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Thread: Pressure washer too strong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    SF Peninsula, CA
    My Cars
    '03 330i6

    Pressure washer too strong?

    I picked up an electric 2300 PSI pressure washer for the front walkway and back patio. Does the pressure washer have any car wash applications, or is it not worth the risk of damaging paint/forcing water where it shouldn't be?

    I was thinking I could use it on the wheels when I finally get my winter wheels off. Is that worth the trouble or does a garden hose get similar results?

    I've always used the two-bucket method with a no-rinse soap to wash the car. That was largely out of necessity, living in CA. I have more options now. Does a foam cannon save any time? Get better results? Just more fun?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Sidney, B.C.
    My Cars
    99 M Coupe
    It'll be useful with the car too. If you choose a wider range nozzle, the pressure will be less. The pressure will also lessen if you move the head further away from the car so you have two ways to use your PW with your car.
    Closer for wheels and tires and wheel wells, further away for painted surfaces.
    And with a good foam cannon, you can foam the car and loosen a lot of caked on crud, making your task easier and more swirl free.
    Here's the biggest tip in the world: When you change tips, point the spray head away from the car when you first power the spray unit up. If that tip isn't locked in properly, that tip will launch out of the end at about a million miles an hour, causing either a dent in the body or a broken window somewhere. Launching that errant tip two yards away is way easier to deal with in the long term so point that tip in a safe direction when you first power it up after a tip change.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    My Cars
    It is generally safe. Just don't point it too close to your car.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    My Cars
    08 BMW 750i
    With a washer with that high of a pressure, use a "fan" setting for the stream. If you dial it down to a more concentrated stream you have the possibility of catching a stone chip or other imperfection and blasting an even bigger hunk of paint off. It is also possible to blow the paint off of plastic parts as well.


    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire/Black)-201K kms to-date
    '05 Volvo V70R (Magic Blue)-119K mi to-date
    And various other Euro stuff over the years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Jersey City, NJ
    My Cars
    2013 X5 35i M-Sport
    As John said, use the right nozzle and you will be fine.

    I picked up a foam cannon and smaller orfice tip on amazon and the foam cannon works great on my pressure washer.

    VRSF Charge Pipe | BMS Intake | MHD 1+ Tune | BavSound Stage 1 | 20% Tint

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