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Cleaning engine

1996 toy corolla whats the safest way to clean engine?can I spray gunk and wash off our steam clean engine covering the distributor like we did in the old days also dos wd40 keep plug wires and other wire parts dry thans Ronny

Wipe off engine components with a wet rag. Even thought it is labor intensive it is the safest way.

Cold engine only. I use a degreaser, such as Simple Green, on the nasty bits, then hose it off with LOW pressure from a garden hose, avoiding the electrical stuff.

I don’t do this very often. Maybe once every couple of years.

A little water won’t hurt anything, but don’t use anything with high pressure. It will force water where you don’t want it.

Allow everything to dry COMPLETELY before starting the engine.

Or just leave it dirty. Then engine doesn’t car.

Don’t use Gunk, or other spray can degreasers, they are just another petroleum product(flammable) usually kerosene. To cut the heavy stuff, get a spray bottle, like an old windex bottle, and fill halfway with dishsoap, Dawn, Palmolive, Joy(my favorite) and top off with water slowly so it doesn’t foam up. Then spray this on every surface on the COLD engine and let sit for a few minutes, scrub the heavy spots with a brush if you need too. Spray off with garden hose. The dishsoap will cut grease better than any degreaser. Then, after all the heavy stuff is off, and the engine is dry, go get some Eagle One All Wheel and Tire Cleaner from the parts store. Spray it on all of the hoses, wires, engines, firewall, fenders, etc untill half the bottle is used. Then top it of with water and spray it all again untill the bottle is empty. Wait a few minutes and hose off. If you don’t have any heavy gunk, just use the Eagle One. You will be amazed at how clean it gets it.

According to the manufacturer, WD-40 would be okay to use on plug wires and more. Check this link.

I use Carbon X as a degreaser. It’s made for aviation uses so you would best find it near an airport that services light (and commercial) planes. Or you can mail order from an aviation supplier.

The problem with degreasers is that they get all the grease off the engine, but can damage the paint and the rubber components. Also the stuff has to go someplace, and it is hard to catch all that crud, though if you use a cement mixing tub under the engine bay that helps. The best thing is steam, if you can find a place that has a lift and a steam cleaner, you can get the engine, bay and undercarriage all done, and with a slab and drain system and oil/crud catchment that keeps your crud out of the city drains and streams.