Pros and cons of washing the car engine with steam
Any car needs proper care and maintenance of cleanliness. Not only the body and interior should be kept clean, but also the power unit, which is also subject to contamination. Nowadays, washing the engine with steam is becoming more and more relevant. It is worth paying attention to this process, to consider its essence, to study the positive and negative aspects. Russian drivers are just getting acquainted with this procedure, so its relevance has not yet reached its peak. But everything is coming to it. The number of car owners who do not spare money for such service for their “iron horse” is constantly increasing.
What is a steam engine wash
The procedure itself is simple, but dangerous. The steam generator produces dry steam, which temperature can reach 320 degrees. To wash the underhood space, 160 – 250 degrees is enough. The device has a hose with nozzles, which can be changed depending on the desired result. Steam heated to a high temperature comes out of the nozzle. It can be adjusted from 50 to 320 degrees. The steam generator creates a pressure equal to 7 atmospheres. Such a car engine wash can take from half an hour to an hour, if carried out by a specialist. An inexperienced person can stretch this procedure for several hours, and even get burned.
How is the engine washed with steam?
The steam generator hose is directed into the underhood of the car. It is important to treat each area so that there are no skips. Steam washing a car engine consists of several steps:
- The space that is under the hood is cleaned with a powerful stream, as a result of such treatment the main dirt is washed away;
- in the case of heavy soiling, special chemical compositions are applied for no more than 10 minutes;
- the contacts and electrical components are covered before applying the chemicals;
- Finally, the parts and contacts are dried with compressed air to avoid short circuits and prevent oxidation processes.
Exactly according to such scheme it is possible to wash a car engine by steam. Not on your own, of course, but trusting the specialists.
How often to carry out
A controversial issue is the frequency with which you need to wash the car space under the hood. Here it is difficult even for experts to come to a consensus. Let’s start with why this procedure should be performed at all and what the engine that has never been washed can lead to.
- A clean engine shows optimal heat emission, it does not overheat, the oil lasts longer and the engine has a longer service life.
- A clean unit will immediately show fluid leaks, which are an indication of a malfunction.
- A car with a clean underhood is less likely to have electrical problems, especially in the wintertime.
- Dirt, snow slush, and salt spray are less likely to linger on a clean surface.
- Clean and convenient maintenance is only possible with a washed motor. Even elementary manipulations will be much more pleasant if the engine has been cleaned beforehand.
It used to be that the car engine was cleaned before it was sold or when it was repaired. Only some especially careful car owners would clean the under-hood once every few years. This was explained by the high risk of malfunction in the most expensive part of the car. Dry, powerful steam cleaning is safe for the powertrain and all underhood parts. That’s why it can be performed much more frequently, as needed or depending on the degree of contamination of the engine. This procedure becomes especially urgent before the onset of winter, which challenges all drivers. The problem is the considerable cost, which is typical for steam cleaning of the engine.
Advantages and disadvantages
This process, however, like any other, is characterized by positive and negative characteristics. To make the right decision about washing the engine in this new way, it is necessary to study all the characteristics of this issue. The list of advantages is as follows:
- The probability of water penetration inside the power unit is reduced. In this case, there are no conditions for the formation of a wiring short circuit, the flooding of the motor and the onset of other dangerous situations.
- The high safety of the procedure does not compromise the functionality of the unit.
- The steam flow easily removes difficult dirt (grease stains, oil residues, bitumen, tar and ingrained, stale dirt).
- Easy cleaning of difficult to reach areas.
- Fast cleaning.
- No need for chemicals or special cleaning agents.
- Clean job, with no puddles or mud at the end of it.
This list of advantages is worth diluting the negative points, which are also characteristic of this process. The list of disadvantages consists of the following points:
- A considerable cost stops many motorists. On the formation of the price affects the need to use expensive equipment and the features associated with the technological side of this process.
- The danger of the process is the use of high temperatures during cleaning.
Is it possible to steam wash the engine at home?
Previously, it was possible to clean the engine with gasoline and diesel fuel. The process was complicated and not especially pleasant. Nowadays, few drivers take it on. Over time, gasoline was replaced with chemical agents that are designed for cleaning automotive power units. But this method also has a large number of disadvantages. It is quite another matter if you wash the engine with steam. We have already mentioned about the considerable cost of this procedure in a car service center. But is it possible to perform it at home? Many motorists think about it. We went further and studied in detail the possibility of carrying out such a procedure at home. In order to implement this idea a number of conditions must be met:
- The steam generator is a prerequisite, without which you can not do without. Its rent costs a lot, but the purchase of such equipment, even used, will cost even more.
