Bay Beauty – Must-Have Engine Bay Cleaning Kit


By Chris Pollitt

Your engine is the heart of your car, without it you’d just have a really expensive storage shed. The engine gives your car soul and sound, it is the part that distinguishes it from other cars. And yet despite its importance, it is forced (in most cases) to live its life hidden away under a bonnet. But when it comes to your engine, out of sight should not mean out of mind. The bonnet that covers it is often treated to a wash and wax, so why shouldn’t the engine itself? A clean engine bay shows that a car is cared for, it makes it a nice thing to work on and it can take years off a car. 

Car detailing is big business, and as such, there are myriad products out there for beautifying one’s car, especially the engine. And being fans of a clean engine bay ourselves, we’ve tried a great many of them. So with that in mind, here are five truly must-have examples of engine bay cleaning kit. Come on, get that power plant gleaming. 

1) AutoGlym Engine and Machine Cleaner 

engine, engine bay, cleaning, engine cleaner, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic,

We’ve suggested this before for other applications, and rightly so because it really is just that good. Autoglym knows what it’s doing when it comes to cleaning products, and this Engine and Machine cleaner has to be at the top of the pile. No strong odours, easy spray-on application, it cuts through dirt and grease with ease and it rinses off without leaving residue behind. This stuff really is a must-have in any garage. Get yourself a bottle. Be dazzled by what it can do. 

2) Cleaning Brushes

engine, engine bay, cleaning, engine cleaner, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic,

The landscape of one’s engine is angular and full of hidden, dirty corners and crevices. You can’t just chuck some water at it and hope for the best. You need to get in there, which is why a decent set of cleaning brushes are a must. This pack of four brushes from Natuce features brushes long enough to get into the bits your hands can’t. The bristles are stiff enough to agitate even the most stubborn of oil and dirt, and those same bristles are also hard-wearing for multiple use. And all for a hair over a tenner. A must-have. 

3) Steam Cleaner

engine, engine bay, cleaning, engine cleaner, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic,

This little steam cleaner will be your best friend when it comes to cleaning your engine, particularly if you’re talking about an engine that hasn’t been shown any love for a long time. Think about it, the engine gets dirty, it gets hot and it gets cold and as such, the dirt gets baked on. No cleaning product alone will get rid of that. You need heat, which is exactly what this cleaner provides in the form of steam. This will break stubborn dirt free, and with a range of fittings, there will be no part of your engine left untouched. Buy it now, thank us later. 

4) Meguiars Tyre Shine

engine, engine bay, cleaning, engine cleaner, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic,

We’re not sure if Meguiars would endorse this manner in which we use their tyre shine product, but there you go. We had some very dry, tired hoses under the bonnet of our 203,000 mile Mercedes-Benz, and when cleaning it we thought we’d run a cloth with a bit of this gel over them. And do you know what? It worked a treat. It brought a properly deep shine to the hoses, one that has lasted for a good couple of months. If it’s good enough for the hard-working wheels, it’s getting an easy job by being coated on hoses. 

5) Holts Brake Cleaner

engine, engine bay, cleaning, engine cleaner, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic,

Brake cleaner, we’re sure you don’t need us to tell you, is not just for brakes. It’s a great multipurpose cleaner that will make light work of many of your engine bay’s dirty spots. Spray it on, agitate it, rinse or wipe it off. It couldn’t be simpler. It evaporates quickly, leaves little residue and is safe to use on most mechanical parts. You should always have some brake cleaner on hand, as it will always make a positive difference. You can even use it to, if you’re feeling crazy, clean your actual brakes. But only once you’ve finished the engine. 

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