If you get on your hands and knees to wipe off that last fleck of stuck-on dirt or tar on the running board of your vehicle, then you appreciate a clean truck or car. But there's an area of your vehicle that you're probably neglecting: underneath the hood. If you want every inch of your car to be as clean as possible, take a look at these steps to cleaning your engine.

First, pick a nice day and make sure your engine is cool. If you wait 15 minutes after a drive, that should be plenty of time. Next, take some plastic, then tape it over the electrical components.

Then it's time to get out the cleaning supplies. Degreaser from the kitchen will take off a lot of grime, and a brush with synthetic bristles is a great tool to do the nitty-gritty work. Finally, wash it off with a hose and let it air dry.

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