Pressure washers have been my preferred car cleaning method since I first laid eyes on one. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but I clearly remember the dirt just being blasted away and a cleaning job that used to take me hours became the work of mere minutes! It was heaven.
Which is why I don’t understand that there are people still out there asking the question: are pressure washers safe for cars?
Are Pressure Washers Safe for Cars?
Pressure washers are not without downsides and thus precautions must be taken when using them to clean cars so as to avoid damaging various car parts. Most models, like the Karcher K4, come with a rotating nozzle which is used for a very high pressure wash. We recommend you don’t use this attachment, as the pressure produced by the nozzle has the potential to damage the car paint. Start by using the normal lance. Use the foam nozzle to spray shampoo over the car. Whichever mode you use, the initial burst shouldn’t be directed towards the car as it can be very strong for the paintwork. Its recommended to point the nozzle to the ground first.
NEVER USE BRUSHES ON YOUR PAINTWORK!
Strong pressure should also not be directed toward areas with chipped paint as that can lead to more chipping more paint from the car. Precautions should be taken when cleaning the tires – more so if they are worn out. Cases of tire busts have been reported when pressure washing worn out tires and thus it’s better not to use pressure washer on tires if they aren’t in good condition.
It’s recommended to clean on a concrete surface rather than a loose gravel surface. Pressure from the machine can cause the gravel to fly and hit the car causing damage, dents, and dings. Such gravel can even strip off the paint, cracking of the windscreen and lights. In addition, the engine bay shouldn’t be sprayed as it can cause water to leak into some parts of the engine causing damage.
That said, when all the instructions about their use and precautions are taken, pressure washers are definitely safe for cars.