Pressure Washer Only Runs On Choke – Expert Advice 2023

Pressure Washer Only Runs On Choke – Don’t worry We have the solution folk!

I know the frustration when the pressure washer won’t start after several attempts.

It just sputters and dies again. The only solution that remains is to start it with a choke.

After applying the choke, the engine starts immediately but the moment you de-choke it, the pressure washer engine dies again.

In a situation like this, when a pressure washer only runs on choke something is seriously wrong with your machine. You have to observe and find the problems that prevent your machine from starting without a full choke.

There must be some grave faults with your pressure washer engine that need quick repairing.

Also, running your pressure washer engine constantly on the full choke has several drawbacks. It can cause extreme damage to the engine in the form of excessive wear and tear.

So without any further delay let’s roll into the reasons why your pressure washer only runs on choke and what to do to get rid of this problem.

Also Read: Best Pressure Washer For Garage Floors – Buyers Guide

Pressure Washer Only Runs On Choke

Pressure Washer Only Runs On Choke

Why Does My Pressure Washer Only Runs On Choke?

If your pressure washer only runs on a choke, the problem is likely extra air or a clog in the carburetor restricting the required fuel supply. Dirty and old gas causes this problem due to its changed chemical composition.

Moreover, a dirty and clogged fuel line, a faulty spark plug, or an air leak in the system causes the pressure washer engine to stall which ultimately runs only on full choke.

Running your pressure washer on choke for more than 2 minutes can seriously damage your pressure washer. Therefore, it needs urgent repair.

To have a better understanding of this problem and its easily doable solutions it’s good to first know what choke is.

What is a Choke?

Choke is used in petrol engines to reduce the amount of air entering the engine. This makes the mixture of petrol and air in the engine richer(with more fuel than the normal requirement in the combustion chamber), which helps to improve starting and running at low speeds.

So a choke is a valve that temporarily restricts airflow through an engine to help it start easily. It is also used to help the engine start when it is cold. Once the engine is warm, you can turn off the choke so that air can flow freely through the engine.

Whenever the engine won’t stay started after turning off the choke, there might be some major issues. We will unfold those reasons below and guide you to solve those problems to start your pressure washer engine without choking.

Can you run a pressure washer on a full choke only?

No, you cannot run your pressure washer on a full choke only. A full choke is only used for starting the engine. Once the pressure washer is running, you should switch the choke to the half-choke or off position. If you don’t, the engine will eventually overheat and could sustain damage.

Why should you not run an engine on full choke for more than 2 minutes?

Under most circumstances, you should not run an engine on full choke for more than 2 minutes. Doing so can cause the engine to overheat and potentially damage other components. You will also be burning additional fuel in this scenario.

Additionally, running an engine on full choke for an extended period can decrease its efficiency and shorten its lifespan.

If you need to run an engine on full choke for longer than 2 minutes, be sure to take breaks to let the engine cool down.

And if you notice any damage to the engine, have it checked by a professional as soon as possible.

5 Reasons Your Pressure Washer Only Runs on Choke

Following are the reasons that cause your pressure washer to only run on choke. After reading the article you will be able to know how to fix a pressure washer that is only running on choke.

  • The Carburetor Might Be Dirty or clogged
  • Wrong or Old Fuel Usage
  • A leak from the Air filter
  • A faulty spark Plug
  • Or a problem With the Fuel line

A leak from Air filter 

Air is an important factor to run the engine properly. The right amount of air is required to mix with the fuel in the combustion chamber to burn the fuel.

If there is an air leak, the engine will not get enough air and it will cause the engine to run only on choke. The engine will run rich because more gas is being pulled into the engine.

Wrong or Old Fuel Can 

Using the wrong type of fuel or old fuel can also shut down the engine. Using the wrong type of fuel can cause your pressure washer to only run on a choke.

The most common type of fuel to use in a pressure washer is unleaded gasoline. If you’re using gas that’s more than 60 days old, it’s likely that the fuel has gone bad. Over time, this fuel breaks down and becomes gummy. This can clog your pressure washer’s fuel system and cause it to only run on a choke.

If you’re using old fuel, empty your pressure washer’s tank and refill it with fresh unleaded gasoline.

To prevent these issues, run only ethanoate-free premium unleaded gasoline (for use without lead) or regular unleaded gasoline that does not contain alcohol or water in any amount. Never add oil, water, or other liquids/fluids such as starting fluid to the fuel supply reservoir when the engine is hot because they can vaporize causing a dangerous fire.

Fuel System Contamination

Fuel system contamination is another cause of power loss and pressure washers running on choke. This happens when there is a restriction in the fuel flow, which can be caused by any number of factors, including water, dirt, or rust in the fuel tank or line.

When the engine can’t get enough fuel, it runs on a choke to restrict the air intake and create a richer mix. This makes the engine work harder and can cause it to overheat or even catch fire.

