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Pressure Washer Won't Start

The pressure washer small engine often has a separate model number. Use the small engine model number for a complete list of symptoms and parts. Watch our model # lookup video for help finding the model number.

The 6 most common part(s) or condition(s) which contribute to the symptom Pressure washer won't start are listed below. Check or test each item and watch any available videos. If you are still unable to solve the problem you may need to do additional research and troubleshooting. Remember, with our 365 Days. Period.® return policy you can return any part for any reason. So, go ahead and buy it to try it. No other parts retailer offers this unconditional return policy.


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For the symptom you selected, these are the most common parts or causes, ordered by the likelihood of fixing the symptom.

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Spark Plug

If the pressure washer won't start the spark plug might be defective. All small engines have an ignition coil. The coil is the device that provides spark for the spark plug(s). If the coil is bad power won't get to the spark plug(s). The coil is essentially a small, induction generator. It is mounted next to the flywheel. The flywheel has one or more strong, embedded magnets. As the flywheel spins, the magnet(s) zip past the induction coil, this action of a magnet passing past a coil induces a voltage. Depending on the design of the coil and the strength of the magnets, a stronger or weaker spark can be created and delivered to the spark plug(s). Each time the flywheel spins around a spark is generated. The best way to test a spark plug is to use a spark plug tester. The spark plug should have a strong, visible spark between the electrodes when the engine is cranking. If it doesn't, replace it.

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Carburetor

If the pressure washer won't start, the carburetor might be clogged or have bad fuel in the float bowl. If old fuel was left in the pressure washer for a long time some of the volatile ingredients may have evaporated, leaving a thicker, stickier product that is more like varnish or shellac. This sticky fuel can clog up the small jets and ports in the carburetor and it can be difficult to burn making it hard to start the engine. The only solution is to drain the old fuel from the float bowl and thoroughly clean the carburetor with carburetor cleaner. If that isn't effective, replace the entire carburetor.

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Carburetor Assembly

If the pressure washer won't start, the carburetor assembly might be clogged or have bad fuel in the float bowl. If old fuel was left in the pressure washer gas tank for a long time some of the volatile ingredients may have evaporated, leaving a thicker, stickier product that is more like varnish or shellac. This sticky fuel can clog up the small jets and ports in the carburetor assembly and it can be difficult to burn making it hard to start the pressure washer engine. The only solution is to drain the old fuel from the float bowl and thoroughly clean the carburetor with carburetor cleaner. If that isn't effective, replace the entire carburetor.

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Engine Stop Switch

If the small engine won't start the stop switch might be defective. Test the switch for continuity with an Ohm meter. If the switch is difficult to turn or works intermittently, replace it.

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Ignition Coil

If the pressure washer won't start the ignition coil might be defective. All pressure washer engines have an ignition coil. The coil is the device that provides spark for the spark plug(s). If the coil is bad power won't get to the spark plug(s). The coil is essentially a small, induction generator. It is mounted next to the flywheel. The flywheel has one or more strong, embedded magnets. As the flywheel spins, the magnet(s) zip past the induction coil, this action of a magnet passing past a coil induces a voltage. Depending on the design of the coil and the strength of the magnets, a stronger or weaker spark can be created and delivered to the spark plug(s). Each time the flywheel spins around a spark is generated. The best way to test the ignition coil is to use a spark plug tester to see if the spark plug is getting a spark. If it is, the ignition coil is working properly.

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Flywheel Key

If the pressure washer won't start the flywheel key might have sheared in half. The flywheel key is a small metal shim which fits into a slot in the crankshaft and engages with the flywheel. If the engine experiences a sudden stoppage it can cause the flywheel key to shear. The only way to know for sure if this is the problem is to remove the flywheel and inspect the flywheel key.

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