Engine Bay Cleaning

If you are considering giving your Cummins engine bay a good cleaning, here are a few things to think about. Washing under the hood is a tricky situation, and not for the novice, as there are so many electronics under there. A lot of manufacturer’s actually don’t recommend under hood washing, so you really need to take care if you decide to do it.

Why Should You Clean Your Engine Bay?

There are a number of reasons you might decide to clean your Cummins engine bay. If it is quite dirty, and caked with mud and grime there is potential of this buildup causing issues. In addition to the aesthetic benefit of simply looking nicer, cleaning your diesel engine enables it to cool more efficiently, places less wear and tear on the unit (https://xlmechanicalservice.ca), allows you to more easily determine the source of any leaks that may occur, and reduces the chances of nasty particulates being sucked into your filter. Also as a general rule for every 1/4 “ of mud on your engine it can act like 3 inches of metal as far as insulating value goes. Depending on your driving conditions, you actually may never need to clean your engine bay, or it may be required a few times a year in extreme cases.

How to Clean Your Cummins Engine Bay

First of all, make sure that your engine is not running when you attempt to clean it. The unit should be completely cooled off (or at least luke warm) to ensure that no damage is done by the cooler water touching hot components. Once you have popped the hood, begin by brushing away any leaves, twigs, and other debris stuck in corners and crevasses or in the grill. Next, use plastic baggies or garbage bags – held in place by electrical tape or rubber bands – to cover up sensitive electronic components such as the TIPM – Totally Integrated Power Module (new name for fuse box), alternator, air intake, and sensors.
Starting from the bottom up, apply a degreaser and let sit for approximately five minutes, then scrub thoroughly with a long-handled brush. (While on the topic of grease are you keeping a proper oil change interval for your Cummins?) As far as a cleaner degreaser is concerned most any of the shelf stuff from an auto parts store will work. When you are finished, rinse with a hose or pressure washer at a low pressure, being careful not to blast the water directly at the under-hood electronics. Finally, let it air dry or use compressed air to remove the leftover water before starting your engine back up.

Tom Zelinka has been an Alberta Journeyman Automotive Mechanic and Interprovincial Red Seal since 1978. In 1981 he then received his Alberta Journeyman Heavy Duty Mechanic Certificate and Interprovincial Red Seal. He has received Certificates for:  Cummins engine certification on N855/N14/M11 Engines, Cummins B/C/ ISB Series Engines, Cummins B/C/ISB Series Engine Fuel Systems, and Cummins B/C/ISB Series Electronic Engine Controls.

Interprovincial CFC/HCFC/HFC certification, Alberta Liquid Petroleum Gas Certification, Alberta Certified Advanced Mobile Hydraulics, Alberta Certified Diesel Engine Control Systems.

As the technology and models change, Tom continues to stay on top of the industry to be sure that you are receiving superior service for your Dodge Cummins diesel truck.

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