Bought a 2001 Dodge Caravan. Everything under the hood is very dirty. Should I get it cleaned?
Why not clean it yourself (by hand)? Someone will come up with a reason not to clean it, but the upside is it builds character, familiarizes you with what’s in there and allows you to inspect everything. Good excuse to down a sixer, too. “Cleaning’s thirsty work, honey!” Don’t use gasoline.
Spray some degreaser on everything and rinse it with a low pressure garden hose. Do this when the engine is cold.
Don’t use a pressure washer, which could force water where you don’t want it go.
Chances are the engine has some minor leaks/seepage. The advantage of cleaning it is that you see where it is from and can fix is, the downside is that it is probably not going to be practically possible to fix all of them and the engine bay will look the same way in 6 months.
That just means another sixer to look forward to. Noted with interest: someone removed the post that suggested this was a chick problem and the OP should get a big strong man to do the cleaning.
I clean mine about every other year with Gunk Engine cleaner. Works great. Just follow directions.
A lot of people clean engines without any trouble, but be aware that you can get water into places where it shouldn’t go if you’re not careful. I prefer just to wipe down everything I can reach with a rag, even if the result isn’t perfect.