engine oil

Written by 6:25 pm Pressure Washers, Product Guides

Which Honda Pressure Washer Pump Oil is Best for You? Read Expert Opinion

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Honda pressure washers are renowned for their durability and consistent performance. Known for delivering strong cleaning power, these machines can help you get rid of dirt and grime effortlessly in no time. Just like any other piece of machinery, they require regular and proper maintenance to maintain their reliable performance. A crucial part of this maintenance involves using the correct oil type.

It is recommended to use either 10W-30 or SAE-30 oils for Honda pressure washer pumps.

This guide explains which Honda pressure washer oil is best and necessary for smooth operation and which oils to avoid.

Why the Oil Type Matters

Protection & Reliability

You see when your Honda pressure washer engine is purring away like a happy kitten, it’s all because every internal part is in perfect harmony, moving smoothly in a synchronized rhythm. And the invisible conductor of this beautiful mechanical orchestra is the oil.

It lubricates, cools, and protects the moving parts so that your trusty pressure washer keeps the groove going.

Doing the Dirty Work

But not all oils are created equal. Some oils are like the Superman of the cleaning world, defending your washer against dirt and extending its life. Other oils, well, they just don’t quite make the mark.

That’s why choosing the right oil type for your Honda pressure washer can help you avoid any unexpected hiccups.

Keep Your Engine’s Heartbeat Steady

Why the Oil Type Matters
The engine is like a heart for your pressure washer and oil is its blood

The oil ensures that all moving parts in the engine keep their cool, literally! It cools the internal rotating parts, prevents excessive friction, and acts as a cleanser to wash away any tiny debris.

Choosing the right oil for your pressure washer engine is important. It helps the engine run smoothly and prevents it from getting too hot. Additionally, it ensures that your pressure washer continues to provide satisfying cleaning results.

Recommended Honda Pressure Washer Oil Type

Pouring the right oil into your pressure washer is like giving it a superb energy drink, and these two superstars are the MVPs when it comes to Honda pressure washers:


This versatile oil is a popular choice among Honda pressure washer users. It offers excellent lubrication, keeps the engine clean, and provides protection against wear and tear. Plus, it’s a fantastic all-season contender, which you can use under different temperature conditions.

SAE 30:

SAE 30 is another favorite pick for Honda pressure washers. Regarding summer or warmer climates, SAE 30 steps up as the ideal oil. It provides top-notch protection and lubrication to ensure your washer stays fabulous even in the heat of the moment.

Always Double-Check

Honda pressure washers typically use these two types of oil. However, it is recommended to please consult your user’s manual to confirm. You never know, it might have some special requirements or recommendations that could make all the difference.

Don’t Forget About Temperature

Always be mindful of the temperature range in your area when choosing oil. Since every oil type has an optimal temperature range for the best performance, being in tune with the conditions in your region will help ensure you select the ideal type for your machine.

Read this guide to check the type of oil best suited for your area. The guide is based on the selection of engine oils for cars however you can follow it as a general guideline.

functions of engine oil in pressure washer infographic

Best Oils for Honda Pressure Washer Engine

Honda also makes their own 10W-30 and SAE30 oils which they recommend for their engines. However, you can use oil from any renowned brand like Castrol, Valvoline, Kohler, etc.

We have compiled a list of the best pressure washer oils from renowned brands that are recommended for Honda washer engines.

Honda SAE 10W-30

Honda SAE 10W-30

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Honda SAE 30 (Pack of 2)

Honda SAE 30 (Pack of 2)

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Mobil 1 10W-30 Synthetic Oil<br>(Best Seller)

Mobil 1 10W-30 Synthetic Oil
(Best Seller)

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Valvoline 10W-30

Valvoline 10W-30

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Briggs & Stratton SAE 30

Briggs & Stratton SAE 30

Buy Now
Kohler SAE 30

Kohler SAE 30

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Oils to Side-Step for Your Honda Pressure Washer

While we’ve focused on oils that make your washing sessions a breeze, it’s equally important to know which oils to avoid. 

Detergent Oils

Engines are like the heart of your Honda pressure washer and they prefer only certain types of oil. Those that don’t quite hit the beat include detergent oils. You see, detergent oils can cause havoc with your machine by creating a buildup that harms its functionality.

Your pressure washer likes to keep things clean, including its insides, so it’s best to stay away from detergent oils.

Heavy Oils

Another area of caution is using oils that are too heavy for your pressure washer. For instance, SAE 80W or SAE 90W might seem like a good choice due to their sturdiness. However, these oils’ viscosity might be too high to keep your Honda pressure washer gliding smoothly.

It’s also worth noting that while we mentioned the benefits of synthetic oils previously, not every synthetic oil performs the same way with every machine. Therefore, ensure that the synthetic oil you choose – whether it’s SAE 10W-40, SAE 10W-30, or another – is recommended for your specific Honda pressure washer model.

Compressor Oils

Compressor oils, as the name suggests, are specifically designed to lubricate and cool air compressors. While they might do a fantastic job keeping your air compressor humming along, they’re not the best pair for your pressure washer.

Compressor oils have a different set of properties to deal with the unique challenges posed by air compressors. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that the needs of a pressure washer engine are quite different.

For instance, pressure washers typically function at lower temperatures compared to air compressors and thus require oil with different heat tolerance characteristics.

