Getting the best pressure washer for cars is a wise decision, especially if your vehicle starts looking somewhat grimy, as it happens when you drive it for a while. In this way, you can clean it as thoroughly as possible. Purchasing a power washer for your automobile can make the entire car washing process easier and faster. It will significantly simplify your life and make it effortless to restore your vehicle to its sparkling new condition. Understanding the cost of pressure washer is vital when shopping for the right equipment. With many types available on the market, you’ll want to know the best electric power washer for cars before you buy.
It’s advisable to avoid getting a gas pressure washer because it is costlier than the best electric pressure washer. Keep in mind that you’re looking for a household class machine, and the former fits in the commercial pressure washer category. All-electric run washers are not equal since some are better for cleaning cars than others. For example, you can get a pressure washer with tank for mobile auto detailing. After exhaustively researching the vast selection of pressure washer for cars, we narrowed the list to the ten best pressure washer for cars in 2020. Read on as we break down the main features of each of our top models below.
What is a Pressure Washer?
A pressure washer is a garden tool that connects to your garden hose and significantly raises water spray force, allowing it to remove built up grime, dirt, and stains. It has a spray wand or gun, which is the most functional part, although it also comes with several accessories for different cleaning jobs, including power brushes and detergent tanks. Electric powered and gas run units are the two main categories of pressure washers, which also determines how much force each can produce.
Gasoline jet washers are typically more potent, starting from 2000 PSI or pounds per square inch, which is a measure of how well it can lift off dirt and stains. Although domestic gas powered washers can generate more than 4000 PSI, you are unlikely to need all that kind of power for cleaning tasks around your yard. Moreover, gas based units are usually more costly, with most starting from approximately $300. Even though they are powerful, the gas pressure washer is bulky and needs regular maintenance with careful storage since it has highly flammable fuel. Besides, it emits toxic fumes, making it unfit for indoor use.
Apart from pressure, gallons per minute or GPM is another vital measurement unit you should consider. It shows the rate of water flow or the amount of water the device can use in a minute. Keep in mind that while PSI denotes a washer’s ability to remove dirt from the surface, GPM defines the machine’s rinsing ability.
The design of an electric power washer is explicitly for household applications and not industrial use. It means the electric washer can meet your cleaning needs at a friendly price. The rates often start from less than a hundred to handful hundred dollars, while the power can range from a little over 1000 PSI to around 3000 PSI and 2.0 GPM on the higher side.
There are also some options for cordless pressure washers that run on battery power, although they are not so common. One notable feature in this category is extreme portability. On the downside, battery-powered cordless electric washers are limiting in terms the maximum attainable pressure. For that reason, they cannot compete with their plug-in electric counterparts.
It is also advisable to be keen about electric pressure washer storage since water left in the pump and hose can result in multiple failures. You can get some special additive to use each time you are preparing it for storage. Alternatively, just follow the guidelines in the user manual for correct storage.
Benefits of Car Pressure Washers
Furthermore, jet washers are among the most versatile power tools for the garden you can get. With a reliable power washer, you can keep everything looking spick and span, including your outdoor furniture, patio, car, and driveway. The full range of pressure washer applications makes it a worthwhile investment for the car and home. Note that these washing tools can range from light duty to medium duty and heavy duty. Ensure you are getting the right one for your situation, not with more or less pressure than you need.
If you are still undecided about grabbing a jet washer consider these amazing benefits that come with the best pressure washer for cars in our buying guide:
- Cleaning Tough Stains: Power washers integrate various pressure settings to deal with heavy, medium and light duty cleaning. Tough stains such as grime, oil, or grease are among heavy duty tasks that a power washer with high pressure can blast off your vehicle. In addition, some garden power tools come with accessories like soap tanks and scrubbers, making an easy job of eliminating tough stains.
- Environment-Friendly: Power washers are eco-friendly tools as they eliminate the need for harsh chemicals when cleaning your car. The best pressure machine releases water at high speed and power, lifting hard to remove stains from your auto. It is an excellent choice for the environment since you will not have to use detergents in most cases.
- Pocket-Friendly: Chances are you have already spent so much money at the car wash for professional services to remove tough stains from your vehicle. You can save money with the best pressure washer for cars as you’ll take care of the auto detailing work yourself.
