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PowerStroke Pressure Washer Problems: Engine & Motor Troubleshooting & Repair

PowerStroke pressure washers are reliable machines that handle all kinds of cleaning jobs. Despite their robustness, almost all types of pressure washers sometimes undergo performance-related issues that can be hard to diagnose. These may include an engine not revving, stalling or leaking oil, etc. Or if there’s an electric pressure washer, the motor may not start or give off a buzzing noise, etc.

PowerStroke Pressure Washer Problems: Engine/Motor Troubleshooting & Repair

If the engine of your PowerStroke pressure washer won’t start or stalls, inspect the carburetor jets and air and fuel filters. Check the fuel lines for vapor lock and ensure the tank vents are open. For an electric pressure washer to function correctly, the input voltage must be within the stated limits, and the power supply must be in good operating condition. If the motor buzzes, look for a damaged capacitor, a malfunctioning pump, or a buildup of pressure in the system.

This article should be of value to you if you want to learn how to troubleshoot gas or electric pressure washers by PowerStroke. I have explained some of the commonly occurring problems related to pressure washers that I have witnessed in my professional experience.

Problems with the PowerStroke Gas Pressure Washer Engine

The pump is driven by a four-stroke gasoline engine in gas pressure washers. The addition of engine and fuel system components raises the system’s total complexity, necessitating more frequent maintenance. As a result, these pressure washer models are more likely to encounter problems that require troubleshooting.

Here are some common problems with PowerStroke pressure washer engines:

● 1. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Keeps Stopping and Starting

If your pressure washer starts and stops repeatedly, the problem might be a clogged carburetor jet or a vapor lock in the fuel lines. A dirty fuel filter can be the source of the issue occasionally.

Most starting difficulties in pressure washers are caused by carburetor or filter issues. Carburetor jets can get blocked as a result of old fuel deposits. The amount of fuel that enters the engine, therefore, impacts combustion, which lowers the engine’s power output.

Aside from a clogged carburetor or filter, a vapor lock is another common cause of the problem. A vapor lock is usually triggered by a blockage in the fuel tank vents, resulting in a continual accumulation of gasoline vapors inside the fuel lines and, eventually, impacting the fuel delivery to the engine.

– Solution:

To resolve this issue, use WD-40 or a carb-cleaning solution to clean the jets of your carburetor properly. Ensure that all flow passages have been thoroughly cleaned, including the bowl’s nut, which is also a jet. Apart from cleaning the carburetor, you should examine and, if necessary, replace the fuel filter. I also recommend cleaning the gasoline tank vents to prevent vapor buildup, which might result in a vapor lock.

● 2. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: The Engine won’t run

If your engine doesn’t start, ensure the spark plug is in good condition. If the problems persist, dismantle the carburetor and use a carburetor cleaner liquid to clean the ports.

Carbon accumulation erodes spark plug electrodes over time, diminishing spark quality and making engine startup more problematic.

– Solution:

Remove the spark plug to inspect the electrodes. If the electrodes are in bad condition, replace the plug. If the problem persists, consider examining your pressure washer’s carburetor. Remove the carburetor and thoroughly clean it to remove any remaining fuel. I recommend investing in a carburetor repair kit that typically includes a cleaning solution for removing sticky deposits.

● 3. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Engine Stops

If your engine stops after a startup, thoroughly inspect and clean the air and fuel filters. Examine the tank for vapor lock and make sure the carburetor is clean and correctly set.

The air and fuel filters are in charge of keeping foreign particles out of the carburetor. As a result, these filters become clogged with dirt regularly, resulting in changes in the engine’s air-fuel mixture and causing a loss in power.

– Solution:

To solve the problem, examine these filters in order and clean/replace them as needed. If the problem persists, inspect the fuel tank vents for a vapor lock and adjust the carburetor screws.

● 4. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Engine not providing enough Power

If your pressure washer’s engine isn’t providing enough power, ensure the water supply is adequate and the hoses aren’t kinked. Ensure that the air filter and the jets in the carburetor are clean.

The air-fuel mixture composition may be too rich if the engine isn’t generating adequate power. This means the engine is getting too much gas but not enough air to produce enough power after combustion. The problem might be with the carburetor, the filters, or both.

– Solution:

To guarantee enough air supply, inspect the air filter, which should not be blocked with dust. Furthermore, the carburetor’s L and H screws must be adjusted appropriately since they influence the engine’s RPMs at both low and high speeds.

Also, ensure no air is trapped in the pump and that the hoses are not twisted, which can produce significant back pressure on the engine. As a result, its power output may be diminished.

● 5. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Oil Leak

The most common cause of oil leaks in your engine is a faulty seal. In virtually all situations, simply changing the seal would resolve the problem. Oil may also leak in rare instances owing to an overfilled oil tank.

You might get an oil seal kit to assist you in replacing seals of all types. Typically, all oil inlets of your engine have oil seals, which are on either side of the engine and are covered with caps.

