Not every pressure washer comes with a pump that needs regular oil changing, but many do.
If your pressure washer pump is due for an oil change, we’ll show you, step by step, how to change your pressure washer pump’s oil. This will keep your pressure washer well maintained, so it functions better and lasts longer.
- Check the manufacturer’s guidance to see if your pressure washer pump needs oil changes.
- To change the oil, run the pressure washer for a couple of minutes, drain the old oil, and add new non-detergent-based oil.
- Most pressure washer pumps require 30w non-detergent oil, but always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Change the pressure washer pump oil roughly every three months or every 200-250 hours of work, depending on the manufacturer’s guidance.
Do You Need to Change Your Pressure Washer Pump Oil?
It depends on what type of pressure washer pump you have. Most basic pressure washers — those under $400 — don’t require pump maintenance. But you should always check your manufacturer’s guidance.
Another way you’ll know that you never need to change your pump’s oil is if you have a wobble or axial piston pump. These are usually filled with oil during manufacturing and permanently sealed, so even if you wanted to change the oil, you couldn’t.
However, other pumps do need their oil changed. You’ll know you need to change your oil yourself if the manual requires regular oil changing or if your pump has a drain and fill plug.
Keeping on top of oil changes has many benefits to your pressure washer, including:
- Pumps need oil to reduce wear and tear, friction and heating of the moving parts. Oil can prevent these parts from failing prematurely.
- As mentioned, it reduces overheating. This protects the seals as heat expands the seals and increases the risk of cracking.
- If you don’t keep up to date with oil changes, you could void your warranty.
So if your pump requires manual oil changes, it’s best to adhere to this guidance.
How to Change Pressure Washer Pump Oil
Let’s get into the best method for changing your pressure washer pump oil.
What You Need
- Something to catch the oil that exits. You can use an old tray or an actual oil pan.
- A wrench to open the bolt access. Your pressure washer may have a plastic knob instead of a bolt.
- A funnel to fill the pump with oil.
- An oil storage container.
- Oil as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Rags for cleaning.
- Optional: an oil drain plug, a suction gun, or manual/electric pump.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Purge the Pump
Turn on the supply water and remove the wand from the spray gun. Start the engine and hold the pressure washer gun trigger for two minutes to empty the residual water and dirt. This also heats up the pressure washer, which helps get rid of dirt more easily.
2. Drain the Oil
Now you need to drain the oil and fuel from the engine. Firstly, you will need to loosen and remove the reservoir top access bolt — or unscrew the knob — to relieve the pressure inside. If you have a bolt, this is where your wrench comes into play.
You have four options for removing the oil. One is draining it from the bottom of the oil pan using an oil drain plug. You can also suction it out with a suction gun. Or you can pump it out using an electric or manual pump.
You could also just tilt the pressure washer both ways to pour the used oil into your container.
If necessary for the other options, have an oil pan or old tray ready to catch the residual oil.
3. Store the Oil
Once you have poured out the old oil, pour it into your oil storage container and set that aside for now. You will need to dispose of this according to your local regulations. Now, put the drain bolt or knob back into place.
4. Add New Oil
Before using our method, make sure to check your manufacturer’s guidance, as this will vary depending on the pressure washer and pump that you have. Some models have premeasured bottles of pump oil.
In general, you should use a non-detergent pump oil. Grab your funnel and pour the oil into the pump until it’s about ¾ of the way full.
5. Close Up the Pump
Now put the bolt back and tighten it firmly. Use a rag to wipe up any spilled oil around the cap or surrounding area. Put your pressure washer into the upright position. After a couple of minutes, you’re ready to use your pressure washer again.
You will need to dispose of the dirty rags in accordance with your local regulations.
FAQs About Changing Pressure Washer Pump Oil
Now that you know how to change your pressure washer pump oil, you’re heading in the right direction of great pump maintenance. Pumps can be expensive, so nailing down this routine will help you extend the life of your pressure washer pump.
It only takes five short steps to change your oil, and once it’s done, you can get back to using your pressure washer. Just be sure to change the oil within the next 200-250 hours of work!