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How to Change the Oil on a Pressure Washer

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Typical High-Volume Power Washer

Typical High-Volume Power Washer

Pressure Washer Expectations

Do you love your yard tools? I sure do, some more than others. There's one that is closer to my heart than the others. That's my baby pictured above. I love my skill saw and generator and I can't forget about the belt sander, which is a handy tool I like too. But the pressure washer, that's my precious baby.

I won't bother telling you about all the tools and machinery I've owned in my 50 plus years, but I will tell you this: take care of your equipment or it will stop working.

It's so easy to skip the oil change, especially for our yard tools. But these are the machines that work the hardest for us.

By the time I have mustered up enough energy to go out and do the yard work, the last thing I want is a dead engine. I know that changing the oil is one of the best ways to keep my power washer working, so let's go change that oil!

Average time to complete: 15 minutes

How Often Should You Change Pressure Washer Oil?

A simple search of the internet about when to change the oil in your pressure washer will bring up anything from every 50 hours to 300 hours. It really depends on how you use it.

My own experience has shown that the oil in my pressure washer (and other tools like generator) tends to need changing halfway through the summer and again at the end of the summer before storing it for winter. I feel like I use the pressure pretty heavy for a home user: several times during the week for about an hour each usage. Changing the oil as mentioned above has worked well and the machines still work like new.

Items You Need for the Pressure Washer Oil Change

Items You Need for the Pressure Washer Oil Change


You'll save yourself some headache by gathering the tools you'll need to complete the oil change beforehand. There are only five items you'll need:

  • New 2-stroke oil
  • 10 mm socket or wrench (the size may be different on yours)
  • Catch basin for the used oil
  • Funnel

How to Change the Oil in Your Power Washer

Some older pressure washers only have a dipstick hole, and the oil is drained and filled through that.

This power washer has both, and both look similar. One has a dipstick attached to it to check the level of the oil. The other is merely the oil fill hole cap screw. This is the one we will put the oil back into.

Before draining the oil, turn the pressure washer on for a minute or two. The oil will flow out a lot better if it is warm rather than cold.

  1. Place your catch basin under the drain hole, if there is one. The oil will miss the drain hole and end up flowing onto the engine plate anyways, so have a rag or towel handy to wipe up the over spill.
  2. Remove the oil fill cap to allow the oil to flow out easily.
  3. The oil drain plug is going to be at the low point of the engine. It's probably pretty dirty where the bolt is located, so wipe or rinse the area first. The oil drain plug is a small bolt as shown in the photo below. The one pictured is a 10 mm. Use a wrench or socket wrench to remove the bolt.
  4. Allow the oil to flow into your catch basin and all over the metal plate. When it stops flowing, wipe the area clean and put the bolt back in.
  5. If needed, put your funnel into the oil fill hole and fill with new 2-stroke motor oil. The power washer pictured doesn't use an entire pint.

Check the oil level with the dip stick to make sure you have it full. I like to start the engine up and check the level again to make sure it is indeed full. And that's it! Your power washer is good to go!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.