- Portability: The best pressure washer for cars are compact and light enough to carry around. Some people prefer storing one in the trunk for quick cleanups whenever the need arises. Other models come with wheels for dragging around and cleaning more than one vehicle in the garage.
- Save Time: Cleaning your automobile on low pressure takes around ten minutes on average. While you may require double the time for heavy duty cleaning, it’s nearly impossible to spend more than sixty minutes for auto-detailing, if you know how to use the machine.
Type Of Pressure Washer
As the name suggests, the equipment uses water pressure to clean a car and other surfaces around the home, such as the driveway. Unlike the garden hose, a pressure washer does not need plenty of car shampoo or foam for effective detailing. The high pressure water helps to eliminate tough stains, cleaning a vehicle in record time. Besides, the best pressure washer for cars makes it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas, especially under your car.
There are many varieties of jet washers, ranging from electric to industrial strength and gas to portable, and what works for one consumer might be overkill for the other. So how do you know the best pressure washer for cars? Here are essential details about the different types of power washers available on the market:
1. Diesel Engine
The diesel engine pressure washer is apt for medium and heavy duty tasks. As the name suggests, it relies on diesel to run the pump. It is also unsuitable for indoor use because it produces fumes. You can pick from different sizes of diesel engine washers.
2. Electric Motor
You must connect an electric pressure washer to an electric outlet or a power generator for it to function. It is suitable for heavy, medium, and light duty tasks. In addition, it is great for indoor and outdoor use because it doesn’t produce toxic gases.
3. Hydraulic Jet Washer
Hydraulic power washers are compact, lightweight, and quiet. Unlike gas or electric-based machines, they generate energy using a hydraulic mechanism. Therefore, these washing tools are not only eco-friendly but also great for commercial use as they don’t require electricity or fuel to run.
4. Gasoline Engine
Gas pressure washers have the same design with diesel engine machines. The washers depend on gas to power the pump. A gasoline engine tool is fit for medium and heavy duty cleaning. Moreover, it is only fit for outdoor use as it generates fumes.
Top 10 Best Pressure Washer For Cars Reviews
If you want more details about the best pressure washer for cars, here are our top ten noteworthy models for auto-detailing and other uses around the home.
1. Sun Joe SPX3500 Electric Pressure Washer
You’ll get the SPX3500 by Sun Joe if you are after a more substantial power washer for heavier duty work than simply detailing your vehicle.
2. Stanley SHP2150 Electric Power Washer
The SHP2150 by Stanley comes in a tremendous built construction comprising top-quality materials, making it one of the best pressure washer for cars today.
3. Sun Joe SPX3001 Electric Jet Washer
The SPX3001 electric pressure washer by Sun Joe delivers outstanding performance that only countable models can beat. Its 14.5-A-rated motor provides a lot of auto-detailing power for anyone.
4. GPW1602 GreenWorks Electric Pressure Washer
If you do not want to overspend on a jet washer that will be sitting in your garage most times, then the GPW1602 power washer by GreenWorks is an excellent choice. It’s particularly suitable for tasks that won’t demand more than washing your vehicle, cleaning the deck and fence.
5. Karcher K2 Compact Electric Power Washer
The compact Karcher K2 electric run pressure machine is moderately powered for high performance and excellent usability in washing cars at home. Its ability to detail vehicles without risking damages to paintwork gives it an edge over other models.
6. 3000 PSI PAXCESS XWAHSER Electric Jet Washer
The PAXCESS XWAHSER power cleaner will transform your ordinary garden hose into a potent pressure cleaning tool, instantly, making it easy, convenient, and efficient to detail your car.
7. AR2N1 Blue Clean Electric Power Washer
The AR2N1 electric pressure washer by AR Blue Clean is a highly innovative and versatile garden power tool for indoor and outdoor jobs.
8. GPW1950 GreenWorks Electric Pressure Washer
If you are looking for an economical lawn tool with excellent performance, the GPW1950 might be an ideal choice. It will clear all your auto detailing and yard work fast and efficiently.
9. Active VE52 Electric Pressure Washer
You’ll get the EV52 electric power washer if you want something that delivers great performance in a compact design. It is powerful enough to handle most cleaning jobs at home and small enough to fit anywhere easily.
