How to Clean Push Rods

Pushrods are a vital aspect of a vehicle’s engine whose performance depends on cleanliness. If your car’s pushrod is dirty with corrupted oil or old oil mixed with impurities, this will undoubtedly affect the regular operation of the engine. So how to clean push rods?

Well, this is not a complicated job. Most people use brake cleaners to degrease the pushrod while soaking it in hot water for the final clean. Getting it dried before putting it back is also a part of the process. 

Have you started cleaning your pushrod yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Read through this guide and follow through with the actions to clean your pushrod as soon as possible!

How to Clean Push Rods

clean push rods

Follow the following step-by-step guide to clean your pushrods easily within the least amount of time. Of course, there are alternate techniques in existence. We are only mentioning the one that we think is the best fit.

Step 1: Preparations

First, you need to prepare for the task. Cleaning the push rod manually is a dirty chore. Therefore, we advise you to wear goggles and gloves for protection against oiliness.

Step 2: Apply Cleaner

Once separated, apply brake cleaners or carb remover solvents on the pushrod. Only use small amounts since excess fluids can cause the sludge to increase.

Step 3: Soak in Water

After the cleaner has been applied, soak the pushrod head in lukewarm water for a small period of time. Rinse the head well to remove all excess water droplets after you have taken it out.

Step 4: Dry

Dry the pushrod by leaving it alone in front of the fan for some time. Avoid leaving it out in the sun for longer periods since this could cause the density of the metal to change. Once the pushrod has dried, install it into the vehicle.   

In addition to the brake cleaner mentioned above, you can also use carbon removers to clean the pushrod from all accumulated debris and burnt oil particles. What chemical you are going to use depends on your preference and situation.

Can Push Rods Be Reused?

While it is possible to reuse pushrods, we deeply advise you against reusing pushrods. Manufacturers are indeed in the right when they ask you to replace the pushrods as soon as you find any fault.

This is because reusing the same pushrod will cause the interior of the rod to erode and form debris. The debris and other minuscule particles will prevent the standard performance of the car’s engine in the long run.

However, let’s consider the fact that you might be on a tight budget or simply can not spare money for a new pushrod. In these cases, you are advised to clean the pushrod as much as you can.

This will allow you to get rid of the debris as soon as it forms in order to prevent potential cases of pushrod blockages that might affect the vehicle’s efficiency and maneuverability.

Do note that while reusing pushrods for a long time isn’t beneficial in the long run, you can choose to reuse the pushrod head. There are no problems associated with it, unlike using the entire pushrod.

What Do You Clean Rocker Arms with?

Cleaning rocker arm assemblies are an important aspect of maintaining the car and prolonging its running performance. While the task is nothing too complicated, there are several tools that you need to take notice of in order to finish your task conveniently.

Below, we have provided some of the more important tools that could help you in the job. Of course, there are alternatives to the ones we have mentioned. You could use these alternatives if you are up for it:

  • Microfiber wipe or rag
  • Kerosene oil with standard concentration
  • A set of socket wrenches
  • Philips flat head screwdriver
  • Wire Brush Bit or rotary tools

As long as you have these sets of tools, you will be able to clean the rocker arm in no time. With a squeaky clean rocker arm, your vehicle will have no excuses to show signs of depreciated fuel efficiency or any other performance issues.

Can You Clean Lifters with Brake Cleaner?

Clean Lifters with Brake Cleaner

Yes, you can indeed use brake cleaners to clean the lifters. In fact, brake cleaners are one of the most popular options of cleaning solvents for both the valve and its cover. Use the following step-by-step procedure for cleaning lifters with brake cleaners efficiently and quickly.

Step 1: Prepare

Wear gloves and goggles before working on the lifter. This is because working with any part of the vehicle is a very dirty procedure that can take a long time.

Step 2: Remove the Gasket

Scrap the lifter to remove the gasket. Scratch with haste so as to not affect the metal part of the lifter.

Step 3: Apply Brake Cleaner

Use a wipe or rug to apply the brake cleaner to the affected area of the lifter. Apply only small amounts.

Step 4: Soak and Dry

Soak the cover in lukewarm water for a few minutes and let it dry. Rinse it well to remove excess water molecules before placing it back.  

Should Pushrods Spin?

Pushrods can indeed rotate, and there are several reasons that can contribute to this rotational movement. We have listed some of these reasons below:

Hydraulic Pumping

Vehicle brakes are effective on hydraulic pumping mechanisms. When you press on the brake, this can cause the transitional plates to move. In turn, the pushrod will also rotate.


Applying too much lubricant to the filter and rocker assembly can cause the pushrod and its surrounding structure to be slightly loose. As a result, the lifter face turns, causing the pushrod to rotate as well.

Wrong Assembly Oil

While this is not as common, using the wrong type of assembly oil can also cause the pushrod to rotate out of context.


Pushrods are one of the many important auxiliary parts of a car that contribute to the smooth running of the vehicle. Therefore it is highly inevitable that you learn how to clean push rods properly with the least amount of excess labor.

Of course, we are aware that not every car owner might be up for the chore due to its complexity despite not being so hard. In these cases, you are more than welcome to seek outside help and hire professional mechanics to do the task for you.

However, always make sure that the pushrod that is present in your car is cleaned without any scraps of debris or eroding metal particles. Or else you will regret it later on!

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