– Solution:

Take the seal out using a screwdriver and inspect its condition. Replace it if it exhibits symptoms of wear. As a precaution, you should avoid overfilling your oil tank, as this may result in oil seeping from these inlets.

● 6. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Water in Oil

Water entering the engine oil suggests a faulty oil seal. In this instance, you should replace the seal as directed by the manufacturer.

When diluted with water, the oil turns milky. One possible cause is a malfunctioning oil seal. A fatigued engine piston is another less likely cause. Over time, mechanical wear causes the metal to chip off from the pistons, increasing the gap between the piston and the cylinder walls.

As a result, water from the inlet manifold entering the cylinder head may enter the crankcase and combine with the oil to form a milky suspension.

– Possible Solutions:

If your engine is less than 5 years old, the seals/gaskets are most likely faulty. As a result, you’ll need to replace the seal/head gasket on your engine. Contact the manufacturer and request this replacement if your engine is still under warranty. I would not suggest putting your warranty at risk by changing the seals/gaskets yourself.

If your engine’s warranty has expired, you can contact a professional to repair the seals. In the instance of a worn-out piston, check with the manufacturer to see if the engine’s warranty is still valid. If this is not the case, your pressure washer engine shall not be usable again, and you certainly need a new pressure washer.

PowerStroke Electric Pressure Washer Problems

Electric pressure washers require lesser upkeep than gas pressure washers. Because the use of an electric motor reduces the machine’s complexity. Furthermore, the likelihood of failures, as well as noise levels and emissions, is significantly decreased. As a result, customer acceptance of these models has grown.

The subsequent portion of the blog article addresses concerns unique to electric pressure washers. The most typical motor issue with electric pressure washers is that the motor does not start or stop abruptly when in operation. It may occasionally make a buzzing noise without producing any power output.

● PowerStroke Electric Pressure Washer not running

Check the fuse and ensure the electrical outlet is operational if an electric pressure washer does not start. If it still won’t start, the electric motor has become faulty.

Check the following if your pressure washer motor isn’t working:

– Step 1: Check for Power Outlet Issues

If your electric pressure washer isn’t working, first check the outlet. Unplug the washer’s cord and examine the outlet with a voltage tester or other tools. If it doesn’t work and you notice a ‘reset’ button on the pressure washer, press it. If the problem persists, check the circuit breaker located in the fuel box.

– Step 2: Examine the Fault Circuit Interrupter.

Because of the voltage drop, a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) may have been engaged. Reset the GFCI after unplugging the pressure washer. If your pressure washer is wet and it still activates when you reattach it, allow it to dry before attempting to restart it. Continue to the next step if the pressure washer does not start even after drying.

– Step 3: Examine the Extension Cord

Remove the extension cord from your pressure washer and plug it directly into the power outlet. Make sure that the plug is fitted correctly into the power outlet. If it works now, the issue certainly was with the extension lead.

– Step 4: Examine the Fuse

If the power outlet is working (with a bulb or other appliance plugged in), ensure the fuse within the machine or the socket has not burned out. If you can’t locate it, look it up in the owner’s manual. If the fuse has blown, it needs to be replaced for the motor to function.

– Step 5: Examine the power cord

If it still doesn’t start, your pressure washer’s power cord may be faulty. This problem can be fixed by changing the power cord. Check with the maker of your pressure washer to see whether the warranty is still valid. If not, you can replace the cord yourself or get professional assistance.

– Step 6: Inspect the Capacitor

A faulty capacitor frequently causes a buzzing sound emanating from your pressure washer’s engine. You may also replace the capacitor yourself. However, if this is not for you, seek expert assistance.

If the machine still doesn’t start, replace the electric motor if it’s still under warranty.

● PowerStroke Electric Pressure Washer Motor Stops

A power failure in the socket or a defective capacitor is the most typical cause of pressure washer motor failure. In rare instances, a voltage drop in the main socket may force it to shut down.

When the voltage goes below a specific threshold, the motor shuts down. Check the voltage level in the socket using a multimeter to confirm this. Pressure washer voltage needs vary depending on where you reside. Pressure washers are commonly powered by voltages ranging from 140V to 240V.

If the voltage is correct yet the washer would not start, the capacitor in the motor may need to be changed. It is characterized by your motor humming and producing much less power. Replace the capacitor with the same kind and retest the pressure washer motor. Hopefully, it will resume now that the operation mentioned above has been completed. If it still doesn’t start, contact the manufacturer of your pressure washer to fix or replace the damaged electric motor.

● PowerStroke Electric Pressure Washer Motor Makes a Buzzing Noise

A buzzing noise from your electric pressure washer engine suggests a defective capacitor or an excessive pressure buildup in the system. A faulty pump might also be to blame.

