Best Pressure Washer for Cars 2018: TOP 6 and Ultimate Buying Guide Ever

Recently I was in a dilemma. A dilemma of selecting the best pressure washer for cars. Why? My car was totally covered with mud!! Hell!! A terrible view that was.

I was totally confused, which car pressure washer to use. Thankfully, I had one in my garage. But what I did, later on, was a mammoth research on pressure washer for car washing.

If you have a dirty car or want some great pressure washer purchase then jump into this!

best pressure washer for your car

THE FACT

Time for some blah blah blah! Ever wonder what size or shape a pressure washer should be, especially for car pressure washer? In my opinion, it must be lightweight and convenient. A long hose is mandatory! Moving to the power, it is not that important. Yeah, really. I mean how tough it would be to remove just some mud and dirt!

It does not take much pressure to remove those mud and dust. That’s why you do not need that much powerful pressure washer. A 2000 PSI pressure washer is going to be more than enough to satisfy you.

One more important point to carry in mind is the foam washer. I know you would love to wash your car covering in white foam, just like shaving cream! Pressure washer nozzle tips are important for this. I will discuss it later.

Here I am going to discuss the electric pressure washers for car. They are unbelievably lightweight and compact. They are also the best electric pressure washers on the market. If you are looking for something for the money, I have options below too.

I am not saying gas pressure washers are not good. They are very powerful but heavy. Have a look at the comparison if you are still confused. If you do not have a power source where you want to use the pressure washer, you can opt for a gas pressure washer.

IS PRESSURE WASHING SAFE FOR CARS?

There are many people who fear that pressure washing car is not safe. This is true indeed. If you are not careful about the use of pressure, you may damage the paint job.

To avoid this, you need to find out the perfect pressure washer and pressure.

According to the users, the safe psi for a car wash is around 2000psi. This is perfect for removing tough dirt stains from your car’s surface.

Most damages are caused when the pressure is around 2500psi. However, for the damage to happen you need to apply the pressure directly and from a close range to the car’s surface. Regardless of the PSI you should always start with a distance from the target, which is about 24 inches and move in closer to it.

TOP BEST PRESSURE WASHER FOR CARS

Here goes the list of best power washers for cars. Choose the best one for you.

1. Sun Joe SPX3000: Most Popular Pressure Washer on the Market


I have found Sun Joe SPX3000 as the most popular car pressure washer for the US market. This huge popularity is because of the huge specifications/features it provides at a very affordable price. This pressure washer surpassed all my expectations and the cleaning task I had subjected to it.

The company has a tagline for this as the Ultimate Dirt Fighter. Do I have to say more? Well, let’s check out the key specifications it got under the hood.

  • 2030 PSI
  • 31 LBS in weight
  • 5 Amp/1800-Watt motor
  • 76 GPM
  • 35 feet power cord

One of the great features I want to discuss is the dual detergent tanks, mounted on top.  This is extremely good as one might need to use two detergents, one for cleaning and other for shining. That’s how you can conveniently switch between detergents for different types of grimes.

To increase the pump life and save energy sun joe came up with an idea called Total Stop System(TSS). When the trigger on the gun is not engaged it automatically shuts off the pump.

The accessories it offers are great. Like the 34-inch extension spray wand to reach some hard-to-access areas. Two rear wheels provide great portability around your garage or yard. It comes with a huge 35-foot power cord and 20 feet high-pressure hose so you don’t have to worry about reaching any area.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Portability with two rear wheels
  • Long spray wand
  • Dual detergent tank
  • Total stop system for safety
  • 5 different types of connecting spray tips

Cons:

  • Hose adapter needs to be replaced with a brass made quick connect fitting
  • Could have given a long pressure hose

However, it offers both high pressure and low-pressure spray. You need to use the low pressure for your cars.

2. Karcher K5 Premium: Built to Last

If you think of pressure washer the Karcher brand would come to your mind on the first go. Karcher pressure washer was expensive before they reduced the price. Meanwhile, the Sun Joe became very popular on the US market.

Now, this Karcher K5 premium is the best car pressure washer from this company. This company has marketed their product to be the best value for money.

This pressure washer is engineered to withstand the rigorous tasks of frequent residential use (definitely your car also). The main feature it stands apart from the rest is the water-cooled induction pump system. This water cooling system will extend the life of the motor up to 5 times.

