Car tuning is a necessary periodic maintenance to improve a car’s functionality and increase its longevity. Be aware, however, that traditional car tuning – checking and replacing the vital components of your vehicle’s ignition system, filters, auxiliary systems, fluids – no longer applies to modern cars. At the most, car tuning today involves changing the spark plugs, replacing fluids, and cleaning or changing the filters. It’s because modern cars are now computer-controlled. The timing chain, fuel delivery, or valve timing – all these are now controlled by a computer. Any issues that your car might have, the computer will address – for as long as possible.
Can You Go without Car Tuning Then?
No. You should still have your car tuned up according to what’s stated on your car manual. Some models require changing spark plugs every 30,000 miles; oil and oil filter change every 3,000 miles; wiper blades every 7,500 miles; cabin air filter replacement at 15,000 miles, and so on. This is to ensure your car performs as it should and to nip issues right in the bud.
Older cars, however, are tuned-up differently. They require checking and, when necessary, replacement of vital components in the different systems that make a car function as it should. For example, wires and plugs in the ignition system may be replaced to prevent loss of performance and rough idling.
Does Car Tuning Affect Your Engine Cleaning Process?
The quick answer is, no, it doesn’t. In fact, it’s the other way around. Engine cleaning comes first, because it prepares your vehicle for car tuning. It removes gunk, dirt, grime, bug residue, or road tar that may be present on your engine. It allows easy and faster identification, isolation, and repair of leaky valves or gaskets. Cleaning your engine regularly also prevents premature wear and tear of the engine’s plastic components and rubber hoses.
After car tuning, engine bay cleaning is also important to ensure thorough removal of chemical residue and leftover grease. Not to mention that a clean engine bay is a sight to behold. It increases your car’s perceived value – just in case you intend to sell it.
How to Clean Your Engine Before Car Tuning
- Bristled brushes
- Degreaser (you can use branded or a DIY engine degreaser)
- Microfiber towels
- Leaf blower
- Air compressor
- Plastic bags/cling wrap
- Dry cloth
- Dry brake cleaner
- Steam cleaner
1. Park in the Shades
When cleaning your car engine, don’t forget to park your car in a shaded, grassy area. This is to prevent the degreaser from drying up fast. When this happens, your engine bay might be riddled with unsightly water spots. These can be difficult to remove later on. Also, choosing the best location for the process will prevent chemical runoff from contaminating the storm drains. Finally, it prevents slippage brought about by flooded floors.
2. Remove Loose Dirt
With a bristled brush, sweep away dirt, dried leaves, sand, and other loose dirt from the engine bay. If some contaminants prove difficult to remove, consider using a leaf blower. The idea here is to leave the bay contaminant-free. Otherwise, leftover sand or dirt can get trapped in the brushes and towels. In turn, these can scratch the engine bay’s paint.
3. Protect the Electrical Parts
Cover all sensitive and electrical parts with plastic bags or cling wraps to safeguard them from flooding. This includes the battery, distributor, alternator, Electrical Computer Unit (ECU), air intakes, filters, and carburetors. It will also be a good idea to disconnect the car battery.
Apply the degreaser to the engine and the entire engine bay. Use a paintbrush for application. Make sure you leave no gaps. A good way to do this is to work section by section. Then leave for 15-20 minutes. This gives the degreaser sufficient time to work.
5. Brush Аway
By this time, the degreaser has already softened the crud on your engine. So, it’ll be best to start scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Only use a hard-bristled brush on stubborn grime and contaminants. For aluminum surfaces, a wire brush is recommended. This will bring out the aluminum’s natural shine.
6. Rinse or Steam Clean
For rinsing, you can use the traditional hose and water approach. However, we recommend using a steam cleaner. Steam gently lifts dirt away, allowing you to rinse your engine bay faster and more efficiently with only a minimal amount of water. It’s also good for cleaning the aluminum parts of your engine bay. Plus, steamed surfaces dry faster, so you won’t have to wait overnight to ensure your car’s engine dries thoroughly.
7. Remove Moisture
Dry the area with a dry microfiber towel. For drying hard-to-reach areas, use an air compressor to blow all the moisture away. Do not skip this step. Unremoved moisture can cause premature rusting in the long run.
8. Take Care of the Sensitive Parts
Uncover all the sensitive areas you covered with plastic. Clean them gently with a dry cloth. You can remove residual dirt with a clean cloth dipped in some dry brake cleaner.
9. Air Dry for a Few Hours
Car Tuning After Engine Cleaning
Once your engine is clean, you or your mechanic can easily find out if there are any issues in your car. For example, you can now discover why your car’s engine is always covered in grease and grime even after wiping it down with a cloth; it may be a leak in one of the valves or somewhere else.
Now that your engine is all tuned-up, wipe away any smudge marks, leftover grease, or excess chemicals from the engine bay. This will keep your engine looking great for a long time.
In a nutshell, car tuning does not affect the engine cleaning process. Actually, the latter comes as the first step towards a car that looks and functions at its peak performance.
Now, if getting your hands dirty is not up your alley or you do not have the time to perform DIY engine cleaning, schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts. Your car will be professionally detailed and your engine steam cleaned the eco-friendly way.
Enjoyed this post? Sign up for our newsletter to receive more valuable tips, ideas, coupons, and extras!