Pressure washer oils are lubricants used to prevent damaging the pressure washer pumps due to their non-detergent formulas, which differentiate them from standard engine oils. Pressure washer pump oils have anti-rust and anti-aeration properties and are used to avoid the buildup of friction by lubricating the moving parts of the pump. Using pressure washer pump oils is mandatory for both gas and electric pressure washers.
Best pressure washer pump oil brands are Briggs & Stratton, Generac, Simpson, CAT, Mi T M, and General Pump. The advantages and disadvantages of their products are presented in the pressure washer pump oil reviews.
Some factors need to be analyzed before purchasing a pressure washer pump oil such as manufacturer recommendation, oil type, viscosity, and additives. This pressure washer pump oil buying guide discusses them in detail.
The best pressure washer pump oils are listed below:
- Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil for Pressure Washer Pump 15-Ounce
- Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil SAE 30 20-Ounce
- Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil 1 Pint
- CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil, 21 Oz.
- Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil
- General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil Black
- Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil – 1 Quart Pack of 6
Best Pressure Washer Pump Oils Comparison Chart
Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil for Pressure Washer Pump 15-Ounce
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Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil SAE 30 20-Ounce
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Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil 1 Pint
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CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil, 21 Oz.
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Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil
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General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil Black
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Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil – 1 Quart Pack of 6
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Best Pressure Washer Pump Oil Reviews
1. Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil for Pressure Washer Pump 15-Ounce
Briggs & Stratton is a renowned engine and power unit manufacturer that produces some of the most reliable pressure washers in the industry. With a history of 110 years, this brand has perfected pressure washer pump oil formulas in order to prolong the lifespan of its products.
The Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Pump Oil 6033 is a premium-quality lubricant specially designed to extend the lifespan of gas-powered cleaning unit pumps. This oil comes in a 15-ounce bottle, and protects pumps by decreasing oxidation, and lowering friction and wear.
The Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil Pump 6033 costs around $17-$18.
The Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Pump Oil 6033 has a viscosity of 10 during the winter and 40 during the summer. The label of the product specifies SAE75W90, but this is a gear oil SAE system that translates into the viscosity listed above. This lubricant is suited for any type of pressure washer that requires a 10W40 oil viscosity for the pump, not just for Briggs & Stratton units. The user manual of the power washer should always be consulted before use.
The advantages of the Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil for Pressure Washer Pump 6033 are as follows:
- The Briggs & Stratton 6033 Pump Oil comes in a resealable bottle, which means that the product can be used after a prolonged period without deterioration.
- The Briggs & Stratton 6033 Pump Oil has a see-through section that allows the user to check how much oil has been used and how much is still left in the bottle, offering the possibility of a precise dosage.
- The Briggs & Stratton 6033 Pump Oil comes with an easy-fill neck that ensures neat maintenance.
- The Briggs & Stratton 6033 Pump Oil has an affordable price considering its high quality.
The disadvantages of the Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil for Pressure Washer Pump 6033 are as follows:
- The Briggs & Stratton 6033 Pump Oil is only recommended for gas pressure washers.
2. Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil SAE 30 20-Ounce
Generac is a brand founded in 1959 that has specialized in the production of gas pressure washers. This brand has developed special oil formulas to suit different types of components, such as engines and pumps, in order to expand the lifespan of its products.
The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil is a universal lubricant that protects the pump even under the most extreme conditions. This oil has a formula that is improved with additives in order to reduce degradation, diminishing wear, and friction at start-up.
The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil costs around $12.
The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil comes in a black 20-ounce plastic bottle that prevents the degradation of the lubricant. The bottle features a plastic transparent slit that is volume graded in order to ease exact application. The bottle measures 2.33 x 2 x 9 inches and has an ergonomic design.
The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil has an SAE of 30, which means that it performs well in all seasons. This lubricant is suited for all types of pressure washer pumps and is a must for Generac units, as it is designed according to their needs.
The advantages of the Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil comes at a really affordable price.
- The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil’s efficacy and stability are maintained throughout use as it prevents thermal breakdown.