10. 3800PSI PowRyte Elite Electric Pressure Washer
The Elite power washer by PowRyte is among the best pressure washer for cars in handling stubborn stains. It is a multi purpose cleaning tool suitable for all kinds of vehicles, boats, ATVs, RVs, and other household surfaces like decks and driveways.
Car Pressure Washer Buying Guide
Each car pressure washer model out there functions differently, with distinctive features. For that reason, here are some essential factors to consider when shopping for the best pressure washer for cars:
- Power: You need to know how close the pump power source is when determining the right pressure washer for you. Electric motors are ideal for auto detailing because nearly every home has an electric outlet.
- Detergent Tank: You can’t only depend on water to knock off stubborn stains. Detergent makes it easy to work on tough stains, and it is even more convenient when you are getting water and soap from a single source.
- Water Pressure: The higher the water pressure, the easier you will get rid of grime and dirt from your car’s surface. The best jet washers for vehicles should have a water pressure of at least 1,500 PSI, although some top-rated models deliver more than 3,000 PSI.
- Nozzle: The size of the nozzle significantly affects how much water is coming out of the spray tip. Note that a powerful spray like the zero degrees nozzle can damage your vehicle’s vital parts, including the paintwork.
- Water Flow: The flow of the water determines your pressure washer efficiency. It refers to the amount of water coming out of the spray tip per minute in GPM or gallons per minute. Therefore, higher water flow translates to greater efficiency.
- Hose Length: The best pressure washer for cars should come with at least twenty-five feet of hose, although twenty feet is also acceptable. Besides, make sure you are getting a non-marring flexible hose for easy maneuverability and durability.
- Weight: Look for a compact, lightweight, and portable power washer for auto detailing. In this way, you can work around several cars in the garage without straining.
Troubleshooting of Car Pressure Washer
Breakdowns in the best pressure washer for cars are not only problematic but also frustrating. Ensure you maintain your equipment according to the manufacturer instructions to avoid issues for as long as you can. However, even the finest car pressure washer models will eventually succumb to wear, particularly if you use it intensely and frequently.
Thankfully, we have some handy tips to help you when your jet washer stops working as effectively and smoothly as you want it. Different kinds of problems can possibly arise with any kind of power washer for vehicles. Follow these recommendations to fix your pressure washer without spending cash on professional repair services.
|Problem||Possible Cause||How To Fix|
|Non-starting motor||The appliance’s On/Off Switch is in OFF mode||Press the start/switch off button once to have it on the ON mode|
|An unplugged power cord||Plugin the device power cord|
|Damaged, a too long, or improper gauge of extension cord||Replace the cord with a working, proper length, or recommended gauge|
|Inadequate power from the power supply||Plugin the cord in a different power outlet|
|Tripped circuit breaker||Let the device cool before restarting|
|The appliance doesn’t reach maximum possible pressures||Too small garden hose||Replace with the recommended size|
|Restricted water supply||Check the hose for possible blockages, kinks, or leaks.|
|Insufficient water supply||Set your water source to full supply|
|Clogged water inlet filter||Rinse the device water filter using warm water|
|Your pump is sucking air||Ensure all fittings and hoses are airtight|
|Fluctuating output PSI||Insufficient inlet water supply||Turn the tap on, fully ensure the hose is free of blockages, leaks, or kinks on the hose|
|The motor is sucking air.||Ensure all fittings and hoses are airtight|
|Obstructed discharge nozzle||Use a fine needle to remove particles.|
|Clogged water inlet||Rinse the device water filter using warm water|
|Calcified power spray tip, gun, or hose||Allow distilled vinegar to run through the soap tank|
|Problematic foam blaster||The soap dispenser is empty||Add more soap|
|Improper connection at the suction tube or detergent container||Check the connection for issues.|
|The soap is too thick.||Use a dilute solution.|
|Clogged detergent suction tube filter||Clear build-up by running warm water through the filter|
|Clogged or damaged suction tube||Check and clear obstructions or replace the tube|
|Leaks in the garden hose connection||Worn out or missing rubber washer||Insert or replace the washer|
|Loose fittings||Check and tighten the fittings|
|Leaks on the nozzle, spray wand, or extension||Improperly attached nozzle||Attach the easy-connect wand securely|
|Noisy pump||Air leakage or the device is sucking air||Ensure all fittings and hoses are airtight|
|Clogged water filter||Rinse the filter using warm water|
|Excess water leakage from the pump||Loose fittings||Ensure fittings are water-tight|
|Worn out or damaged water seals||Call your supplier or technician|
|Oil drips||Worn out or damaged oil seals||Call your supplier or technician|
|Water nozzle not ejecting water||Your water supply is OFF||Check and turn on your water supply.|
|Your hose has kinks||Check and remove the kinks.|
The chart above should help you analyze and solve common car pressure washer problems. If the suggested solutions can’t fix your washer issue, it’s advisable to escalate the matter with a qualified repair service. You can start by calling your manufacturer or supplier for recommendations. An active product warranty might help waiver the bill for repairs. Therefore, check if the manufacturer’s warranty is still valid before you spend money on a third-party repair service.
