15 Degreaser. This 1-gallon engine cleaner is both great for industrial and automotive use and comes highly concentrated. You can dilute the POR-15 with water up to ten times its volume and still retains its strength. Now, that’s what we call a higher potency on any surface. Moreover, this power degreaser can also be used in more surfaces, like wood, plastics, fiberglass, and painted surfaces without damaging them.
If you want an all-natural and skin-friendly oil degreaser, you might consider the 3D Grand Slam. This all-purpose engine degreaser is non-toxic and has a biodegradable formula so you will not contribute to the destruction of the environment even if you use it more frequently. The water-based Grand Slam even works in floors, tools, and other surfaces, aside from being perfect for your engine.
The Grime Reaper from Chemical Guys is not your usual mild engine cleaner. This monster is a very strong and highly concentrated formula that has no mercy with grime and grease. The fluid can be diluted with water up to 6 to 9 times its volume and still powerful enough to emulsify stubborn grease and dirt on your engine. But it can be easily flush out with water after application giving you an engine as shiny as new.
When you used to drive in cold weather, most grime and filth on your engine will be stubborn enough for cleaning. That is why you need a more suitable degreaser for this purpose. The CarGuys Premium Wheel Cleaner is just what you need on these circumstances. The wide array of uses of this environment-friendly (water-based) degreaser is what makes this solvent cleaner more popular to most car lovers in North America and Europe.
The Chemical Guys CLD_997 Diablo Gel Wheel and Rim Cleaner is one of CLD_997’s fastest-selling brands in the market today. But what could you expect on this highly-concentrated solvent degreaser in a 1-gallon container? This amazing product is fast-acting and does not need more time to emulsify filth, grime, dirt, and grease from your engine. This highly concentrated product is not only safe to use on other surfaces, it is also left without residue, noxious fumes, and stains when washed out properly.
The Meguiar’s Detailer is what professionals prefer for auto detailing. This Super Degreaser is quite true to its name. This degreasing product is extremely concentrated, you can dilute it with water up to 10 times its volume without altering its potency.
You can probably find the D10801 Super Degreaser from Meguiar’s in every auto detailing shop in the city because of its versatile use. While it is ideal for your car, it can also be used for trucks, light trucks, vans, RVs, and other similar vehicles, with the same amount of concentration and with the same effect on the engine.
We hate to pick the best one on our list because we feel that each product we have mentioned has its own role in cleaning your engine. But, we definitely have to choose for the best from time to time.
Our choice is the POR-15 40101 Cleaner Degreaser. The price is reasonable for a 1-gallon engine degreaser which we can use for several times. Remember that this product is concentrated which we can dilute to the right mix as needed. We can also use the POR-15 40101 in other types of engines (and other non-metal surfaces) as the family has several motorized equipment and tools on our house.
Although we don’t give much attention to its smell, we think that the product has no bad scent whatsoever.