- The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil reduces friction better than similar products when used on Generac pressure washers.
The disadvantages of the Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil had some complaints about the quality of the oil, but there is no information about the compatibility of the pumps that it was used on.
3. Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil 1 Pint
Simpson is a brand that specializes in the production of pressure washers that have an industrial design. This brand is renowned all over the world for its high-quality and reliable products, and its pump oils make no exception.
The Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil is an industrial lubricant specially formulated for Simpson power washer pumps that can easily be used for other cleaning units that require oils with similar specifications.
The Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil costs around $6-$7.
The Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil package has a capacity of 0.16 ounces and comes in a dark bottle made of plastic that prevents UV rays from deteriorating the oil. This pump lubricant has a non-detergent formula with reduced foaming levels that helps to maintain the pump as new.
The SAE of the Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil is 15 during the winter and 40 during the summer. The recommended oil change frequency is every 3 months, after the first 50-hour oil change.
The advantages of the Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil has exactly the same high-quality performance as it is advertised by the manufacturers.
- The Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil has anticorrosive properties for various types of pumps, not just for the ones made by Simpson.
- The Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil is really economical.
The disadvantages of the Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil doesn’t allow the user to see how much oil has been used, reducing precision when it comes to dosing the product.
4. CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil, 21 Oz.
CAT Pumps is one of the world-leading manufacturers of triplex plunger pumps and piston pumps. This brand has been delivering dependable pumps and accessories for over 50 years and is renowned for its high-quality power washer pump oils.
The CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil is a crankcase lubricant specially formulated for power washers equipped with CAT, Comet, General, and AR pumps. This pump oil is not suited for other types of pumps because they usually require SAE 30. This product comes with ISO 68, which is the equivalent of SAE 10W20, or SAE 20. Reading the pressure washer instruction manual to see if the pump is compatible with SAE 20 is recommended before use.
The CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil costs around $20.
The CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil is a hydraulic lubricant that has a petroleum-based formula and is thicker than other similar products. This pump oil comes in a 21-ounce plastic bottle which is dark-colored in order to protect the product from UV rays. The bottle is designed with a transparent graded side that allows the user to see how much oil has been used.
The advantages of the CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil formula includes rust inhibitors that enhance the protection of the pump.
- The CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil facilitates running temperature reduction.
- The CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil will not deteriorate the pump as the product does not contain detergents.
The disadvantages of the CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil is not universal and can be used only for a range of specific pressure washer pumps.
5. Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil
Mi T M is a company with a history of more than 50 years in the pressure washer industry. This brand is specialized in the manufacturing of hot and cold water pressure washers and it also produces high-quality accessories and lubricants.
The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil is a natural lubricant that helps pumps work smoothly for an extended period. This pump oil is suited for most Mi-T-M pressure washers but it is compatible with cleaning units from other brands, also.
The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil costs around $9.
The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil has a petroleum-based formula that is listed to have a viscosity of cSt 9.2 at 100 degrees Celsius. This viscosity level corresponds to SAE 15W20. This thick consistency is not suited for all types of pressure washer pumps, therefore checking the user manual of the cleaning unit before usage is recommended.
The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil comes in a hard plastic container that measures 3.5 x 2 x 7 inches and weighs 14.4 ounces.
The advantages of the Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil comes with EP protection.
- The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil has a formula that favors moisture dispersion.
- The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil is formulated to prevent oxidation and corrosion.
The disadvantages of the Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil is not suitable for all types of pressure washer pumps.
6. General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil Black
General Pump is a brand that specializes in the production of plunger pumps and accessories. This company was founded in 1982 and produces high-quality industrial pump oils that match its pumps.
The General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil is a lubricant recommended for pumps that need less than 25 BHP to work properly. This pump oil has high oxidation resistance, eliminates sludge formation, and provides uniform protection even when the temperatures are high.
The General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil costs around $50.
