Should you clean a Power Stroke engine?
If you’ve never cleaned a diesel engine before, don’t worry. How to clean a Power Stroke engine is more or less the same as cleaning a gasoline engine.
If you’ve been brought up around old school heavy truck owners, they’ve probably told you before: You don’t need to clean a diesel engine! But is that really true?
If any of you own a Ford and still have the vehicle manual, take it out and give it a read; Ford actually recommends you clean your Power Stroke engine and has instructions on how to do it.
How To Clean A Power Stroke Engine: Step by Step
The first thing you want to do is give it a good clean with your hands and a rag or a brush. Yes, a manual clean. This is the easiest way to get rid of any debris or gunk that is in the grill and anywhere else under the hood. Be thorough and gentle – and try to do this more often than you currently do. A little regular maintenance goes a long way.
Next, turn the engine on and let it run for a while. Just like you warm up your engine on cold winter mornings, you want to do it before a clean as well. A warm engine is much easier to clean than a stagnant cold one, because everything loosens up, especially the grease and oil.
Once you’ve had your engine running a while, you want to make sure you’ve protected the rest of the gear under your hood. If you’ve worked in a garage before, you know the importance of covering things to ensure they’re protected – even a little accident can make your job so much more difficult. Wrap them in plastic or even aluminium foil works, and secure them with rubber bands – the air intake, the alternator, the power steering cap, the electronics and any sensors etc. Most electronics these days are ipv7 waterproof, but it’s still best practice to cover them up.
Finally, it’s time to degrease the engine. Apply your engine degreaser and let it sit there for 3-5 minutes, then give it a good scrubbing. When it comes to choosing a degreaser, I’m partial to using a simple citrus based degreaser (personally I use this product from Chemical Guys) but it’s really up to you. Simple Green is another popular option among Ford owners.
One tip – don’t get any degreaser on your paint coat – if left on for too long, it will dull the color. You should also make sure the degreaser doesn’t hit any aluminum surfaces under the hood, but if everything’s covered you should be good.
Finally rinse it all off – either with your hose or just a stream from a jug or bottle. You’ll be surprised how different your engine looks!
The final step for how to clean a Power Stroke engine is to dry the engine. If your engine is warm enough that will help it dry part way as well. Ideally though you will want to get a rag and dry it manually, just to be safe. In fact, probably the most effective way for me has been to use my leaf blower, and give it a really good blow over. It’s also great for blowing directly into the vents in the alternator to dry it up fast.
One final tip: Try to not leave too big of a gap between cleans. Especially if you drive your truck every day, it helps to wipe your engine area down with just a little degreaser and a rag and give it a quick rinse and dry. It’s also important to keep your engine oiled and tuned properly at all times. Check this regularly, because as much as we love our trucks, we tend to forget they wear down over time, just like their drivers!