Gas-powered pressure washers deliver about double the cleaning power of electric models. So if you grapple with a to-do list of patio mildew, peeling siding and other medium-duty cleaning tasks, a gas-powered washer could be worth your investment. Compared to their electric cousins, gas-driven washers do require that you educate yourself about the two types of oil required to keep everything running smoothly.
All-Purpose Engine Oils
In operating conditions of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and higher, all-purpose SAE30 motor oil should work for your engine. This can be your go-to oil in temperate areas. On days when you're working in zero to 40 degrees, switch to 10W-30 oil for better starting. The 10W-30 oil may increase your oil consumption at 80 degrees and higher, though, notes Briggs & Stratton.
For Best Results
If you want the best protection in all temperatures, as well as improved starting and lower oil consumption, Briggs & Stratton recommends springing for synthetic 5W-30 oil, rated for minus 20 degrees to 120 degrees. For best results in steady winter use, go for 5W-30. Regardless of viscosity, pick a detergent oil rated for service SF, SG, SH or SJ or higher, and avoid additives.
Recommended Pump Oil
The washer's water pump works best with DP70 pump oil. If that's not available, in a pinch, you can substitute 30W nondetergent oil.
An award-winning writer and editor, Rogue Parrish has worked at the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and at newspapers from England to Alaska. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness. She's also a property manager and writes on DIY projects.