If you’re facing the frustrating issue of your gas or electric pressure washer starting but not staying running, you’re not alone. Luckily, this common problem has multiple potential causes. In this article, we’ll guide you through troubleshooting and repairing the most common reasons for pressure washers stalling. By following these instructions, you’ll have your pressure washer up and running again in no time!
Table of Contents
Parts to Check and Repair or Replace
There are several parts that could be the culprit behind your pressure washer’s stalling. Let’s explore the most common ones:
A dirty or damaged spark plug is one of the leading causes of a pressure washer failing to stay running. If you want to clean the spark plug, remove it from the engine and use a wire brush to eliminate any build-up on the electrode. After cleaning the electrode, reattach the spark plug and give starting the pressure washer another try. However, if the spark plug is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
When your pressure washer won’t stay running, an issue with the ignition coil could be to blame. This component is responsible for the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. Should the ignition coil be faulty, it will prevent the spark from igniting the fuel, resulting in the engine not starting. To test the ignition coil, remove it from the engine and measure its resistance using an ohmmeter. If the resistance doesn’t fall within the specified range, it’s time to replace the ignition coil.
An improperly sealed fuel cap can allow too much air into the fuel tank, preventing the engine from starting. Remove the fuel cap from the pressure washer and check if the O-ring is in good condition. If it’s damaged, you’ll need to replace it to ensure a proper seal.
Fuel Cap Vent
The fuel cap vent permits air to enter the fuel tank and pressure to escape. However, if it becomes blocked, vapor lock can occur, preventing the engine from starting. Inspect the fuel cap vent by removing the fuel cap and ensuring it’s clear of any obstructions. If there is a blockage, use compressed air or a wire brush to clean it out.
A clogged fuel filter can impede fuel flow to the engine, resulting in the pressure washer not starting. This commonly happens when fuel is left in the tank for an extended period, causing it to degrade. To check the fuel filter, remove it from the pressure washer and examine it for any sticky fuel build-up. If the filter is clogged, clean it using a wire brush or by soaking it in a cleaner. Damaged fuel filters will need to be replaced.
When the air filter is clogged, it restricts airflow to the engine, causing an imbalance between fuel and air. As a result, the power washer may fail to start. To check the air filter, remove it from the pressure washer and inspect it for dirt or debris. If it’s dirty, clean it using a brush or by soaking it in a cleaner. Damaged air filters will need to be replaced.
The carburetor is responsible for mixing the correct ratio of fuel and air. If it becomes clogged, it could explain why the engine stalls. To clean the carburetor, remove it from the engine and use a carburetor cleaner to eliminate any build-up. Once cleaned, reattach the carburetor and try starting the pressure washer again. Alternatively, you can purchase a carburetor repair kit that allows you to replace individual parts, avoiding the need to replace the entire carburetor.
Insufficient fuel reaching the pressure washer can cause it to stall. To check the fuel pump, remove it from the engine and use a pressure gauge to test the pressure. If the pressure falls outside of the specified range, you’ll need to replace the fuel pump.
Your pressure washer’s engine may contain a small screen called a spark arrestor, which prevents sparks from being emitted. If this screen is dirty or damaged, it can cause the engine to stall. Clean the spark arrestor by removing it from the pressure washer and using a wire brush to remove any build-up. Once cleaned, reattach it and try starting the power washer again.
The unloader valve releases pressure when the trigger is not engaged. If it becomes stuck in the open position, it will cause the pressure washer to stall. To check the unloader valve, remove it from the pressure washer and inspect it for dirt or debris. If dirty, clean it using a brush or by soaking it in a cleaner.
The flywheel key connects the flywheel to the crankshaft. If it’s broken, it can cause the engine to stall. To check the flywheel key, remove the flywheel and inspect it for damage. If the key is broken, you’ll need to replace it.
How can you prevent future pressure washer problems?
To avoid pressure washer problems in the future, make sure to regularly clean and maintain all parts. Replace any parts that are worn or damaged.
What’s the best way to dry the parts after cleaning them?
The most effective way to dry pressure washer parts is by using compressed air.
How often should you replace gas in the gas tank to prevent sticky fuel build-up?
To prevent sticky fuel build-up, replace the gas in your pressure washer’s gas tank every three months.
If your gas or electric power washer won’t stay running, various parts could be causing the problem. By troubleshooting and repairing each of these parts, you can get your pressure washer back to its full functionality. Remember to regularly clean and maintain all parts to prevent future issues. Thanks for reading!
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