How To Clean Harley Engine Fins?

Engine fins are an integral part of Harley engines. It forced air to flow rapidly through the spaces between the fins by ducting fresh air toward the engine to keep it cool. Over time, dirt and grime can build up on your engine fins, making them look dull and dirty. 

This can lead to decreased airflow and cause the engine to overheat. Therefore engine fins must be clean. Luckily, cleaning your Harley engine fins is a quick and easy process that can be done in just a few simple steps.

There are different ways to clean them. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean Harley engine fins the right way because if you’re not careful, you can also damage the fins when cleaning them.

Why Is It Important To Clean Engine Fins? 

Engine fins help to dissipate heat from the engine, allowing it to run at optimal temperatures. If these fins become clogged with dirt and debris, they cannot effectively do their job. This can lead to overheating, potentially causing damage to the engine.

Cleaning engine fins are important because it helps improve airflow and heat dissipation, which in turn can improve engine performance and efficiency. 

How To Clean Harley Engine Fins

Regular cleaning of the fins ensures that they can properly perform their function and helps to prolong the life of the engine. It is critical to note that the cleaning should be done carefully, as rough handling could bend or damage the fins.

Things you should do before cleaning engine fins

1. Let the engine cool down before cleaning to avoid burns or injury.

2. Disconnect the battery to prevent electric shock.

3. Securely raise and support the vehicle so that you can easily access all areas of the engine fins.

Things you’ll need to clean Harly engine fins

  • Rags or paper towels
  • Engine degreaser or all-purpose cleaner
  • A soft brush (optional)
  • Protective gloves 

Make sure to wear protective gloves throughout the cleaning process to avoid contact with harsh chemicals or hot engine parts. 

5 Steps To Cleaning Your Harley Engine Fins

Step 1: Do a visual inspection of your engine fins to identify any areas that are particularly dirty or have a build-up of grime.

Step 2: Use a soft brush to remove any loose dirt or debris from your engine fins. A toothbrush or similar type of brush works well for this.

Step 3: Mix a solution of warm water and mild soap. Apply the solution to a clean cloth and use it to wipe down your engine fins, being sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Step 4: Rinse your engine fins with clean water to remove any soap residue. You can use a hose or a pressure washer for this step. Just be sure that the pressure is set to low so that you don’t damage your engine fins.

Step 5: Dry your engine fins with a clean cloth or towel. Allow them to air dry completely before starting your motorcycle.

Alternative Methods to Clean Engine Fins

Using a Degreaser(WD-40, Simple Green, or Krud Kutter)

This is the simplest and easiest way to clean up the HARLEY engine fins. In addition, it provides an extra powerful clean for stubborn grime. If your engine fins have a heavy build-up of grease or grime, you may want to consider using a degreaser.

Step 1: Apply the degreaser according to the product instructions. Usually, this involves spraying it onto the engine fins and letting it sit for a few minutes.

Step 2: Let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes to break down any tough buildup.

Step 3: Scrub any stubborn grime or grease buildup with a soft brush.

Step 3: Rinse off the degreaser with water and remove all residue.

Step 4: Dry your engine fins with a clean cloth or towel.

With a steam cleaner

Using a steam cleaner is another effective method for cleaning your Harley engine fins. It can provide a deeper clean for your engine fins.

Step 1: Set up the steam cleaner according to the product instructions and let it heat up.

Step 2: Hold the steam cleaner a few inches away from the engine fins and apply the steam to loosen any grime or dirt buildup.

Step 3: Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub off any remaining residue.

Step 4: Wipe down the engine fins with a clean, damp cloth to remove any leftover residue from the steam cleaner.



Keeping your Harley engine fins clean not only helps to keep your motorcycle running cooler, but it also makes it look great!

Also cleaning your Harley engine fins is imperative for maintaining performance and preventing corrosion. By following these simple steps, you can quickly and easily clean your Harley engine fins in no time!

Thanks for reading! Hope this helps.

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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