Let’s check what specifications it offers:

  • 2000 PSI of pressure 1.4 GPM
  • 32 Pounds of weight
  • Water-cooled induction motor
  • 5 Amp/1800-Watt motor

Karcher has provided an N-Cor pump which is durable and literally maintenance free. This pump is non-corrosive as claimed by the manufacturer. To support the pump, they have a brilliant water-cooled induction motor system.

It comes with an onboard detergent tank, so you can leave the tension of using detergent. You can control the flow rate of detergent with the flow control dial on the tank, preventing waste of detergent.

Another two main features are Vario power spray wand and dirtblaster spray wand. What the vario-wand helps to do, is giving you the luxury of controlling low to high pressure easily from the wand. This pressure controlling is very important for car washing.

And the dirtblaster pressure wand is for removing very stubborn stains. Never think of using this for washing car. This wand is for concrete, bricks, stone and other hard surfaces.

Pros:

  • Lightweight regarding the size
  • Durable handle
  • Larger wheel for great portability
  • Onboard detergent tank
  • Water Cooled induction motor
  • Hose Reel

Cons:

  • The hose is a bit short

I would recommend using Karcher foam cannon soap dispenser nozzle with your pressure washer if you want a shaving cream-like foam on your car.

3. AR Blue Clean AR383: Best Affordable pressure washer

You might not be familiar with this brand. Annovi Reverberi, the manufacturer of this pressure washer is an Italian pump manufacturer company. Although they are not famous, they are still making some affordable car pressure washer with great features.

So, what are the features? Let’s check out:

  • 1900 PSI pressure
  • 27 pounds of weight
  • 30 feet power cord
  • 5 AMP/1800-Watt Motor

If you are looking for a best value pressure washer with a low budget then you can select this one without any dilemma. I was amazed the features it’s giving at this cheap price!

With 1.5 HP motor, it can deliver up to 1900 psi of pressure, which is the safe psi for car wash. Still, you can use this for any kind of cleaning around your yard with the adjustable spray wand and turbo nozzle.

You will get a hose reel for storing the 20 feet of pressure hose. And most amazingly you can store the accessories in the built-in storage space! They could have given a longer hose but still, it does the job. The 14-ounce detergent storage gives you a flexibility of storing detergent for convenient cleaning.

A cheap replacement for Karcher, this pressure washer also includes the safety feature. TSS (Total Stop System), a system that will automatically shut-off the pump if the trigger is not engaged. This will save a lot of energy and keep the pump running for a longer span.

Its lightweight design, hose reel, and the wheels make it a versatile and compact pressure washer for carrying around the yard. The manufacturer offers a quick connect to easily attach your garden hose or included spray nozzles.

Pros:

  • Hand crank for hose reel
  • Light-weight
  • Comes with a turbo spray lance
  • Onboard storage of accessories

Cons:

  • Plastic hose adapter needs to be changed with a brass male-to-male connector
  • The reel is a mess

4. Greenworks GPW1501: Extremely compact

Let me be honest with you. This Greenworks GPW1501 is unbelievably compact for a price this cheap! If you are on a tight budget, this is going to be the best car pressure washer under $100. You can say this thing is so compact, I wonder this is made only for car washing.

Don’t go with the size of it. It has a good capacity of cleaning stains and of course, cleaning your car. Perhaps this is one the cheapest pressure washer on the market with some good features. Let’s have a look at it:

  • 1500 PSI/1.1 GPM of pressure
  • 4 lbs in weight
  • 13 Amp universal motor
  • 35 feet of power cord
  • Soap applicator

This pressure washer comes with a 25 and 40 degree quick connect tip for greater stability to switch between your work. This way you would be able complete different cleaning types.

It comes with a detergent bottle, which fits gun’s handle. Simply fit it and apply detergent or cleaning solution at a low pressure and then remove the bottle. Then, start with fixing the wand for pressure washing. This means no onboard detergent tank.

This water-resistant pressure washer is so compact and lightweight that you can move around holding it in your hand. Hand carry frame and plastic body made it this portable. Still, it manages to deliver 1.1 gallons of water per minute.