- Experience in handling this equipment is required, since the work process is associated with a risk of burns.
The cost of organizing such a wash at home is too high, which makes this undertaking pointless. It would be better to contact professionals and trust them to clean the engine. The service of engine cleaning with a steam generator is expensive, but worth it. The difference will be colossal not only in the appearance of the under-hood, but also in the work of the entire car. Do not spare money for this procedure, your vehicle will thank you with trouble-free and faultless operation.
Steam washing of the engine – the essence and peculiarities
At the moment there are a lot of different arguments about the engine wash. Some car owners are afraid that after washing the engine of the car some malfunctions may appear in the form of failure of sensors, display errors, etc., and some car owners are simply convinced that the engine wash is not necessary, because it is the same iron. In fact, these and other car owners are right to some extent, but mostly they are deeply mistaken. The engine needs to be washed and the reasons why the engine is conditioned to be washed are stated in one of the previously published material. In any case the decision to wash or not to wash the engine is up to the car owners, and then let’s break down one of the ways to wash the engine – steam washing.
What is a steam washing of the engine?
Car engine washing with steam is a kind of washing of the engine, which takes place as a result of directing a dry steam jet into the power compartment of the car. The dry steam itself is produced in such a device as a steam generator. About the device and the principle of the steam generator is not worth talking (other professional and highly specialized resources deal with this), but we can briefly indicate that the steam in the steam generator is produced by heating water in the steam generator with a special heating element. Then the resulting steam, with the help of a pressurized pressure pump is fed through a hose to the nozzle. Accordingly, the nozzle is built into the “gun”, which is in the hands of the washer. The operator – washerman can regulate the pressure of the supplied steam for washing. It should be noted that in general the supplied steam pressure for engine washing ranges from 5 to 8 atmospheres.
How is the engine washed with steam?
Washing of the engine by steam may be of two kinds: first is steam washing with preliminary use of chemicals for quick separation of dirt – oil fractions from the engine elements and under-hood of the car in general and second is steam washing without use of preliminary coverage of the power section of the car by chemical solutions. Accordingly, at washing of the engine by above-stated kinds the general process is identical, except before steam washing of the engine with use of chemistry it is necessary to apply a layer of chemistry and to wait some time, and then to remove and treat with steam. And so the general process of steam washing the engine consists of the following steps:
- Having opened the hood, it is necessary ideally, as well as at washing of the engine with Kerher, it is necessary to tape up possible visible gauges, and to cover the battery with a package (it is better to wipe with wet and then dry rags) in order to prevent discharge of the battery and current leakage;
- Preliminary within 30 seconds to treat the under-hood of the steam and wait a few minutes for effective separation of dirt -oil fractions from the elements of the underhood. If you wash with steam using chemicals, you must first apply a chemical solution and then also wait a few minutes;
- After that, you can proceed to a thorough but gentle steam treatment of the underhood space;
- The next and final step is to wipe all elements with a dry rag and blow all elements with air under low pressure. After that, remove all the covering films from the sensors and the covering element from the battery and also wipe with a rag and blow with air.
Video on the topic “Washing the car under the hood with steam”.
It is important to know that there is no principal difference between washing the engine with steam and washing the engine with water, because steam is also tiny drops of water. Accordingly requirements before steam washing are the same as before water washing. But in the first case there are all the same poles.
Advantages of washing the engine with steam
- Greater cleaning effect, due to the action of high steam temperatures (up to 160 degrees);
- When washing an engine without chemical solutions, the effect is the same as when washing with water and chemicals;
- Possible detachment and removal of dirt and oil fractions in hard-to-reach places;
- Saving water for car washes;
- No point water jetting, which serves to eliminate damage to underhood components;
- No need for a sewage system.
But, as it is known, not everything is perfect and, unfortunately, such a way of washing also has its disadvantages. Accordingly we shall list the most important and the main ones.
Disadvantages of washing the engine with steam
- High cost of the work (varies depending on regions) because of the reasons given below and the high cost of the steam generator;
- Long and hard work;
- Improper equipment can result in non-compliance with environmental standards;
- Because of the high steam temperatures, there is a high probability of burns for the employees of the car wash;
- If you do not take the necessary precautions when working with steam, there is a high probability of damage to parts of the under-hood paintwork, plastic and rubber elements.
Is it worth to wash car engine with steam?
Undoubtedly there is no positive answer to this question. The choice between washing the underhood with water or high temperature steam is up to the car owner. In this article we will consider the question objectively and in case you have any ideas, you can discuss it in comments.