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How To Clean An Engine Block-A Complete Guide

For keeping your vehicle to be working efficiently so that you can make the best out of them it is important for you to use the powerful engine as well. However, to make sure your engine gives the best output so that your vehicle runs efficiently you will need to look after its maintenance. To help you regarding this case so that you can take care of your engine we have written below the perfect steps and guidelines that you can follow and gain knowledge regarding how to clean an engine block. 

Why Do You Need to Clean an Engine Block?

You might be questioning why is there a necessity of cleaning an engine block? Well, while you fuel your engines with oils it is obvious that you will be seeing oil stains on the surface.

  • Stains result in dirt and grime to get trapped that creates disturbance to your engine resulting in your engine to work inefficiently.
  • Oil using effectiveness is lowered because of dirt build up. As a result, oil volume usage gets reduced.
  • Air filter might get blocked if regular cleaning of the outer surface of the engine is not done.

Hence, to prevent all the unwanted factors from happening there is a requirement that you clean an engine block regularly.

Tools Required for Cleaning an Engine Block:

1. Brake cleaner:

Depending on the material of your engine whether it is cast iron or aluminum, choose the suitable brake cleaner for it.

2. Air compressor:

This one is an essential tool that you will be required for cleaning your engine block. Air drying and removing dirt and grime will be done by it.

3. Protective Gloves: 

Safety comes first! Your skin needs to be protected from getting into contact with the chemical. That is why you will be needing to wear gloves that are resistant to chemicals to protect your hands.

4. Safety Goggles:

Eyes are the most sensitive organ of the body, and any type of damage can lead to lifetime sufferings. So you will be needing to protect your eyes from getting into contact with any harmful chemical by wearing safety goggles.

5. Large Bucket or Tub:

This is required to place your engine block inside it.

6. Clean Absorbent Rags: 

This will be required for absorbing all the cleaning solutions at the end of the cleaning of your engine block. You will be needing up to 5 absorbent rags.

7. Plastic Scraper Tool:

Required for lubricating and protecting the engine block.

Steps on How to Clean an Engine Block:

Finally moving on to the next part which is detailing the steps regarding how to clean an engine block after we are done listing the tools that you will be needing for cleaning.

01.Remove the Battery Cables:

Take out the battery cables. Firstly, disconnect the negative cable. The reason to remove the ground first is that you can’t short the circuit, releasing huge amounts of energy in the process. Once the circuit is broken, remove the positive cable and place aside.

2. Cover the Engine Internal Parts:

Wrapping ignition wires, coils, and whole electrical connectors will provide life safety while washing your engine block. Cover sensitive electrical components like ignition coils, fuse box, and the plug wires of your vehicle.

3. Safety Guard:

Begin with protecting yourself first! Wear your gloves to protect your hands from facing irritation by getting into contact with the chemical. Put on safety goggles to prevent your eyes from getting into contact with any sort of chemical irritants.

4. Dismantle the Engine Completely:

  • Begin to dismantle the engine by unscrewing all the removable nuts and bolts of some essential parts like the timing cover and cylinder heads. Remove the power steering and water pump, air intake manifold and as well as all the removable pulleys.
  • Start removing crankshaft and pistons by unscrewing and removing all the pistons and connecting rods. And then lastly remove the crankshaft main bearing caps.
  • Drain out any remaining fluids so that the dirt also gets removed. Use the help of compressed air if you need to, to remove any fluid that is stuck.
  • Turn on the engine from all sides so that all the fluid drips out. Continue to do so, until the flowing out of the fluid stops.

05. Use Plastic Scrapper Tool:

Using the plastic scraper that we have mentioned in the list of tools that you will be needing to get scratch of the gasket material that you will be see present on the cylinder head.

06. Place the Engine Block:

Carefully place the engine block in the tub or the large bucket that you have got. While placing the engine make sure you avoid banging it with the wall of the tub or bucket. This because banging the engine block can result in the nozzles to get damaged as they are sticking out.

07. Pour in the Liquid Engine Degreaser:

After being done with the placing of the engine block in the tub, pour in the liquid engine degreaser.

08. Whole Engine Scrub:

After adding the degreaser, let it rinse for a while but don’t allow it to dry. Rinsing will allow the degreaser to have time to soften the dirt and to also break down carbon deposits and burnt oil. After that, use a rag to scrub off the stubborn ones. You will need to scrub the whole engine block thoroughly including all the spaces of the engine.

09. Submerge the Engine Block:

Fill another tub or large bucket with warm water and then submerge the engine block inside it. Let the engine block to get rinsed inside the warm water for a few minutes to rinse off the liquid degreaser and deposits.

10. Clean Excess Water:

After being done with cleaning of the engine block using warm water using another absorbent rag wipe off all the excess water from the surface of the engine and as well all the hard corners and spaces.

11. Check Leaks:

Once you are completely done with the cleaning of your engine make sure that there is no leaks present. Examine your engine carefully to check if there is any oil, coolant or any other external leaks. Start the engine after fixing it to the desired place, and then drive it around, so that the engine gets back to it’s normal temperate and to proper dye circulation.

12. Re-assemble the engine completely:

Using the air compressor dry the engine block thoroughly for completely removing any kind of moisture from the surface of the engine. You can further remove any dust or debris that you spot on the engine block. Cover your engine with a cloth after you are done with trying to prevent any dust from entering the engine block. This needs to be done as you will be surely needing some time to get back the engine in the vehicle.

Benefits of Keeping the Engine Block Clean: 

  • Cleaning an engine block regularly prevents rust and corrosion.
  • Prevents any further dirt from getting into the internal components of the engine.
  • The price of the engine will not drop out much if you decide to sell it for some reason.
  • Power and efficiency of the engine will not be affected.


After reaching the end of this article, you have surely been enlightened with all the details that you needed to know regarding how to clean an engine block. By following all the steps that we have listed above you will be able to get your engine block cleaned in no time regularly. The proper list of tools must be purchased before you start cleaning your engine block. So wait no more, and start with your engine block cleaning task today!

Read more best engine degreasers

Angela E. Bouchard
Angela E. Bouchard

Angela E. Bouchard is a writer and blogger as well as the chief editor of Route Vibes. She was grown up in a small neighborhood of Linden Avenue, Orlando, FL. From childhood, she has developed a keen interest to know about everything. Such characteristic helped her to become a passionate writer as she grows up. Before starting at the Route Vibes project, Angela E. Bouchard worked as writer and editor at multiple top-notch blogs and magazines. You can follow her on different social media, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Instagram, to know more about his work.

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