  • Capacitor: The most common cause of motor buzzing is a faulty capacitor. Inadequate charge storage happens, as a result, lowering motor RPMs. Replace the capacitor and check if the buzzing problem has been fixed.
  • Low Voltage: If the input voltage is less than the pressure washer’s operational range, the motor may not run at the needed RPMs and instead produce a buzzing noise.
  • Pressure Buildup: When the spray gun is not activated, water pressure builds up in the hoses. As a result, back pressure is produced on the pump and motor, reducing rotational speed. Press the spray gun and allow the water to exit to relieve the stress on the motor.
  • Damaged pump: Pressure washer pumps might fail due to poor maintenance, and when this happens, the motor overheats owing to inadequate pump pressure. To ensure that the pump operates effectively, check that the pistons and plungers are well-greased.

PowerStroke Pressure Washer troubleshooting table:

The pressure washer is not producing high pressure
Hose with small diameter
Replace your hose with a 1″ (25mm) or 5/8″ (16mm) hose
Restricted water supply to the washer
Check for the kinks and leaks in the hose
Inadequate water supply
Ensure the water source is unobstructed and fully turned on
Clogged intake filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Air in the pump
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
The suction tube or detergent bottle is not connected properly
Install the suction tube and detergent bottle correctly
Detergent too thick
Dilute the thick detergent by adding water
Obstructed spray tip
Remove the debris with a needle
No pressure tip on the wand
Install a suitable pressure tip at the end of the wand
If your model has a belt, it can be loose.
Tighten or replace the belt.
Pulsing pressure washer (output pressure varies high and low)
Inadequate water supply
Ensure that the water source is fully on and check the hose for kinks and blockage
Obstructed spray tip
Remove the debris with a needle
Pump sucking air
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Clogged intake filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Calcified hose, tip, or trigger
Clean the hose, pressure tip, or trigger with vinegar or a cleaner designed for this purpose
Noisy Pump
Air in the pump
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Clogged inlet filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Pump leaking water
Damaged or worn water seals
Replace the seals with new ones or call a professional
Loose fittings
Ensure that all the fittings are tight
Erratic water pressure, changing up and down
Unloader valve
Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it
No output pressure. Or the motor stops when using the trigger (electric models)
Unloader valve
Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it

● PowerStroke Gas Pressure Washer Engine troubleshooting table:

Leaks in the spray wand, spray tip, or extension
Damaged or broken O-rings or plastic insert
Replace the worn O-rings or call a professional
Pressure washer pump dripping oil
Worn or damaged oil seals
Inspect the oil seals and replace them if worn
No water from the washer outlet
The water supply is off
Turn the water supply ON
Kink in the hose or faucet not fully open
Remove any kinks and debris from the hose or water lines. Check and fully open the faucet.
The motor won’t start
Check the battery
Check if the battery is charged correctly. Charge or replace when in bad condition. Examine the battery terminals for a proper connection. Clean if needed.
Check the fuel filter
Clean the fuel filter if dirty. In that case, check the gas tank, as this is the most likely culprit.
Check the gas supply
Check the fuel level and add if needed. Ensure that the gas can flow to the carburetor. Remove any blockage.
Check the Air-filter
Clean the air filter. Replace it when it is in bad condition or it is a paper air filter.
Check the carburetor
Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.
Fuel gap blocked
Check that the hole in the fuel cap is open. Clean if needed.
The engine is stalling, or starts and stops
Check the carburetor
Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.
Air filter
Clean the air filter. Replace it when it is in bad condition or it is a paper air filter.
Check for bad gas
Suppose you have old gas, more than a few months old. It can turn bad. Drain and replace the gas. Next time add a fuel stabilizer.

● PowerStroke Electric Pressure Washer Motor troubleshooting table:

The motor won’t start
The power switch is in the “OFF” or “0”  state
Turn the power switch “ON” or “1”
Cord not plugged
Plugin the power cord
Damaged, too long, or improper extension cord
Replace the existing cord with a 25′ (7.6m) 14 AWG cord or a 50′ (15m) 12 AWG cord
Inadequate power from the electrical outlet
Plug the cord into a different outlet
The pressure washer circuit breaker tripped
Please wait for the washer to cool down and restart it
The motor buzzes but fails to run
Loss in voltage due to the extension cord
Plug the unit directly into the outlet without an extension cord. If the problem isn’t solved, replace the extension cord
Low supply voltage
Ensure that only the pressure washer runs on that circuit at the time of use
Residual pressure in the system
Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger to release pressure
Residual friction among the internal components
Cut the water supply and turn the machine ON for 2 to 3 seconds. Try it a couple of times or until the motor starts. Don’t let the machine run dry for more than 3 seconds.
Unit not used for long periods
I recommend calling a professional for help
Motor not working
Faulty Timer
Disconnect the leads from the timer. If your pressure washer doesn’t turn off after the time out, the timer is faulty, and you need to replace it.