The General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil comes with SAE 30 which is the equivalent of 100 cSt at 40 degrees Celsius listed in the product sheet. Packed in a black graded container, this lubricant weighs 16 fl. Oz. This oil was created for pressure washers manufactured by General Pump. It is recommended that the brand’s website is consulted to see if the oil is suited for a specific model.
The advantages of the General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The General Pump 758-115 Pump Oil can be easily dosed due to the transparent strip present on the side of the container.
- The General Pump 758-115 Pump Oil prevents aeration and foaming.
- The General Pump 758-115 Pump Oil comes with good thermal stability, which prolongs the lifespan of the oil, keeping the pump in proper working parameters.
The disadvantages of the General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil Black are as follows:
- The General Pump 758-115 Pump Oil is a bit expensive compared to similar products.
7. Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil – 1 Quart Pack of 6
Mag 1 is a brand specialized in the production of motor oils that use the FMX® Technology System, which increases durability and performance. This brand is renowned in the US for producing high-quality lubricant formulas.
The Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil is a lubricant made of petroleum stock that is designed to keep pumps working effortlessly by preventing oxidation. This pump oil comes in a pack of 6 and is very affordable considering that the whole box costs approximately $21.
The Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil has a black container that prevents UV deterioration. This oil has a viscosity level that measures SAE 30, which makes it compatible with most pressure washer pumps, although reviewing the power washer manual is always recommended before using any type of oil.
One bottle of Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil holds 32 fl. Oz, meaning that the 6 bottles sum up 196 fl. Oz.
The advantages of the Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Mag 1 60694-6PK Pump Oil prevents aeration and foaming.
- The Mag 1 60694-6PK Pump Oil is one of the most affordable pump oils on the market.
- The Mag 1 60694-6PK Pump Oil has an ergonomic container that makes its use really easy.
The disadvantages of the Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil are as follows:
- The Mag 1 60694-6PK Pump Oil doesn’t have a see-through part on the bottle that helps exact dosing.
Why Does a Pressure Washer Pump Need Oil?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional who washes cars, machinery, or buildings on a daily basis, or you’re a homeowner who mostly uses a pressure washer to clean your home vinyl siding once a year – if you at some point invested in a pressure washer, you want it to last a long time. Just like with any type of machinery, your pressure washer requires regular maintenance to work well. An important part of maintenance is oiling your pump.
It’s quite simple: to work, the inner parts of a pressure washer pump need to move at great speeds. When parts that touch one another move, the movement creates friction between them. Friction creates heat, and the longer or the faster the parts move, the bigger the chances of overheating become. Excess heat can easily cause damage to parts of the pump, some due to the material not being able to withstand the heat (for example rubber that melts), and others due to the expansion of materials or water that happens at high temperatures. It’s easy to see how easily this simple issue can result in a disaster.
To prevent the buildup of friction, there has to be lubrication between the moving parts. Lubrication makes sliding next to one another easier for the parts and heavily reduces, nearly nullifying friction. This prevents overheating and helps your pressure washer pump live a long, happy life.
1. Which Type of Pressure Washer Pumps Needs Oil Changes?
Whether or not you should change the oil in your pressure washer pump depends on the type of pump your washer utilizes. There are three types of pressure washer pumps that are commonly used in commercially available models, and only one of these types actually requires pressure washer oil changes.
1.1. Axial Cam and Wobble Plate Pumps
If your pressure washer puts out pressure lower than 2500 PSI or uses a water flow weaker than 2 GPM, chances are that it uses a wobble plate or an axial cam pump. These two types of lower-rated pressure washer pumps are factory sealed, and that means that they don’t need oil changes. It’s simple – these are very cheap to make and replace, so when it stops working, it’s cheap enough to replace them.
However, you should note that the PSI and GPM rating alone is not a foolproof way of determining your washer’s pump type. If you have a gas pressure washer with exposed components, you can determine the type of pump just by looking at it. If you own a model that is covered in a plastic casing, check your washer’s specifications in the user manual or on the manufacturer’s website to find out which type of pump it uses.
