Anyone here use a pressure washer on their Car or Truck?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the pits of hell) I rank washing cars about a 8. Rubbing on a car with a rag just isn’t my thing. I’ve never had my car detailed in my life. Washing it about once every three months is plenty. IMHO Unless I can make the job easier and less of a PITA.

I do get tree sap and mildew on my car and van. I’m thinking about getting a small electric pressure washer. Probably this Sun Joe from Sears.

and this detergent bottle attachment

I can’t justify spending $500 to $800 for a big gas motor washer and I don’t want to damage my paint with too much water pressure.

Anyone wash their cars and trucks with a pressure washer? Does it do a good job? Quick and Easy? Do you still need the bucket and rag to rub areas that didn’t come clean?

Tell me your experiences.

I’ve had a gas power washer for years and find that depending on the type if soil you’ll probably still need to rub some. There are brush attachments for both garden hoses and power washers. I find using the brush attachment on a hose works fine and didn’t make any noise.

I do use the power washer to blast off mud and stuff. I mostly use it to clean my tractor and Bush hog.

It didn’t work well getting tree sap off. I was worried about the paint too. GaryM’s right, you need to do some scrubbing. As easy as it is to drive around to the back of my house to wash it I still usually just stop in at the self-serve once and a while.

Self-service car washes are just coin operated pressure washers with the option of a foam brush to get it even cleaner. Don’t you have coin operated car washes around that you can try out? Pressure washers are great for blasting off large quantities of mud, dirt and grime. They can even get rid of grease if you pretreat it. However, they won’t get your car really shiny clean. You have to do some rubbing and scrubbing to do that.

However, you may want to have one around for other reasons. Few people wash the sides of their house very often but those get surprisingly dirty over time. A quick pressure washing can perk a house right up especially if you have siding. The same is true for yard furniture and a bunch of other things. People that own pressure washers usually find some unforeseen uses for them because they are good about blasting dirt out of places that are difficult or impossible to clean by hand.

Back to your original problem, if you really hate washing cars that much, why are you even doing it yourself? I have never seen an area in the U.S. that didn’t have plenty of automatic carwashes for a reasonable price. The one near me is a fancy one and it only costs $7 after 5 pm. You just hand over your money, drive onto a conveyor belt and come out squeaky clean less than two minutes later. That is a business that I want to own because they always have a short line and run cars through as fast as people come in. Many gas stations have slightly less sophisticated versions of those as well and they don’t cost much especially if you buy a wash when you fill up.

$7 - $10 dollars every 3 months is less than $40 a year. It takes a very long time to afford your own pressure washer for the equivalent money and you still have to wash your own car and maintain the pressure washer.

My wife runs her car through the Jiffy Lube car wash. Those automated washes don’t work as well on my van. Last time I had it done their machine left a black mark on my door panel.

I have a 2800 psi power washer and have used it to clean the vans but it still doesn’t do a perfect job, as noted. Sap, tar and crusted-on mud still need attention by hand.

For a couple of bucks worth of quarters, I can clean most crap off a vehicle at a DIY car wash.

I’m still giving this a lot of thought. I realize dragging this contraption out of the garage, hooking it up to water and electricity, dragging it around the vehicle, and putting it back up may be more hassle than its worth.

Decisions decisions.

If you want convenience at some greater expense, there are units that mount permanently and are plumbed in to your water line. You can even have a connection outside so all you need to do is hook up the hose and throw a switch.

Interesting. I didn’t know about that kind of installation. Thanks GaryM.

I agree that the car wash is the answer. For your use the automatic ones are the ticket!

To answer your original question, Yes I do, but it is not the cheap, weak one. I pressure wash both of my trucks AND my Willys Inside and out with the shop pressure washer. It gets them CLEAN! I do this about twice a year. Once after they stop sanding the roads, and once in the late summer. About now, probably next weekend.

Seriously, get either the local hand car wash to do it, or use an automatic one. It is cheaper in the long run and you do not have to do this disliked job yourself. Life is too short for you to spend much time or effert washing your car, especially if you do not enjoy the doing.

What is a Willy, please? The one I’m thinking of, you wouldn’t want to wash inside or out with a pressure washer. :eek:

If handwashing is too much trouble, at least get a local handwashing place to do it in the spring and fall. I think the one I priced near me was about $30.

Willys was a 1940s-1950s automaker that made mostly military and jeep vehicles.

An unusual spelling of Willis.

Or even do it at all? The '09 Jeep Patriot I bought in 2009 has never been washed. To me, a car is transportation. My dogs ride in it every day and it is pretty hairy inside and dirty outside. A couple of times over winter I’ll spray off the salt, but that’s it.

ETA: my gf is the extreme opposite. Every other week her Subaru gets a wash/wax/vacuum by a guy in the garage at her job.

I don’t do it out of vanity either – my car is a basic utilitarian vehicle – but to clean off the salt and muck. It’s usually continually too cold to wash it in the winter but come early spring I’d say I go through the wash every couple of weeks.

A clean car (or any piece of motorized equipment) is a happy car. I have an electric pressure washer to take most of the grime off but you still need to give it a go with a mop and bucket once and a while. If I had a decent car wash place nearby I’d be taking it there if I didn’t enjoy doing it. Leaving your car dirty is a great way to hide any corrosion or leaks, and hiding any damage. It may be transportation, but at some point you’ll want to sell it and keeping them clean is a good way to get more of your hard earned money back when it comes time to trade it in or sell it.

On the other hand, if you have a Jeep, getting it dirty is fun, too!:smiley:

Inside too? Do all of your trucks have drain plugs in the floorboards, then? I know Jeeps have them but hadn’t heard of them in other vehicles.

NO drains. Neither of my trucks have any carpet on the floor and both have steel dash boards. One is a 1959 Ford F150 with F250 springs. Don’t ask! The other is a 1989 Dodge 3/4 ton.

I open both doors and have at it. Since I live in the high desert of Western Colorado, what water does not drain out, will evaperate fairly quickly. I do the same for the 1948 Willys CJ-2A. It does not have the top, nor the doors on it from mid spring until late, late, fall. Sometimes, it doesn’t have the windscreen on either.

If you don’t like washing your car by scrubbing you won’t bother with a pressure washer either. Washing a car by scrubbing is about 10 min work. It doesn’t getmuch easier. Try the drive throughs at gas stations. Cost about $5.00 and the car looks pretty decent when you are done.