Use Synthetic Oil in My Pressure Washer: What the Pros Say


A pressure washer helps to clean the exterior areas of your house. But it requires proper maintenance to maintain good performance. This applies both to electric and gas models. One of the most important steps in maintenance is keeping the different parts of the pressure washer well lubricated. Therefore, it’s necessary to regularly change the oil of the pressure washer pump for electric and gas models and engine oil for gas models. But they both require different oil types. The most effective oil used in a pressure washer is synthetic oil because it’s high quality and has fewer impurities than conventional oil.

In general, synthetic oil enhances the performance of the pressure washer. But it can’t be used in all pressure washer models. Electric and gas pressure washers use non-detergent oil in the pump. And most gas models can use synthetic oil for the engine. Check the manufacturer’s instruction manual before changing the oil of the pressure washer to know what your model is using.

Use Synthetic Oil in My Pressure Washer: What the Pros Say 1

Through this article, you will learn about the difference between pump and engine oils for your pressure washer. And why synthetic oil is better than conventional oil. We will show why gas models use different oil types in the engine and pressure washer pump.

Can I Use Synthetic Oil in My Pressure Washer?

Generally, synthetic oil can be used in most pressure washers. To be sure that your model is ok with it, check the manufacturer’s manual. For the pump, you should use non-detergent oil. Unlike engines, pumps don’t have an oil filter. Using a detergent oil in a pump can cause the oil to become dirty very quickly.

Difference Between the Pump and Engine Oil

The main difference between pump and engine oils is the additives added to the oil. For the gas model engine oil, it’s recommended to use detergent oil. The engine has a filter that keeps the oil from getting dirty. This detergent oil cleans the contaminants from the engine’s surface and is filtered in the oil filter.

If you would use detergent oil in the pump, it will cause the contaminants to build up in the pump without filtering it. This makes it dirty much quicker. Meaning you need to change this dirty oil more often, making it more costly and time-consuming.

● Types of Synthetic Oils for the Pressure Washer Pumps

Usually, it’s not needed to change the pump oil frequently. Most pressure washers use a sealed pump. However, there are some pressure washers in the market with pumps that require more frequent oil changing.

Some of the more popular pressure washer oils are:

– Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Pressure Washer Pump Oil

Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil is a good choice for pressure washers pumps because due to its viscosity and reasonable price. Its viscosity is SAE 75W90 and is fine for a pressure washer that has a 10W40 recommended viscosity.

– Cat Pressure Washer Pump Oil

The cat pressure washer pump oil is a petroleum-based ISO 68 hydraulic oil that offers excellent protection against wear and rust. This type of synthetic oil is more viscous than the Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil. This oil is detergent-free and is a good choice as a pressure washer pump oil.

– Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil

Generac 6656 is another type of synthetic detergent-free oil that can be used in a generic pressure washer pump oil. This oil is reasonably priced. The bottle of pump oil has a transparent strip at the side to let you know the remaining oil in the bottle. And how much you need to pour into the pressure washer’s pump.

● How often do I need to change pressure washer pump oil?

Using clean oil in the pressure washer pump helps to extend the lifetime of your pressure washer. The pump quickly gets hot, and the oil helps to lubricate it. For most cheaper pressure washers under $400, the pump is permanently sealed. They do not require any maintenance. Check the manufacturer manual to check if this also applies to your model.

For more expensive models, you should change the pump oil regularly. Often this is after around 300 hours. Check the manufactures manual for the exact interval. I would recommend changing it at least once a year.

Electric vs. Gas Pressure Washer oil, some helpful tips:

An electric pressure washer only uses synthetic oil in the pressure washer pump. The electric motor does not use oil. A gas pressure washer uses oil in both the engine and the pump. Most models use synthetic oil in both the pump and the engine. Only the pump uses a non-detergent oil, as it does not filter the contaminants.

A gas pressure washer needs regular engine maintenance. Changing the engine oil is an important part of this.

