There’s no doubt that a clean engine, and engine bay make a car appear well maintained. A clean engine is also nicer to work on. Car dealers have known this trick for years. Although, more often they are foregoing this detailing step. Should you clean your engine?
Unless you’re trying to sell or car, or perform most the maintenance yourself, it’s probably wise to skip the old steam cleaning of the engine. Modern vehicles have many sensitive electronics and even computers under the hood. While they are designed to survive a splash, they aren’t designed to be deluged with water, or have a pressure sprayer directed at them.
Sometimes an engine cleaning can lead to a no-start condition. If lucky, it’s temporary. It will resolve itself if left sit to dry. More often components are damaged and have to be repaired or replaced. Other times the damage is less obvious, and may take time to realize. Engines have pits and valleys where water can collect. Over time this rusts and corrodes devices and connections.
Keep your car clean inside and out, but maybe skip the engine.