As a verb, the term exhaust doesn’t just mean to drain all your energy, it could mean to completely remove anything. In an automobile, the exhaust system is responsible for removing all the noxious gases from the combustion engine.
Obviously, removing these toxic fumes is dirty work. As a result, exhaust pipes get really dirty over a relatively short period of time. Car and motorcycle enthusiasts often prefer to have sleek, shiny exhaust pipes that improve the overall aesthetic of their vehicle.
If your exhaust is looking a little funky, check out the top 5 cleaning exhaust tips below.
Start with Soap and Water
Before cleaning, make sure to get geared up with clothes you don’t mind covered in black soot. Also, get some gloves for dealing with chemicals safely. Ideally, the soap and water can get rid of most of the brake dust and other dirt and grime.
When washing the exhaust with a microfiber towel, be careful not to get any of the dirt on your paint or you’ll have to wash your car as well.
Use Degreaser If Necessary
Some grime is a little more stubborn and may need a degreaser to come off. Make sure the exhaust is dry before applying the degreaser with a microfiber towel. Typically, degreaser is left on for a period of time before it is scrubbed and rinsed off.
The effects of the degreaser make the metal look a bit hazy, but this will clear up during the polishing step.
Try Steel Wool
Don’t go into the kitchen and grab the steel wool you use for cleaning hardened food. There are specific types of steel wool used on vehicles so as to not scratch the metal. These types have very fine steel wool strands, the best being 0000 grade.
Steel wool can be used during the first or second steps, especially for cleaning the inside of the exhaust which gets exceptionally dirty.
Use Polish for Shine
After cleaning as much of the dirt, grime, and soot as possible, it’s time to use a polishing agent. If you have a metal exhaust, like this stainless steel Borla Exhaust, look for a polisher that is dedicated to metals.
Make sure to polish in circles until you achieve a finish you’re happy with.
Finish Up with Sealant
It’s best practice to use a sealant to finish up the job. This will prevent as much grime from building up. Look for a paint sealant, which is sometimes labeled as “wax.” It’s a bit confusing as you don’t really want a wax sealant since they don’t hold up to heat as well.
More Cleaning Exhaust Tips
These cleaning exhaust tips are only the tip of the iceberg that is an exhaust system. The whole system includes parts like a catalytic converter, O2 sensors, and an exhaust manifold. One way to improve vehicle performance is to look into exhaust system tuning or a full upgrade, but this usually requires the help of professional mechanics.
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