Next we’ll move onto cleaning and protecting two other high-dirt areas on a vehicle - the engine bay and exhaust tips - before moving onto exterior paint, glass, and trim. There are a few important things you should check before you begin to clean the engine bay and prepare to protect various components:
1. Check and top off all fluids if they are low. Check the windshield wiper fluid, coolant, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and so on to make sure that none are low to let the vehicle perform its best throughout the winter months. Filling up low fluid reservoirs before you start any cleaning is smart, because if you have any spills, you won’t have to clean areas a second time.
2. Remove any and all leaves, tree needles, and other debris from the wiper cowl, fender rails, and any other areas that may have drain holes. Leaves and other debris can plug these drain holes, which will trap water and snow and can lead to rust.
3. Cover any exposed wiring around the battery, as well as any aftermarket open-element cold air intake filters. If the fuse panel has a “No pressure washer” warning, cover this area as well. Plastic grocery bags and tape work well to temporarily cover these areas.
- Hose and water or pressure washer
- Adam’s Eco All Purpose Cleaner, Fender Brush, and Trim & Lug Nut Brush
- Adam’s Air Cannon and Mini Plush Drying Towel
Adam’s VRT, In & Out Spray, and Block Applicator
- Adam’s All Purpose Cleaner, Small Angled Wheel Brush, One Step Metal Polish, Grey Microfiber Applicator, and Borderless Grey Towel
Begin the engine bay cleaning process by using a fine mist stream from your hose, or a 40-degree rinsing tip (white tip) on the pressure washer, to spray down the engine bay evenly, including the underside of the hood - the hood liner will typically hold large amounts of dirt and debris. If using a pressure washer, keep the pressure washer tip 12-18 inches away from the surfaces you are rinsing. Next, generously spray Eco All Purpose Cleaner around the engine bay on hoses, plastics, plastic covers, and so on. Use the Adam’s Fender Brush to gently scrub all large areas of the engine bay, then the Trim & Lug Nut Brush to reach into the tight nooks and crannies. Thoroughly rinse all areas of Eco All Purpose Cleaner using a misting stream from the hose or the same white tip on the pressure washer, and then allow the engine bay to dry or use a Mini Plush Drying Towel on the larger areas. The Adam’s Air Cannon is an optional tool to more effectively dry the engine bay in a short amount of time and effort.
Once all areas are dry, you can then protect the majority of most modern engine bays with two products - Adam’s VRT and In & Out Spray. Pour a few drops of VRT onto a Block Applicator sponge and spread it evenly over large plastic areas, such as radiator shrouds, the wiper cowl, and plastic engine covers. For hard-to-reach areas, rubber hoses, plastic wire loom, and other small plastic and rubber components that are difficult to treat with VRT, our aerosol In & Out Spray will treat these areas in seconds and leave them looking dark with a nice satin finish. Then take a clean Borderless Grey Towel and wipe off any over spray that may have gone onto paint and glass. This quick clean and protect process isn’t necessary at every wash, but we do recommend giving the engine bay a thorough cleaning at every oil change.
Bonus: An optional step for engine bay protection would be to useGraphene Ceramic Spray Coating™ on the painted areas such as fenders and the underside of the hood!
With the engine bay now clean and protected, we’ll move onto the exhaust tips. Soot and dirt can build up on exhaust tips very quickly, so it’s important to clean them often to prevent that soot from baking into the chrome or steel, which makes them much more difficult to clean. First, make sure the exhaust tips are cool to the touch before continuing. Generously spray All Purpose Cleaner onto the exhaust tip, then clean the outer wall with the Small Angled Wheel Brush, as well as the inner wall if it is a polished double-wall exhaust tip. Dry the exhaust tip using the Mini Plush Drying Towel or Air Cannon, then use a Grey Microfiber Applicator and Adam’s One Step Metal Polish to clean and polish the exhaust tip even further to a mirror shine.
If heavy soot is baked onto the exhaust tip, you can use #0000 Super Fine Steel Wool in conjunction with the One Step Metal Polish to more thoroughly clean the metal surface, but keep in mind that the steel wool may leave tiny micro-scratches as it removes the heavy soot buildup. Finally, wipe away the One Step Metal Polish residue with a Borderless Grey Towel. Adam’s One Step Metal Polish has a sealant protectant built into its formula, so it will add a small amount of protection that will make follow-up cleaning more easy.