Plus, you get a soap applicator if you want to thoroughly wash your car and make them shine like a mirror! Definitely, go for this if you want a best cheap car pressure washer.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Feels cheap
  • The connector is relatively poor performer
  • The motor may give a sudden burst of pressure

5. PowRyte Portable 2000 PSI: Great Allrounder

 


I have listed this pressure washer for its excellent customer review. If you want something that can clean not only your car but also serve your medium-duty cleaning jobs then select this. This one is also one of the best washer for car detailing.

With a powerful motor, this PowRyte portable pressure washer generates 2000 PSI pressure. It has some excellent features too. Let’s check them out:

  • 2000 psi, 1.8 GPM pressure
  • Total stop system
  • 86 pounds in weight
  • 13 A, 120 V
  • Quick connector

PowRyte’s native manufacturing system focuses on lowest price quality products, like this one.

This pressure washer comes with three quick connect spray tips for a variety of cleaning tasks. Also, there is a garden hose connector for versatile cleaning.

Its ergonomic design, combining with tall handle makes it great for controlling on the job. Strong wheels will support an easy movement.

Just like the big brands they have also come up with the brilliant total stop system for safety and pump life-enhancing. Once again you do not have to worry about a running pump when the trigger is not in use.

The other features are also likely to be the ones found with the big brands. 35 ft long power cord, 25 ft pressure hose all are just like the big brands. Oh, this has an onboard detergent tank too.

You can simply make life easier with this cheap pressure washer if you are not willing to pay a little extra for Karcher.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent customer support
  • Multiple uses
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Cheap build quality
  • Pressure hose is little short

6. Generac 7019 OneWash: With PowerDial Gun

 


Wondering why I finally included a gas pressure washer? I thought, why don’t I introduce you to an amazing all purpose pressure washer with an amazing feature. The feature is called PowerDial.

This PowerDial is located on top of the trigger of the spray wand. There is specifically an option for car washing. It serves as modes. Car, wood, concrete and soap.

Now according to the book, it has a maximum capacity of 3100 psi with 2.4 GPM (huge power!). The power is harnessed by Generac 196cc OHV engine. All you can do is control the pressure with that PowerDial.

 

An axial cam pump combining with a 196cc generates continuous pressure. With a half-gallon onboard detergent tank, you never have to worry about running without detergent.

Pros:

  • Easy to move with big wheels
  • Onboard detergent tank
  • Easily control pressure from the spray wand
  • Very powerful for any job

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Require more maintenance than an electric washer
  • No psi regulator

Pressure Washer Buying Guide for Cars

Don’t put pressure on your brain. Let them do other things as I am going to guide you exactly what to look for while buying a pressure washer.

This is not going to be as easy as selecting a hosepipe to water your flowers. You are going to need to consider some technical points for this. Let’s begin.

There are categories of pressure washer that serves your purpose in a specific area. These categories can be described in three sections. Whether you are looking for a best electric power washer or a top pressure washer for your car or patio, you can definitely follow this guideline.

Light duty pressure washers

You understand from the category, it is not for daily heavy tasks. These pressure washers are best for people who do not use them on regular basis, or for “homeowners”. This does not mean that these pressure washers are of bad quality.

People who want to clean by themselves, they can choose this type of pressure washer. DO-it-yourself type of thing. This category can perform a lot of household cleaning with ease at a very cheap cost. That’s why this can be a great option for your car cleaning.

These pressure washers are powered by either electric or gas engine. Their motor or overall built quality is not like the leaders. So, they are best for infrequent use.

Light duty pressure washers are best for car cleaning. They can also perform cleaning of sliding, concrete, deck etc.

Medium Duty Pressure Washers

This category is one step up of the light-duty pressure washer. You can also think of it as a bridge between “cheap” and “luxury” pressure washers. These pressure washers are for semi-pros. If you look wisely, you can find some best electric pressure washers for cars in this group.

Definitely, these products are better with built quality than the light duty pressure washers. However, it depends solely on the manufacturers. Some may manufacture a pressure washer with a great pump but with lower grade engine. It is not going to harm the performance in a great deal.

Gas pressure washers are great for this range. Although, electric power washers are also a great deal. Depending on your need (pressure, type of work, the frequency of work), you can select from a wide range of products. Typically, they fall between in the $300 to $400 price range.

Heavy Duty Pressure Washers

These are the best power washers you can get for the money. Professional pressure wash business owners use these sorts of pressure washers. But, still, you can use this too for your car wash.