1.2. Triplex Pumps
It doesn’t matter if you own a gas or an electric-powered pressure washer: triplex pumps are common in every type of washer for their supreme power and durability. This type of pump utilizes three pistons to pump out water at consistently high pressure, and because of this unique construction, they’re very easy to recognize.
Replacing a triplex power washer pump is expensive, as they have an intricate design. On the other hand, they have a virtually unlimited lifespan, but of course, they can break due to overheating. Because of that, regular maintenance and oil changes make all the difference in the longevity of your pressure washer.
Pressure Washer Pump Oil Buying Guide
Getting the right pressure washer pump oil is not too difficult. However, if you pick the wrong one, you can cause irreparable damage to the pump of your pressure washer. The likely result of using the wrong type of oil is a necessary pressure washer pump replacement. Because of that, you should find out what the best type of oil for your pressure washer is, and get that specific type of oil. Here are some important tidbits you should know before you go oil shopping.
1. Manufacturer Recommendation
The first thing you should check is whether the manufacturer of your pressure washer has a pump oil recommendation. The first step in an oil change should be checking the user manual or the manufacturer’s website for the proper type of oil.
Some manufacturers even make and sell their own oils that are developed to completely match the design of the pumps they use in their pressure washers. Others simply recommend the type of oil that suits the pump well.
Don’t skip this step. There are many kinds of oil out there and the wrong type can cause damage to your pressure washer pump, making costly replacements necessary. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Non-Detergent Oil
The single most important distinction between regular motor oil and oil designed for pressure washer pumps is that regular oil often contains detergents. The role of detergents is to pick up contaminants as it flows through the engine and bring them to the oil filter, keeping the engine clean. However, water pumps don’t have an oil filter, making this procedure downright dangerous. You simply don’t want these contaminants flowing through your pump over and over again – it can quickly wear the pump off.
In fact, you should always look for the designation ND – which stands for Non-Detergent when getting pump oil. These usually also contain anti-foaming and anti-aerating additives, which prevents the formation of bubbles inside the pump. Foam bubbles can cause serious damage in the form of cavitation, which can damage the pump. As you can imagine, oils with detergents tend to foam up a lot, which doesn’t harm a regular car engine but can be deadly for your pressure washer pump.
When looking for a power washer pump oil you’ll notice that there is a specific system of codes that label these oils. So, you might see something like SAE 10W-30. To understand what this means, we need to discuss viscosity.
The simplest (though informal and incomplete) way to describe viscosity is as “thickness” of a liquid. You already know that peanut butter is thicker than syrup, and syrup is thicker than water. However, the thickness of peanut butter changes depending on the temperature, and it flows much better (gets “thinner”) when it’s hot, and seems icy-still when right out of the refrigerator.
In essence, the SAE designation tells you how viscose the oil is, or how easily it will flow through the pump. If there are two numbers separated with the letter W, you get the viscosity in both cold and hot environments. So, in SAE 10W-30, in winter (W) the viscosity is 10, and it rises up to 30 in warm temperatures. The higher the number, the “thinner” the oil is.
When it comes to hydraulic oil, these will be graded on the ISO scale, but they tell you the same thing. ISO 32 translates to SAE 10W, ISO 46 and 68 are approximately the same as SAE 20, and ISO 100 is equivalent to SAE 30. When it comes to gear oil, things can get confusing: SAE 75W-90 gear oil is about the same viscosity as SAE 10W-40 engine oil, so the distinction between oil types is important.
Most pressure washer pumps use SAE 10W-30 or SAE 10W-40 oil. However, you should always check the manufacturer’s recommendation for pump oil, and avoid using your pressure washer on freezing-cold winter days and the hottest days of the year.
Most pump oils come enriched with specific additives that make them even more helpful for keeping your pressure washer pump in its top condition. The most common additives in pressure washer oils are anti-rust additives that prevent corrosion, and anti-foaming and anti-aeration additives that control the amount of air in the pump. As we mentioned before, pump oil must not contain detergents that are present in regular car engine oil because pumps don’t come with a filter.
How to Change Pressure Washer Pump Oil?
