Troubleshooting a Stalled Pressure Washer

Pressure Washer

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Your pressure washer has been sitting in the garage or shed all winter long, and now that Spring has finally arrived, you’ve brought it out to clean off your deck, boat, or driveway. You try to start the pressure washer only to hear the lethargic chugs of a stalled engine. You pull again. And again. And again. Nothing. Your pressure washer is stalled.

What can be done about it? Fortunately, troubleshooting a stalled pressure washer isn’t terribly difficult, and with this guide you can get back to the visceral joys of seeing high pressure water make an old surface look like new.

Troubleshooting a Stalled Pressure Washer Engine

A stalled pressure washer engine likely boils down to one of two issues: (1) A clogged fuel filter, or (2) a clogged carburetor. Stalls often occur when gunk builds up in the machine’s fuel system after laying idle for several months. That’s why so many people experience difficulty getting their pressure washers to start after a long winter.

Once you have found the clog, you will need to replace either the fuel line, the fuel filter, or–in some drastic cases–the carburetor. Before replacing a fuel line, make sure your machine is empty of fuel. If you are checking your fuel filter, you may try hosing it off before replacing the entire filter.

The best way to prevent a stalled engine from occurring is to use a fuel stabilizer mixed in with your normal fuel during regular use, and adding a winter stabilizer for the long months that your pressure washer will remain in disuse.

You can find parts for pressure washers, and other lawn equipment, at If you have any questions or comments, feel free to join the conversation below, or email us at [email protected]

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