Is Your Pressure Washer’s Fuel Bad?

If your business depends on a pressure washer to keep things running smoothly, the last thing you want is for it to struggle because of bad fuel. Whether you’ve had your pressure washer in storage over the winter months or if it’s been a few weeks or months since you last fired it up, making sure you have fresh fuel can undoubtedly save some headaches. 

Bad fuel can cause problems from clogged injectors, smokey heaters, and damaged engine parts. So how can you tell if your fuel has gone bad? And what can you do to fix the problem?

Here’s a quick guide to pressure washer fuel problems and how to solve them:

Can you check if your fuel is bad? 

You can do a couple of things before cranking the motor for the first time after pulling a machine from storage. 

Did you know fuel can go bad within 30 days? So over a few winter months, your fuel certainly can turn.

The best way to check is to take a sample from your fuel tank, put it in a clear glass, like a mason jar, and compare it with a freshly pumped sample. If your fuel is darker in color, if there is any sediment, or you see water separation, there is a good chance your fuel has gone bad. 

Other signs Your Fuel Has Spoiled

Problem: Your Pressure Washer Won’t Start

If your pressure washer doesn’t start, it could be because the fuel has gone bad. Bad fuel can clog up the injectors, preventing the machine from starting.

Problem: Your Machine starts but then stalls

If your pressure washer starts but then stalls, it could be because the fuel is contaminated.  

Problem: The Engine is Running Rough

If your pressure washer’s engine is running rough, it could be because of bad fuel. Bad fuel can damage engine parts and cause all sorts of performance problems.

Problem: The Pressure Washer is Low on Power

If your pressure washer seems low on power, it could be because the fuel is bad. Bad fuel can damage engine parts and cause a loss of power.

Problem: Smoke, lots of smoke.

If your hot water machine produces a high amount of smoke, it could be a sign your fuel has turned. See some other reasons you might have a smoking machine here.

There is only one solution to most of the problems listed above, and we suggest starting here when troubleshooting. 

Solution: Drain the fuel tank and replace the fuel filter. Then, fill the tank with fresh, high-quality fuel.


Preventing Fuel Problems

The best way to avoid pressure washer fuel problems is to use fresh, high-quality fuel. Use a quality gas or diesel additive to help keep your fuel fresh and to help prevent clogged injectors.

Change your pressure washer’s fuel filter regularly. A clogged fuel filter can cause all sorts of problems, from engine damage to a loss of power.

And finally, don’t store your pressure washer with fuel in the tank. Fuel can go bad quickly, so it’s best to empty the tank before storing your machine for any length of time. If emptying your tank isn’t an option, we recommend adding a fuel stabilizer to help keep things fresh longer. 

If you have more questions about choosing the right fuel, check out this blog or contact your local Alkota service center for assistance.

Want to learn everything about pressure washers? Check out our ultimate guide!

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