You can already understand, a heavy-duty pressure washer is made with top-notch components in every aspect, from the pump to nozzle. Due to the great quality of components, they are expected to run for a longer period of time with great consistency.

Most of the heavy-duty pressure washers are the most powerful pressure washers. Enough power for cleaning any kind of stains on any surface. Typically, they range above $500.

Which one to Choose?

Now, as you have learned different categories of pressure washers let’s try to choose one for car washing. The first thing that comes to mind is gas vs electric pressure washer. I would say the first target selecting the pressure of a pressure washer. Yes, they vary in size and power.

Car pressure washers are power by either gas or electricity. But it would be wise to take a decision according to your car, yard or the space you are going to work.

You already know, it does not require huge pressure for washing a car. So, light duty pressure washers are marked as car pressure washer. Due to the pressure, they possess, which is 1000 to 2100 psi they can wash your car with ease. Also, for other tasks like patio, boat, deck these light duty pressure washers can be extremely helpful.

Light duty pressure washers can be in electric or gas powered. Gas powered pressure washers require more maintenance than electric washers. That means a prolonged lifetime of electric pressure washers. Electric pressure washers are quite on the other hand. If you consider portability, electric pressure washers are a winner here. They are extremely lightweight.

You also have to consider the smoke that a gas washer generates. They are also heavy, difficult to move around your yard.

However, a small engine gas pressure washer can generate more power than a large electric power washer. They are great for any kind of surface cleaning. On the other hand, lightweight electric power washers can be great for washing your cars time to time, but not for the daily hard cleaning job.

No matter which pressure washer you select, always remember the pressure. A soft surface like your car can easily be damaged by high pressure.

How to Pressure Wash your Car

All right, now you have selected your pressure washer for car detailing. Make sure you wash your car for at least once in every two weeks, regardless of the weather.  Why? Your car is always exposed to the weather. And due to the moisture and dirt, some particle will stick to your car body ruining the shine.

You might not be aware but your car bottom takes a heavy amount of dirt, oil, and mud. So, try to wash it every two weeks.

The process is simple. Start with connecting the hose with the pressure washer and set up a 25⁰ nozzle. This will make sure a proper safe pressure for your car paint. Or if you are using a powerful pressure washer then keep the pressure within 2000 psi.

Now, wash the car top to bottom with only water spraying with the spray wand. This will remove all the dirt and mud from your car body and wheels. Never forget to wash underneath the car.

After this, you can apply detergent using the on-board detergent tank or you can use a foam cannon for mid blowing shaving effect (cleaning effect)! I will discuss later the foam cannon.

best pressure washer foam cannon

So, wash your car with detergent and let it settle for a while. Rinse off the detergent with only water pressure before it gets dry. You can use a soft brush or clean towel to shine your paint now.

If you want to use a snow foam lance, look for an adjustable one. This would be easy for attaching it to the pressure washer nozzle. First set it with the nozzle and spray it after first washing with water. Leave it for a while and rinse with pressure washer water. This will give the car paint an amazing shining glow!!

Cleaning car body after pressure washing
Wiping the Body with dry towel

Using the Foam Cannon

Using a foam cannon can bring back the shine of your car and make it look like brand new.  Did you ever use it for your car? Let me make it simple for you. Here’s how you should use a foam cannon pressure washer.

Did you notice the foam cannon i mentioned above. You can click it or better if you have one.

Get an adjustable nozzle wand. Hook up the foam cannon with the wand by just tapping the valve in.

Spray on the foam just like you use the pressure washer. Wait for a while and then rinse it off with pressure washer water.

foam cannon pressure washer for car
Foam sprayed on car

Foam cannon uses the detergent more and lesser water. This give the shaving foam effect.

Wipe the surface with dry towel and boom! You have a shiny polished surface back on.

Final Words

From selecting the best pressure washer for cars to how to wash the car you have been dedicated. So, why not dedicate some time to properly maintaining this piece of gem? Always keep your pressure washer clean and keep the pressure hose or power cable untangled.

I want to make you remember one thing again, your car paint job or car body can be rally delicate against a huge pressure. Remember to wash your car with feasible pressure. Make sure you maintain safety for yourself and keep the pressure within 2000 psi to save the paint job of your car.

Well, I have personally checked some of these pressure washers and for rest of the machines I took help from some websites like Generac, Karcher

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