Dirty Or Clogged Carburetor

The carburetor of your pressure washer might be dirty or it has clogged jets. If the carburetor is dirty, it might not be getting enough gas.

Over time, the carburetor can become clogged with dirt, debris, and varnish. This will prevent the proper flow of fuel and air to the engine, which will cause it to run only on choke.

The good news is that cleaning the carburetor is a relatively easy task. You can either do it yourself or take it to a professional mechanic. If you decide to clean it yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Check the carburetor to see if it needs to be cleaned. If the jets are clogged, they might also need to be cleaned.

A faulty Spark Plug

If the spark plug is dirty or damaged it can force you to start your pressure washer with a choke.

If the spark plug is dirty or damaged, it might not be able to create a spark. This can prevent the engine from starting. Clean or replace the spark plug as needed.

What Causes a Honda Pressure Washer to Only Run on Choke?

A Honda pressure washer will only run on a choke if the carburetor is not getting enough fuel. This can be caused by several things, including a dirty air filter, a clogged fuel filter, or a problem with the fuel pump.

  1. If the Honda engine pressure washer is only starting on a choke, the first thing you should do is check the air filter. If the air filter is dirty, it will restrict airflow to the engine. This can cause the engine to start on choke only. To clean the air filter, simply remove it and wash it with soap and water.
  2. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then you should check the fuel filter and replace it if it’s clogged.
  3. Also, check the spark plug and clean it if it has residual material on its tip. If the spark plug is fouled, it will need to be replaced. To replace the spark plug, first, remove the old one. Then, insert the new one and hand-tighten it. Next, use a spark plug wrench to tighten it another 1/8 to 1/4 turn.
  4. If the problem persists, check the carburetor. If the carburetor is flooded, you will need to clean it out. To clean the carburetor, first, remove the air filter and spark plug. Next, use a small brush to clean away any debris from the carburetor. Finally, use a can of compressed air to blow out any remaining debris.
  5. Finally, if the Honda-powered pressure washer is still only running on choke, then there may be a problem with the fuel pump and you may need to replace it.


Why is my power washer only on choke?

If your power washer is only on choke, it’s likely because the air filter is dirty. A dirty air filter can cause the engine to run lean, which means it’s not getting enough fuel. If the air filter is clean and the power washer is still only on choke, the carburetor may be the problem. Carburetors can get dirty and need to be cleaned or rebuilt.

What would cause the pressure washer to not stay running?

If the pressure washer is not staying running, it could be due to a number of issues.

  1. The most common cause is that the engine is not getting enough oil. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as a dirty air filter or oil filter, old oil, or an issue with the oil pump.
  2. Another common cause of pressure washer problems is a dirty carburetor. This can be caused by a build-up of dirt and debris, or by ethanol in the fuel. If the carburetor is dirty, it will need to be cleaned or replaced.
  3. Finally, another potential cause of a pressure washer not staying running is a bad spark plug. If the spark plug is fouled or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Where is the choke on a Craftsman Gas pressure washer?

How do you unclog a carburetor on a pressure washer?

If your pressure washer isn’t starting up or runs only on a full choke, there’s a good chance that the carburetor is clogged. In this case, you’ll need to clean out the carburetor to get your pressure washer back up and running.

There are a few different ways to clean a carburetor, but the most effective way is to use a carburetor cleaner. Carburetor cleaner is a solvent that will break down any built-up deposits in the carburetor, without damaging the engine.

To use carburetor cleaner, simply remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the carburetor. Let the cleaner soak for a few minutes, then start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. Shut off the engine and let the carburetor air dry.

Is it bad to run a small engine on full choke?

If you’re having trouble starting your engine, you might be tempted to run it on full choke. However, this can actually damage your engine and shorten its lifespan.

When you run an engine on full choke, the fuel/air mixture is too rich and can cause the engine to flood. This can damage the spark plugs, cylinders, and pistons. In addition, the engine will run hotter on full choke, which can lead to premature wear.

So, if you’re having trouble starting your engine, it’s best to try a few other things first. You might want to check the spark plugs, gas line, and air filter. If all else fails, you can try running the engine on half choke for a few minutes before trying full choke again.

Why my Honda pressure washer won t run without a choke?

There are a few reasons why your Honda pressure washer may not be running without the choke.

The most common reason is that the carburetor is dirty and needs to be cleaned. Another possibility is that the spark plug is fouled and needs to be replaced. Moreover, the fuel might be old and stale and needs to be fresh. Lastly, it could be that the spark plug is fouled and needs to be replaced.


This article looked at the possible reasons why a pressure washer only runs on choke and what to do in this scenario to avert any possible damage to your pressure washer engine.

We hope that by taking the given steps you can easily fix the problem and get your power washer running smoothly again.

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Flinn Milan

Flinn Milan is the content director at Washwith. He is responsible for developing helpful content in collaboration with other hard-working team members. Over several years, his content strategy is mainly focused on describing and highlighting every product with its positive and negative points

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