Moreover, compressor oils may not provide the level of protection that your Honda pressure washer’s moving parts need. They may also lack the right additives that pressure washer engine oils contain to prevent corrosion and engine wear.

Mixed Oils

Lastly, you might want to avoid old, unused oil or mixing different types of oils. Although it seems like a good way to save money or oil, it can eventually harm your machine’s performance.

Difference Between SAE-30 & 10W-30 Oils

SAE 30 oil is a single-grade, thicker oil ideal for warmer climates, providing stable viscosity at high temperatures. On the other hand, 10W-30 oil is a multi-grade option with a thinner consistency, suitable for various temperatures.

Understanding Oil Specifications

We’ve discussed both 10W-30 and SAE 30 as recommended oils for Honda pressure washers. But what do these strange numbers mean? And what’s this other term – “API SJ or later” – about? 

Decoding the Cryptic Oil Numbers

  • 10W-30: The ’10W’ in this oil type refers to its viscosity (fancy word for ‘flow rate’) at cold temperatures. The ‘W’ stands for ‘Winter’! The lower this number, the less it thickens in the cold. The ’30’, on the other hand, refers to the viscosity at high temperatures. Hence, 10W-30 is a multi-viscosity oil, being thinner in winter and thicker in the summer.
  • SAE 30: No ‘W’ here means it’s a single viscosity oil. This oil maintains its consistency fairly well across a range of temperatures. It’s a sturdy partner during hot summers, helping your pressure washer to keep cool under intense heat.

What Does it Mean by ‘API SJ or Later’?

‘API SJ or later’ is another crucial bit of information to keep an eye open for. The API (American Petroleum Institute) classification tells us about the oil’s quality and which engines it’s designed for.

‘SJ’ signifies that the oil is intended for use in 2001 and older engines. “Or later” simply means any oil API classification beyond SJ, like SL, SM, SN, etc., is cool to use.

Understanding these oil specifications will help you better harmonize with your Honda pressure washer and keep it grooving for years to come.

Honda Pressure Washer Leaking Oil From Bottom?

There are a few common reasons for this issue, so let’s explore them and find a solution.

First, give your pressure washer a thorough inspection and check if any of the following components could be responsible for the leak:

  1. Oil seals: One possibility is that the oil seals in the engine or pump have worn out or been damaged. Over time, these seals can degrade and lose their ability to keep oil contained. To fix this, you’ll need to replace the damaged seals.
  2. Oil drain plug: Another common culprit is a loose or cracked oil drain plug. Make sure that the plug is tightened properly and check for any visible damage. If it is cracked or damaged, you’ll need to replace it.
  3. Cracked engine or pump: In some rare cases, a cracked engine or pump block can cause oil to leak. This issue requires professional help, so consult your local Honda service center if you suspect any cracks in these components.
  4. Overfilled oil: Sometimes, the issue might arise from overfilling your pressure washer with oil. Double-check your owner’s manual for the correct oil level and make sure you haven’t exceeded it.
  5. Using incorrect oil type: Using the wrong type of oil can cause leaks, as it may not be compatible with your pressure washer’s seals and components. Review the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you’re using the correct oil type.

By addressing the above possibilities, you should be able to pinpoint the cause of the leak and get your Honda pressure washer back in business. If you’re still unsure or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact a Honda service center for expert help.

Read more: Complete Pressure Washer Maintenance Guide.

Final Thoughts

10W-30 and SAE 30 are the most recommended and safe Honda pressure washer oils. Remember that the perfect oil type is essential to keep your washer’s engine in harmony with its moving parts, ensuring a smooth and satisfying cleaning experience every time. 

Additionally, it extends your machine’s lifespan and maintains its optimal performance. Consult your user’s manual, consider local temperature ranges, and choose an oil type that meets or exceeds the API SJ classification.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can I use synthetic oil in my Honda pressure washer?

A: Yes, you can use synthetic oil in your Honda pressure washer as long as it meets the viscosity and API requirements specified in your user’s manual. Synthetic oils, such as synthetic 10W-30, have better resistance to temperature changes and provide more consistent lubrication, making them a good choice for your machine.

Q2. How often should I change the oil in my Honda pressure washer?

A: As a general guideline, you should change the oil in your Honda pressure washer after the first 20 hours of use. After that, change the oil every 100 hours of use or at least once per season, depending on how frequently you use the pressure washer. However, always refer to your user’s manual for specific oil change intervals and recommendations.

Q3. Can I use automotive oils in my Honda pressure washer?

A: While some automotive oils may seem to be a suitable fit for your Honda pressure washer, it’s best to stick with oils specifically designed for small engines. The oil type and API classifications recommended in your user manual ensure optimal performance and longevity for your pressure washer’s engine.

Q4. Can I mix different oil types in my Honda pressure washer?

A: Mixing different types of oil is generally not recommended, as it can cause compatibility issues and reduce the oil’s effectiveness in lubricating and protecting your pressure washer’s engine. When changing the oil, drain the old oil completely and refill it with the appropriate oil type mentioned in your user’s manual.

Q5. My pressure washer has been sitting unused for a while. Should I change the oil before using it again?

A: If your Honda pressure washer has been sitting unused for an extended period, it’s a good idea to drain the old oil and replace it with fresh oil before starting it up again. This helps ensure optimal lubrication and engine performance for your cleaning ventures.

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