Can You Use 10W40 Oil In Your Pressure Washer?

Gas-powered pressure washers need oil just as much as anything that is powered by gas. That’s because the engine in the pressure washer has plenty of different moving parts that need to be able to move well. As such, you need to make sure that you oil up the pressure washer well enough for proper maintenance. However, is it okay if you use 10W40 oil in your pressure washer?

You can use 10W40 oil in your pressure washer because pressure washer engines are high load. That means that you may want to use heavy-duty engine oil to make sure that the motor of your pressure washer works well. As such a 10W40 motor oil will be more than fine for a pressure washer.

It might sound odd to use heavy-duty motor oil for your pressure washer but this is one of the most important things you need to know if you own anything that runs on an engine. In fact, a lot of different pressure washer engines recommend heavier oils such as 15W50. That said, using a 10W40 motor oil for your pressure washer should allow it to run well enough but you can stick to either a lighter or a heavier type of oil such as 10W30 or 15W50.

Why do pressure washers need oil?

We all know how important pressure washers are when it comes to daily tasks such as cleaning tough and stubborn dirt off of surfaces. But, because pressure washers are making use of gas motors, it is important for us to make sure that we also maintain our pressure washers well enough. Think of it as something similar to taking care of your motorcycle or lawnmower when you are maintaining your pressure washer as those machines also make use of motor engines to work.

So, if you think about how gas motors work, they have plenty of different moving parts that require lubrication so that they work properly. The same thing applies to the motor that runs a pressure washer as you need to make sure that the different moving parts inside of this machine are working as well. That’s why lubrication or oiling a pressure washer is necessary.

However, it is also equally important to make sure that you know the type of oil that you need to use when you are lubricating your pressure washer. But before we get to that, let’s talk more about why you need to care about putting oil in your pressure washer.

Maximize pressure washer life

Lubricating the pressure washer allows the moving parts to reduce the friction between them. When friction is reduced, heat is reduced as well. This allows them to have a longer lifespan as excess heat can easily damage the parts of a pressure washer.


Some pressure washers have warranty requirements where you need to keep maintaining your pressure washer if you don’t want the warranty to get voided. In that regard, oiling your pressure washer is one of the more important ways for you to maintain it properly.

It’s expensive to fix a pressure washer

Above everything else, you should know for a fact that it will be very expensive to fix a pressure washer if it ends up failing as a result of poor maintenance. That said, making sure that you maintain the machine properly can go a long way in saving a lot of money in the future as fixing pressure washers can easily reach somewhere close to $500. In that sense, it would be better off for you to buy a new one instead of having your old one fixed but you could avoid both cases if you just make sure that you maintain your pressure washer really well.

What kind of oil does a pressure washer need?

Now that you know that oiling your pressure washer is important for its maintenance, let’s look at what kind of oil your pressure washer actually needs. Here are a few good examples of the oil that you can use for your pressure washer:

All-purpose engine oils

All-purpose engine oils are great for pressure washers because of how effective they are for different temperate conditions. The ideal type of engine oils that you may want to use for your pressure washer is usually the SAE30 type, which can be used for temperatures that are over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why a 10W40 oil works best for whenever you are using your pressure washer in higher temperatures. Meanwhile, if you are using the pressure washer in temperatures that are under 40 degrees, it might be best to use 10W40.

So, in that sense, when you are taking into consideration the type of all-purpose engine oil that you use, it is essential that you use the right oil type with respect to the temperature. While your pressure washer won’t get damaged if you don’t use the right kind of oil, the problem is that not using the right type of engine oil will increase your oil consumption.

I recommend Mag 1 SAE30 oil which works for all pressure washer brands and is great value. On Amazon here.

Non-detergent pump oils

While not as widely in use as all-purpose engine oils, non-detergent pump oils can also be used for your pressure washer. A good example that we can think of are synthetic oils that may work well with certain pressure washers. 

In that sense, there are some pressure washers that work better with these oils while others might be better off using engine oils. It really depends on your pressure washer.

Meanwhile, one of the things you should keep in mind is that non-detergent pump oils don’t have contaminants that stick to the walls of the pressure washer. This allows your pressure washer to stay clean as dirty oil can end up making it harder for pressure washers to work.

Check out CAT Pumps Non-Detergent Pressure Washer Oil on Amazon here.

Can I use 10W40 for my pressure washer?

So, now that you know the type of oils that you can use for your pressure washer, you might be wondering whether or not you can use 10W40 for your pressure washer. The good news is that, yes, 10W40 oils are great for pressure washers because you have to understand that the motor that pressure washers used are high load. What that means is that they require the type of oils that are also just as heavy-duty.

The fact that pressure washers are high load means that you can even use oils that are 15W50 and not just only 10W40. However, you can also use oils that are lighter such as 10W30 oils, which work well when you are using your pressure washer under colder temperatures.

That said, 10W40 oils are better for those who are using their pressure washers in temperate conditions because of how the 40 rating in 10W40 oils allows the oil to stay thicker during high temperatures. This is why 10W40 oils can be used for a pressure washer if you are using it during the summer. However, if you intend on using your pressure washer during colder seasons such as fall or winter, it might be best to use 10W30 or any other oil that works better in cold temperatures.


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