Installation Guide For The Best Pressure Washer For Cars
Manufacturers often package pressure washer for cars in distinct parts to ease storage, transportation, and avoid damaging delicate items. It means you’ll have to assemble it on your own. All power washer models are not equal, with each brand providing some unique parts. So, every unit comes with some slight variations in the assembly process.
We recommend that you start by reading the user manual for the appliance for instructions, whether or not you have assembled one before. If the manual is unavailable, try finding the device serial number. It should be printed somewhere on your electric pressure washer body. However, the majority of regular power washers are somewhat easy to install, with only a handful of models needing more tools than the ordinary screwdriver.
But keep in mind that the installation methods often vary. Therefore, it’s best to adhere to your particular model’s setup guidelines to be sure that you are installing everything properly and safely. Improperly setting up any pressure washer can damage its mechanisms severely, potentially risking injury to the user.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The best pressure washer often depends on individual needs and circumstances. For example, you’ll want to determine a few things beforehand, including your suitable power source, pressure needs, accessory types, nozzles, and detergent tanks, among others. In this case, however, the SPX3500 by Sun Joe stands out for excellent performance, reliability, and pocket-friendly rates.
When shopping for the best pressure washer for cars, consider a unit with settings of anywhere between 1200 and 2000 PSI. In this way, you won’t have to worry about ruining the paint on your vehicle. Moreover, professionals recommend between 1.2 and 1.6 GPM for auto detailing.
Yes. You can wash your vehicle using a 3000 PSI pressure machine to remove tough stains, although experts don’t recommend it. When cleaning your car at such a high pressure, consider moving further away from the automobile to lower the pressure effect on the paintwork significantly.
No. A pressure washer isn’t bad for car paint as long as you are following the recommended guidelines. There are many people today using power washers to clean their vehicles without damaging the car paint. However, the appliance can also cause extensive damage to car paint and even cause rusting, especially when using high pressure spray nozzles for cleaning.
No. When you want to use a jet washer to spray the vehicle’s bodywork, it is best to use the spray mode that is at least three inches wide. In this way, you can lift the grime, dirt, and grit off the car surface without damaging the paintwork.
A power washer is an effective way to detail your vehicle. The best pressure washer for cars comes with a full range of nozzles, making it versatile for various cleaning tasks beyond your car, including general purpose indoor and outdoor cleaning. Some units also come with a single, all in one adjustable nozzle, eliminating the need to swap the spray tips between different jobs.
Moreover, most top-notch models today integrate exclusive tech, limiting water consumption to the smallest possible quantity. In this way, you will experience water savings in the long haul. Our top rated pressure washer reviews above list ten handpicked units worth your investment. If you are yet to make your choice, consider going through the review one more time.
The Sun Joe SPX3500 is our top pick for the best pressure washer for cars. It offers great performance ratings and comes with a high PSI to eliminate the stubborn stains from your vehicle. On the other hand, the compact Karcher K2 our best budget jet washer because it is affordable and still provides most of what you’ll want in an electric pressure washer. It is particularly suitable for light and some medium duty jobs.
A pressure washer offers higher levels of power to clean your vehicle than a regular garden hose can reach. However, this power poses higher safety risks to the user and the nearby people. Therefore, always put on protective gear when using the device to detail your car, more so safety goggles.