Changing your pressure washer pump oil will ensure it lasts a long time and works with no issues. It’s a rather simple task, and it should take you about an hour to do it together with unmounting and mounting the pump back on the frame.
1. When to Change Pump Oil
The first time you change the oil in your new pressure washer is after the first 50 hours of use. After that, you should change the oil every 100 hours of work, or every 3 months – depending on what comes sooner.
Most triplex pumps come with a sight glass – generally a circle with a dot which shows how much oil should be there. If you notice that the oil level is under the dot, your pump needs more oil – but it’s much safer to drain and pour new oil than to merely add a bit. If your pressure pump doesn’t have a sight glass, check if it has a dipstick, or if the user manual recommends a particular amount of oil you should pour into your pump.
You should also change the oil if it’s leaking (of course, after detecting and repairing the problem), or if it’s a milky color.
2. What You Need to Change Pump Oil
- Oil catch – a tray or bowl to drain the oil in
- Wrench – to loosen up the bolt access. Not necessary if your pump has a plastic access knob
- Funnel – to avoid spilling when pouring oil
- Appropriate pressure washer pump oil
3. Steps to Changing Pump Oil
- Remove the pump assembly (usually together with the motor) and set it up on your workstation.
- Detect all bolts that you’ll need to use. You should have a drain bolt and a top access bolt. However, some pumps only have one.
- Remove the top access bolt so that the air pressure inside is relieved.
- Set up your oil catch under the pump’s drain access, and open it. Let all the oil flow out, and shift the position of the pump to make sure everything comes out.
- Put the drain bolt back and tighten it.
- Get your funnel and pour the pump oil through the top access. The reservoir shouldn’t be completely full. If your pump has a sight glass, make sure the level matches the dot. If not, check your user manual to find the specific amount it needs. Most pumps need approximately 12 fluid ounces of oil to work properly. Make sure you don’t overfill the reservoir, but also that you pour enough oil.
- Place the top access bolt back and tighten it.
- Mount the assembly back on your pressure washer after cleaning up any spillage.
FAQ About Pressure Washer Oils
1. How should I dispose of used pump oil?
Recycling used oil is the most productive way to get rid of it, as it saves this valuable resource. Oil doesn’t really wear out, and it only needs to be cleaned with professional tools to be ready to use again. In fact, according to the EPA, to produce 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil you need either one gallon of used oil or as much as 42 gallons of crude oil.
After you catch all the drained oil on your oil catch, pour it into an empty bottle, and bring it to a recycler. Most local car mechanic shops and recycling centers will accept it. If you don’t have any nearby, try Jiffy Lube or similar. If there aren’t any near your place, you can even check if your local big supermarket accepts used oil.
If you can’t find any of those, you should call your local dump to check if they accept used oil, since many do. However, this is the least eco-friendly option, as oil that ends up in the soil and local bodies of water can seriously harm wildlife in your area.
2. What is the difference between synthetic and natural oil?
In your search for power washer oil, you might have to pick between conventional natural oil and synthetic oil. Let us tell you right away that you can use either of these and your pump will do just fine – but there are still some differences between them.
Synthetic oil is much harder to make, but its quality and purity are overall much higher. That’s because the manufacturer has total control over every aspect of the product down to the molecular level. In general, synthetic oils have somewhat better performance and longer durability as it doesn’t get dirty as fast. However, that also means that synthetic oil is much more expensive. The choice between the two is entirely up to you – with a regular oil change schedule, conventional oil will do just as well as synthetic.
There you have it, that’s all the most important information you need about choosing the best pressure washer pump oil for your machine. You use your pressure washer to maintain your garage, yard, house, and work tools in their best shape, but doing regular maintenance is imperative for helping the machine keep its peak performance. Changing your pressure washer oil is only one of the important tasks you should do, but it’s easy and simple enough: You just need a bottle of well-fitting oil and a bit of time every 3 months to do it right.
We hope we answered all of the questions you had in our guide, and that you found a great oil for your pressure washer among our reviews. However, if you have any questions left, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!