How to Clean Rust Out of Engine Block (Removing Rust From Cast Iron Engine Block)

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Have you been faced with a rusty or dirty engine block before? I guess your car started giving you problems.

It is true that a powerful engine block is very important for the effective working of a vehicle’s motor just as a powerful base is significant for a very strong dwelling. But sometimes the internal working of the components of the engine block is usually affected by sludge, dirt, oil, and coolant build-ups that may cause more problem for your engine. Note that all these things are the major causes of rusty build-ups, so learning how to clean rust out of engine block and then cleaning your engine block regularly with proper care will definitely extend the time of your engine block and save it from rust. 

How to Clean Rust Out of Engine Block (What do Removing Rust From Cast Iron Engine Block)

Though cleaning an engine block can be very intimidating because you might end up damaging the rest of the machine. But little did you know that it is fairly easy to learn how to clean rust out of engine block as long as you use the right materials and take your time. You can even remove all the rust using tools you likely already have in your toolbox.

Step by step guide on how to clean rust out of engine block

For those who would want to have their engine to be as clean and shiny as it was when it was bought, then you should follow these simple guides whenever you are cleaning it up. Just follow the step below:

Bring All Your Cleaning Materials Together

You need to gather all your cleaning materials such as wire brush, small bucket, heated water, wire cup, rags, drill and WD-40. Then fill the small bucket with heated water and attach the wire cup to your drill, making sure the drill is fully charged.

Remove Your Battery Cables

Ensure that you have removed the battery cables before you begin the cleaning. So you can begin by disconnecting the cable at the battery’s negative terminal. One of the reasons we advise the removal of the negative (ground) cable first, is to prevent you from mistakenly creating a short circuit that can release a gigantic amount of energy which could cause you an electric shock or worst still damage other small parts. Whenever you have been able to break the working circuit by removing the negative cable, then you can now take out the positive cable as well and place them aside separately.

Clean-Up The Battery Tray

Most times rust is not limited to the cables alone, battery trays need periodic cleaning. You can start by loosening and removing the hold-down clamp. Though some cars have long, skinny J-bolts holding the battery. Sometimes they may break on removal and need replacing. This is how to remove rust from engine parts. And please, do not use open flame near a battery, it gives off very flammable hydrogen gas that can explode.

Protect The Internal Parts Of The Engine

Before cleaning rust out of your engine block, you should be providing yourself with more safety, ensure to wrap the ignition wires, coils and all the electrical connectors properly. Some delicate electrical parts such as the ignition coils, plug wires, and fuse box should also be properly protected in the vehicle.

Spraying A Degreaser On The Engine Block

One of the ways of knowing how to remove rust from inside engine block is using a degreaser to get rid of dirt, oil, and greases whenever you are cleaning your engine block. You can make use of wire-bristle brush or scraper to rub off any excess dirt or rust. Ensure that the engine block is fully covered by squirting a degreaser over all the rusted parts.

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A Safe Alternative To Degreaser

There is an alternative to engine degreaser which is Simple Green. However, you can buy gallon jugs at Home Depot or other big box chain stores. Then you can dilute according to directions with water, you can even use a piping heated water to dissolve grease faster. You can use a siphon sprayer hooked to your air compressor to blast away dirt and greases. Note that these are available from most professional tool sellers and are priced from about $15 to over a hundred. But whenever you are using pressurized sprayers, be careful not to force solvents into electrical connections, engine orifices or sensitive components.

Use The Wire Brush

You should start cleaning the engine block with the wire brush. Note that most of the rust can be removed using your heated water and the wire brush. Removing rust from cast iron engine block is not difficult, you can dip the brush in the heated water, tap it against the side of the bucket and scrub. Then use a cleaning rag to wipe down the engine block periodically so you can see where need to be scrubbed.

Use The Drill

You need to get rust out of every small areas using the wire cup on the drill. Doing this will let you remove rust from small areas and crevices. Please always pay attention to where you are drilling because the wire cup can damage wiring and paints. Note that you only should use it to get rid of rust in places you cannot access with your wire brush, because that’s how to remove rust from inside engine block.

You Can Check If There Is Any Leak

Ensure you double check the engine for any possible leakage after you are done with the cleaning, and make sure there are no leaks. You can check for any external leaks from the engine block, check for oil leaks. Oil leakage are part of what causes rust in engine block. So before removing rust from cast iron engine block, ensure there’s no leakage of oil.

You Can Check For Coolant Leaks

Note that there’s also a compatible dye for coolant leaks. Sometimes you may need to drain out a little bit of coolant to add the dye to the radiator. And if you have a leak it may be already low. Though some systems, like trucks, need two bottles of dye because of the large volume of coolant. Please don’t add it to the overflowing bottle because it won’t get into the engine as fast as possible or in sufficient quantity to see easily.

Use Your Rag

It’s time to wipe down the engine block. Make use of a clean rag that has been soaked for long in the heated water. After which, repeat the process with a dry rag to remove any leftover moisture.

Make Use Of WD-40

You can now treat the engine block with WD-40. In case there is an option of spraying it down from all areas and then letting it sit in the plastic bag for a few hours so the fumes do not spread, then do so. But if not, spray it down in some area and use a rag to help the WD-40 into any area you cannot reach with the spray. Once done, you must have succeeded in removing rust from cast iron engine block.

Now Run The Engine Idle

After you have followed all stated steps, ensure you follow them because that’s how to remove rust from the inside engine block. You can start up your car engine and let the engine run idle for about 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that the engine system gets back to its normal working temperature before you turn it off. Well, that’s all we can share for now on how to clean rust out of engine block. At least you have learnt how to remove rust from engine parts and removing rust from cast iron engine block. Also, you have seen that knowing how to remove rust from inside engine block isn’t really as hard as it seems. You just need to follow these simple steps provided here and you will be doing things right.

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