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When I first got my Corvette in 2003, the engine was very dirty.


I did my best to clean it with degreaser and brushes first. I was very unhappy with the result – the black plastic parts looked faded and seemed to have a transparent skin that was peeling off in places – it looked bad.

 I heard about this way of regaining the black on faded parts on the Corvette Forum, this involves spraying a warm engine with Armourall Tyre Spray.

Armor All Tyre Foam

 A few people said it worked so I did a small test area. It made the plastic go black and shiny and it looked so much better. I sprayed everywhere in the engine bay including inside the hood. It made a huge difference and lasts and lasts – I’ve never seen anything revert to the grey white powdery look – I was amazed at how good and easily it fixed everything.

After Using Armor All –


Note: As part of the original cleaning up of the engine and maintenance, I also replaced the Rocker covers and shockabsorbers, painted the exhaust manifolds etc. Note the vaccum booster, the AIR diverter box, the inlet manifold hose, top of radiator –  after the spray they came up like new!

I was concerned that everywhere would turn into a gooey sticky mess but that’s not the case – I now spray the wheel wells, under the bonnet – everywhere – remember not to spray on Serpentine belt as it’s slippery.

UPDATE – I’ve been sprucing up the engine compartment with Armorall for a few years now. I can definitely say it does not harm anything, there’s no noticeable build up, it’s not sticky or attracts dust. It’s just a fantastically easy way to keep the engine looking good.

In 2010 before the 7 hour drive to the Charters Towers car show, I sprayed the engine bay, including under the hood which was very faded, with Armor All Tyre Foam. Everything came up like new. The car show is a 2 day event and at the end of day one I noticed grass seed stuck all over the engine bay, the radiator hoses and top of radiator, it looked terrible. They had dried hard and wouldn’t wipe off. I drove the vette back to the motel late in the afternoon and back to the show the next morning. When I lifted the hood EVERYTHING WAS SHINY AGAIN!!!! I assume that when the engine heats up, the Armor All becomes fluid again, or something like that. Those grass seeds had vanished. OK this sounds like a miracle, but it’s true. I have no connection with Armor All, I don’t sell any car products, I’m not in any related industry, just reporting what is happening to me.

Instructions –
Wash engine for the first time application and get everything as clean as you can, spray onto a warm engine, close the hood and wait 20 minutes – TOO EASY – they’re bound to make it illegal !!

6 Responses to “Clean Engine Trick”

  1. paul Says:

    I tried the Armorall tip on my 93 Convertible. I bought it just this past winter and it had been neglected for quite a while. I had to clean a mouse nest out of the radiator. I thought I’d never be able to lift the hood in public (Without spending a fortune and a lot of time). I bought the Armorall and applied it the way Rob described. The wheel wells and inner fenders were especially grey and nasty looking, even after washing. I used a rag to spread the foam and things started looking better. Hoses showed an immediate improvement. The fenderwells took a second application before they showed any real improvement. The payoff was the third time for the fenderwells, and that was a week later. Now a quick touchup is all it takes to make things look really nice. The aluminum still needs work, but that’s wire brush territory. Thanks, Rob for sharing your tip. Now the underhood area looks as nice as the rest of the car.

  2. Kevin Says:

    Hi Rob,

    First off, very nice website you have.

    Re your Armorall Tire Foam tip, do you have any idea what the product contains?

    I’m over in Spain and the EU Armor All sites don’t seem to list the Tire Foam, so I’m wondering if I can find an alternative.

    Best regards.

  3. Rob Healey Says:

    Sorry, there’s no ingredients listed on the can. Obviously has a lot of silicone in it, there is a ‘Dealers Advantage’ can that states it has 50% more silicone. There must be other ingredients though because the shine stays for so long. It’s 9 months since i last sprayed the engine and it still looks good. I have driven in rain and dust, my C4 is my daily driver.

  4. Al Olmstead Says:

    I took your advice today on my newly acquired 1996 collectors edition. It worked perfectly!

    Hard to believe a pre clean and a little Armor All could do such a great job. The engine looks brand new. Thank you

  5. Rob Healey Says:

    Haha someone else said that. I can assure you it is the same engine. Obviously I made several improvements between photos; new shock absorbers, new distributor cover, chrome valve covers, painted the exhaust headers which had to come off because of a small pinhole. You’ll notice the tyres are the same, but most of all, didn’t you notice the car has been converted to right hand drive??

  6. Rob Healey Says:

    Thanks for the comment. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years now, although not very often, and it hasn’t damaged or had any effect on the rubber and plastic parts, apart from bringing them up really black and shiny.

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