Here I spruce up the tired old engine bay of a 1993 Toyota Celica GT-Four using a can of Gunk Natural Green.
Before any of that took place though certain potentially problematic parts had to be covered with plastic to prevent water from seeping in and damaging the power plant. Every car is different but here I made sure to cover the exposed air filter, alternator and various electrical connections as well as blocking up the blow-off valve to prevent any embarrassing wets farts!
I also bunged up the bonnet vents with a few generic microfibre towels to try and reduce the amount of cleaning overspray contaminating the front of the freshly painted car.
For the bulk of degreasing on this motor I went with good old Gunk, specifically the natural green version as its gentle biodegradable ingredients are perfectly safe for use on all surfaces, however the real reason for picking it was of course the manly metal tin it comes in!
It was decanted neat into a trigger spray with a foaming head which would hopefully serve to extend its dwell time a little before being liberally applied to the dusty underside of the bonnet… and worked in with a couple of soft bristled brushes.
Once thoroughly worked in the degreased paintwork was rinsed off at reduced pressure to prevent any damage being caused to the freshly painted edges before the process was repeated for the engine itself.
The Gunk’s instructions state to simply brush the cleaner directly onto the dirty parts and while I’m sure this would work just fine discharging it through a foaming trigger spray instead helped produce a nice thick lather to work with.
It was left to sit on the soiled surface for a few minutes to begin breaking down the dirt prior to being attacked with various soft bristled brushes to really get into all the ‘dirt nasty’ nooks and crannies.
As I hoped it would the degreaser quickly cut through the unsightly pink overspray which had initially made the whole area appear a lot worse than it actually was but it also did a decent job at lifting out the deeper dirt that lurked beneath the superficial bodyshop dust.
Moving methodically around the Celica’s engine I reapplied the green Gunk as necessary to ensure all working areas were kept wet and there’s no use being shy here you’ve got to get stuck in, get your hands dirty and only when you’re satisfied all areas have seen a thorough going over should you abandon the bristles and give the bay one final rinse off.
‘Gunkification’ complete then it was time to coat all the freshly cleaned under-bonnet surfaces with a water-based dressing to lightly enhance and protect them.
While the engine components were given some time to soak in the rejuvenating dressing the underside of the bonnet was attended to with a clean dry microfibre towel which served to simultaneously dry and dress it.
The lingering product was then thoroughly worked into all areas of the engine with a clean soft detailing brush where necessary before being dried and buffed over with another fresh microfibre towel to leave a much improved finish.
Once all areas were dry a more durable dressing was spritzed over a few parts to further enhance their appearance. On newer cars this isn’t normally necessary but older vehicles with ageing plastics and rubbers benefit from it in addition to the main bulk of water-based dressing.
Although this was only a light spruce up the tarnished Apexi strut brace (despite being clean) still stood out like a sore thumb and so a quick polish was undertaken with some fine wire wool to remove the majority of the staining and restore at least a little bit of shine back into the piece. A mechanical polish would have been much better but with the car also needing a bath and my hunched over back now starting to suffer this was was all I could offer it here!
The GT-Four was then thoroughly washed and dried to remove the considerable amount of excess overspray and product residue that contaminated the fresh paintwork and a good few hours plus many pairs of disposable gloves later I was left with a relatively presentable looking 3S-GTE motor!
There were clearly still areas that needed further attention but for a single sitting the Celia lump certainly looked a whole lot better than it did at the beginning of the day!
All of the unsightly pink overspray and paint splatters were now gone, the majority of the ingrained grease and grime had been eliminated, the shiny bits now looked at least a little bit shinier and the whole engine bay in general looked presentable and well cared for which of course meant that popping the bonnet would no longer be an embarrassment.