How do you degrease an engine?

I want to degrease my engine from home, but I’m not sure what I need. How do I degrease my engine by myself?

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Answer provided by
Kathryn Mae Kurlychek
Answered on May 06, 2022
Thankfully, you don’t need a lot!
All you need to degrease your engine is a degreaser and some plastic bags to protect any vulnerable components. If you don’t feel like picking up an engine degreaser from your local auto store, household degreasers (like kitchen cleaner) also work.
To start, here’s what you’ll do:
  • Make sure your engine is cooled down. Applying water or degreaser on a hot engine can be dangerous—not to mention damage your engine. If you’ve just come home from driving, open your hood and wait at least 15 minutes before starting.
  • Cover vulnerable engine components using plastic bags. Be especially careful to protect your alternator and battery, as well as any ignition wires or exposed cables. If you have an exposed engine air intake, you’ll want to cover this as well.
  • Apply the degreaser. Be sure to be thorough!
  • Scrub your engine using a synthetic-bristle brush. If you notice any caked-on dirt or oil around valve covers or other components, you may need to apply a little elbow grease.
  • Rinse off the degreaser working from back to front. Use water sparingly around the components you’ve covered with plastic bags to prevent water damage!
  • Let your engine dry. You can use a towel, rag, or a compressed-air tool to help speed up the process.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully degreased your engine.
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