Changing the oil in the Pressure Washer Pump, some helpful tips:

To change the pressure washer pump oil, Locate the drain plug and filler cap. Remove both and let the oil drain. Check the color and the number of particles. Reattach the drain plug, and add the new oil to the pump. Ensure that you do not overfill. Check the level with the sight glass.

Proper maintenance is necessary to ensure that your pressure washer lasts for a long time. One of the essential steps is changing the pump oil after regular intervals. It’s recommended to check the oil in the pump every time you use your pressure washer. If it’s low, refill it before. Most experts recommend changing the oil of the pressure washer pump around 300 hours, or at least once a year.

To change the oil of a pressure washer pump oil, use the following steps:

● Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools

Before changing the oil of a pressure washer pump, you must gather the necessary tool. This includes a bucket/pan to catch the old oil and a funnel for pouring the new oil. Have a clean piece of cloth at hand to clean any spillage. Change the oil at a location with a hard surface that can deal with some spillage.

● Step 2: Drain the Old Oil Out

Locate the pump oil drain plug. Check the manufacturer manual if you can not find it. Place the oil drain pan under the pump, and remove the oil filler cap and drain plug. Let the oil drain in the pan. This can take a short while.

● Step 3: Check the oil quality

When the oil is draining, check the color of the oil by comparing it with fresh oil. If it looks milky or has visible particles, it means it is dirty. It means that next time, you have to use a slightly shorter interval.

● Step 3: Add new oil to the pump

Now it’s time to pour new oil into the pump. Reattach the drain plug. Pour the recommended amount of oil into the pump. Ensure that you don’t overfill it, as this can lead to pump damage. Check the oil level according to the manual’s instruction and add more if it’s not up to the mark. Many pressure washer pumps have a small window or sight glass on the side of the pump. This shows with a red dot or marker what the proper oil level should be.

Changing the oil in the Pressure Washer Engine, some helpful tips:

Before changing the oil of the pressure washer engine, start the engine to warm up the oil. This helps to drains it more smoothly. Then turn off the engine, place a bucket under the engine’s drain plug, and unscrew the drain plug and oil filler cap. Let the oil completely drain from the engine and reattach the drain plug. Finally, fill the new synthetic oil into the engine and reattach the filler cap.

Before using a gas pressure washer, you must check the engine oil level. If it is low, add some oil. According to most experts, it’s recommended to change the engine oil of the pressure washer after the first 20 hours. And then after every 100 hours. Do not forget to change the oil filter as well.

Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil, some helpful tips:

Synthetic oil is more efficient than conventional oil. It enhances the overall performance of the pressure washer. Synthetic oil is made of high-quality base oils and offers several advantages over traditional oil: less oxidization, better engine protection, better viscosity, and improved chemical stability.

The main difference between conventional and synthetic oil is that conventional oil changes state with the change in engine temperature. It’s a petroleum-based oil that is thick at low temperatures and gets thinner as the temperature increases. To overcome this problem, manufacturers introduced synthetic oil that doesn’t change its viscosity as much due to the change in environmental conditions.

Synthetic oil offers many advantages over conventional oil, including:

● Engine Protection

While your pressure washer is running at a high PSI, the engine components are under more stress. They run at high rpm’s. The higher the rpm, the more wear and tear. Unlike conventional oil, synthetic oil lubricates these moving parts better under all conditions.

● Less Impurities

Synthetic oil contains fewer impurities compared to conventional oil. Conventional oil forms more deposits as it runs through the engine. These deposits reduce the efficiency of the pressure washer. Synthetic oil resists forming deposits.

● Better Viscosity

As mentioned earlier, synthetic oil is more viscous than conventional oil. And unlike traditional oil, it doesn’t change its viscosity much with the temperature change. Synthetic oils flow quickly at low temperatures and resist more extreme heat better. Making your pressure washer more efficient under all conditions.

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