Can I Wash My Engine While It’s Hot?

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Last Updated on 11 months by Ollie Barker

Can I Wash My Engine While It's Hot

If you’ve got a big event coming up and want to make sure that your engine is shiny and clean, you might be wondering whether it’s possible to wash it while it’s hot.

Simply stated, don’t wash the engine while it’s hot as it contains many temperature-sensitive metal components. Let it cool down, then you can.

When it comes to the car wash, people often pay attention to the interior and exterior parts but not the engine. So when it’s time to clean the engine off the grime and dirt, they can feel hesitant. In this blog, you’ll find all information needed to perform the task properly.

Can I wash my engine while it’s hot?

As stated earlier, washing a hot engine can provoke hazards to its metal components as they can crack and get rusty or deform. Thus, don’t wash the engine right after driving.

It’s so important to cool the engine down first before washing. It takes about 30 mins for the engine to cool down. It can be faster if you open the hood. While waiting, you can start cleaning the other parts of the car and I suggest you begin with the back first.

If you’re in a rush and just pour the water to cool the engine down. However, make sure you cover some sensitive parts such as the battery, wiring elements, or exposed air filter.

How do I clean an engine?

The best method to clean an engine is to use a garden hose or a pressure cleaner. Hose spray the engine off with clean water and the pressure cleaner will go deeper into the harder-to-reach parts. Just make sure that you cover the battery, air filter, and all sensitive parts.

You can use dish soap or non-corrosive cleaners to wash the dirt or accumulated oil easier and they’re still safe to use on metal parts. Allow the cleaners to sit for a while, then you can wash them off with water.

Washing the engine with a pressure cleaner is effective unless you use it right. Here are a few tips:

  • Check if any damages in the engine bay and fix them first
  • Don’t spray too close as its power can break small parts
  • Cover sensitive components like the battery
  • Don’t spray directly to any open caps like oil filter caps

The pressure cleaner can send water and loose dirt deep into the tight spots or crevices that you can’t reach. In addition, use a soft bristle brush to clean the sides and interior of the engine bay.

Finally, allow the engine to dry completely to avoid any rust. Use cloths to dry it first, then let it air dry.


#1 Can we wash the engine bay?

Yes, you can. Use a gentle brush like a paintbrush to clean the engine bay first. Then you can use a pressure washer. Keep in mind the tips mentioned above in order to not damage it.

#2 Can I wash my engine with full power?

No, don’t wash your engine with full power. Please use a soft pressure cleaner or gentle hose spray to thoroughly scrub off any accumulated dirt or oil. Then, air dry the car completely to avoid rusting its metal parts. Never wash your car on the trunk using force as it can cause damage to them too.

#3 What parts should you cover when washing an engine?

Cover the battery, air filter, and all exposed sensitive engine parts like wiring.

#4 How often should I clean the engine bay?

As a rule of thumb, you should clean the engine bay every 3-4 months, depending on how often and where you drive.

Final Words

To conclude, washing your engine while it’s hot can be dangerous to the sensitive metal parts and components. Take note of the safety tips mentioned above, and you can do a good cleaning job.