Washing a Car With a Vented Hood: What to Consider

It seems tricky to wash a car with a vented hood — You might fear if the water goes into the engine bay and damages the components. Washing your car with a vented hood will be a fun ride rather than problematic if you consider these things:

  • Minimize the Water Input
  • Place Towels on the Polished Parts
  • Never Use Hose to Wash Under the Hood
  • Avoid Washing Your Car When the Engine is Hot
  • Use Painters Tape to Cover the Vents
  • Avoid Overthinking When Washing Your Vented Hood Car
  • Keep Your Hose Angles Right
  • Dry the Components of Engine Compartment

Although it’s possible to wash a car that has a vented hood, it needs precautions and protective measures to protect your vehicle.

Are you planning to wash a car by yourself or get it done by a car wash? Get yourself introduced with a few tips instead of hurting your engine.

In this article, I will talk about how you can save your engine from getting damaged by a car wash process and if it is really safe to wash a car with a vented hood. Read on to find out.

Minimize the Water Input

It’s not necessary to turn on the water tap at the fullest input. Excess of anything is bad, and so is excess water for your vented hood car.

Also, water input isn’t the only thing that will control the water slipping inside the vents. It’s the water hose pressure that is equally responsible. 

Remember that water input and water pressure are two different variables. Even if the input is low, water hose pressure can break any barriers you have placed on car vents.

Make sure that your water hose has adequate pressure to wash the car, not exceeding the certain limit that vents can’t stop.

You can find the tips for saving water while washing your car here.

Place Towels on the Polished Parts

Flowing water from the windshield and the top of the car has few chances of going down the vents even if the vents are protected by polished parts on the sides.

What you can do is place some towels on those polished parts to block the water from passing by. Fold the towels to make a layer of more than two for best covering.

But remember that towels have a limited absorbing capability. You can’t rely on them for a long time and will have to replace them with new ones.

Never Use Hose to Wash Under the Hood

Instead of hitting the area under the hood with pressurized water, consider wiping it with a cleaning cloth. 

You can also do the same for the upper part of the bonnet if the area isn’t much dirty. 

Do not ever wash the hood from inside with a hose. In this way, the water will hit back the electronic components, resulting in severe damage to the car’s engine.

Since the water coming back from the vent will be turbulent instead of laminar, you won’t be able to control it directly, and it will flow to the engine compartment where it shouldn’t go.

I know washing a car with a hose seems pretty fast and easy. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Avoid Washing Your Car When the Engine is Hot

Water can readily affect your engine when it’s hot. The convection between the engine and water becomes so fast that it creates stress on the engine’s material. Engines made up of aluminum alloys can tolerate such stresses more than iron and steel.

The sudden change of the engine’s temperature will induce thermal stresses in it. This can result in the material cracking or shattering.

I’m not going to bore you with this technical stuff. All of it means that washing a vented hood car isn’t recommended in hot weather or when the engine is hot itself due to running.

For instance, if you drive your car to the car wash facility, make sure that the engine is cool enough to sustain the temperature stress due to the water. It’s best to give your car a few resting hours before washing it.

Use Painters Tape to Cover the Vents

As the name suggests, painter’s tape won’t hurt your car paint. It’s expensive, easy to use, and I would call it your best bet for a vented hood car wash.

Overlap the layers of the taping to ensure that there is no space left out. Using painter’s tape at the time of car wash will protect the inner components from getting wet in almost every scenario.

After washing, you can easily remove them from the vents.

You can even try masking tape, but I doubt it will sustain for as long as Painters tape does.

Avoid Overthinking When Washing Your Vented Hood Car

Water is going to enter through the vents — It’s inevitable.

Vented hoods are made to be driven and parked in the pouring rain.

Even in rainy seasons, water goes in and wets the inner components, but it doesn’t damage any of them. You don’t make a shelter for your car in rainy seasons, do you?

So what do you do then?

You just relax and sit back knowing that rainwater can’t harm your car because a very less quantity of water gets inside, which is barely enough to damage your electronic or mechanical components of the vehicle.

So the bottom line is, ‘don’t put the water where the rain can’t enter easily.’

Keep Your Hose Angle Right

Water flows towards depression; It’s likely to flow down the bonnet and the vents on the floor because vents are usually designed in that way.

But one thing can cause problems, i.e., the angle through which you wash the car with a hosepipe. If the water directly hits the vents’ gaps, a high amount of water will escape through them.

The best position for washing the car with a hose is standing at the front with low pressure. The water will flow its way out, and a negligible amount will pass inside.

Note that not all vents’ shapes are similar. So you would have to assess the angle of the hose yourself.

Dry the Components of Engine Compartment

After you have finished washing the car, there will still be a bit of moisture or water quantity inside the engine compartment, no matter how hard you try to stop.

To get rid of moisture inside, take the help of an air blower and dry out the components entirely to avoid any mishap.

The drying process is not necessary, but I will strongly recommend it for your car’s health.

You can also utilize the water coming down to the engine bay for wiping it down completely. You don’t have to use extra water for cleaning the engine bay, risking the moisture increase.

Will Water Damage the Engine of Vent Hood Cars?

Technically, engines are water-resistant but hosing them down can cause severe complications. Water flowing down a vent hood doesn’t damage the engine of the car unless it’s directly hitting the intake.

In short, you don’t really have to worry about the engine getting damaged by washing the car with a vented hood. Just don’t shoot the water directly into the engine, and you’ll be okay.

However, some components can be affected by the water if not the engine (Not everything in your car is water-resistant!)

The only thing that is vulnerable in your vented hood car is the electrical connectors. If they are moist for a long time, they will rust. Make sure they have seals and put electrical grease on them to avoid rusting.

Key Takeaways

  • Washing a vented hood car is doable
  • Water will go down the engine compartments inevitably
  • Car wash doesn’t damage a vented hood car’s engine
  • Keep the water pressure and input low when washing the bonnet
  • Use painter’s tape or towels under the hood to protect the engine
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge