Weird Engine problems

Hello everybody.
First I’d like to say I tried to search past posts for this issue with no luck.

Little back story, I’ve been powerwashing for 3 years, started with basic equipment and moved up to all nice professional equipment. However, I still use the powerwasher I originally bought three years ago. It is a 4gpm direct drive, predator motor. Basically a cheaper “commercial” powerwasher. It ran flawlessly for the entire time until 4 days ago. The only service I’ve done to it is change the engine oil and pump oil once a month.

Here’s the issue. The other day I’m in the middle of a housewash and all a sudden my powerwasher turns off. Hmm I walk back to the trailer, the off switch is still at the ON position… I pull the chord and it starts right up no problem. I go and continue to work and 10minutes later it randomly shuts off again. I go to the trailer and turn it back on, no issue. Then shuts down 5 minutes later.
The powerwasher runs and sounds just like it always had, but for some reason it’s randomly shutting off. It seems to run fine for about 2 hours each morning but then it acts up.

I checked oil levels, air filter, and checked the wires and all connections feel tight and secure.

The motor makes no weird sounds before turning off. Honestly, it sounds just like flipping the off switch. It just shuts down randomly.

Any clue what’s going on with this thing?

I already ordered a 5.5gpm belt drive from a powerwash supplier in Florida but waiting for it to ship

Thank you!

I have had this to happen to me with a Honda engine about the same size and I had to replace the low oil shutoff sensor. If I unplug the sensor the machine would run fine.


What @gbattle said……could be the issue.

I appreciate your help. I know I’m new here, but I knew someone would take time from their day to help me! This website is great.
I will try to disconnect the low oil shut off tomorrow and see what happens. I will report back.

Thank you,

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Ran through similar issues with my IGX800 this past week.

Oil wasn’t super low but an oil change solved the issue for me.

Other things suggested were checking unloader, fuel filter, and air filter. I started with oil change and that was the culprit. Not saying that’s what’s going on with your machine, but that’s what worked for me.

are you low on oil ?

I didn’t have the chance to work on the powerwasher today, but definitely will tomorrow. I’m going to change all oils again and maybe add just a little extra oil.

Thinking about the issue I’m remembering that about two months ago, my oil level was actually low. And the powerwasher wouldn’t run. I replaced the oil to the proper level but maybe the sensor is acting up because of that happening? During that issue, I used SAE-10w-40… However today, I noticed my owners manual says SAE-10w-30……

Maybe that will help?

And Last time I changed the pump oil, I used “high pressure pump oil” from Home Depot…… But today I also noticed the owners manual for the pump oil says SAE-15w-40….
And then nowhere in the manual does it say “non-detergent” pump oil, which is something I see all over the internet.

So a little confusion with that.

Below is the link to the owners manual of my power washer. Again it’s nothing fancy, but made me a ton of money.
And I’m considering cancelling the order for a 5.5gpm belt drive 3,000psi and going straight to the 8gpm belt drive 3,500psi. I already have a 275 tote in my enclosed trailer.

Owners Manual-

Change your engine oil with 10w30 Honda or Kohler synthetic every 100 hours. After your initial 50 hour oil change on the pump you don’t need to change it again until about 5k hours and then only if your bored. I don’t change mine period after the break in.

Now, my pump and gearbox oil get pretty dark, shouldn’t it be changed on occasion?

I change my pump oil out at the beginning of each wash season, once a year basically……only a couple of bucks for the oil. Why not.

I can’t think of any reason to. It’s like jiffy lube trying to get you to charge your brake fluid. I guess you can, but why? pump oil doesn’t break down, it doesn’t get hot, or didn’t lose viscosity. It’s just an oil bath. If my pump can last 5k hours without changing it, I’m sure others will be ok not changing theirs, but it didn’t matter to me what others do or don’t do about pump oil.

Brake fluid needs to be changed every couple years, it absorbs water and will cause brake fade, decreasing stopping effectiveness.

Lol, did you work at jiffy lube? Now you’ll have folks on here believing they need to change brake fluid.

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That’s just basic maintenance. There’s a brake fluid tester that measures the amount of water mixed in, might want to have yours tested.

I bought my used Sienna in 2020 and noticed the fluid was cloudy, 119k miles. I changed and bled all four corners and made a world of difference.

I say two years, some manufacturers let it go for four years but need regular inspection. Cars are increasingly high tech and need good fluid for ABS and traction control to work properly.

Car manufacturers and auto parts houses are as devious as washer vendors. I’ll change brake fluid every 10 years whether it needs it or not, or probably not then either. But, that’s mess that doesn’t cost folks much and if it makes them happy, do it. It just isn’t necessary.

Gentleman, I’m still having an issue with the power washer. Hmmm
So today I drained and filled the oil with SAE 10w-30 ( 1.1 liters ) per owners manual. I did not change the pump oil as I know I just recently did that and I know it is filled with the proper amount.
( plus the low oil shut off is not connected to the pump oil )

Anyhow… The engine ran for 10 minutes then randomly shut off.
So I went to the motor and disconnected the low oil shut off wire coming out of the engine.

I thought that fixed the problem because it ran for about 35minutes but then randomly shut off again. I pulled the chord, it started for a couple seconds then shut down. Then I couldn’t get it to start again after pulling about 10 times.

So I stopped.

What the heck is going on with this thing?

Fuel cap? Is it the kind with charcoal in it. If it gets wet with fuel air can’t enter. Run it with the cap off or pry the charcoal out of the cap

Do you have a fuel filter? Also check the air filter. Make sure its intact. I have seen them come apart and get sucked into the carb

I tried running with the gas cap off a couple days ago but it still shut down. (The gas cap suggestion was in the troubleshooting part of the owners manual)
But I will give that a second try tomorrow.

I only did a quick inspection of the air filter to see if it was clean… The filter is clean, and looked good… but I will make sure to check the entire filter for damage.

The engine does not have a fuel filter.

I checked the small amount of electrical wires that are there. All seem tight when I give a little pull.

This is a very strange problem. It runs flawlessly until it decides to randomly shut off.

Those small engine gravity fuel tanks can get clogged & when not enough fuel is reaching the carburetor, it will shut down as mentioned. If you have tried everything, it’s worth a shot to remove the tank & check for debris.