What Pressure Tip Should You Use For A Car? [ANSWERED]

With pressure washer tips, there are four sizes to choose from. Use the wrong one and you will end up damaging your car’s surface. When it comes to cleaning your car, use a tip that is at the lower end of the pressure scale.

When it comes to washing your car, you want to use your pressure sprayer. However, you have been told that if you aren’t careful, you can do more harm than good to your vehicle’s paintwork. The advice is that you need to use the right pressure tip.

Pressure washer tips come in several color codes. These are designed so that you can select the right one for the right job. Which tips are ideal for washing your car with? Keep reading to find out.

pressure washing a car close up

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Best Pressure Washer Tip for Washing Cars – Different Options

Head down to your local hardware store or pressure washer shop and you will find a small range of tips. For washing your car, there are two options: 25o and 40o. Additionally, you will find some people say that the 65o tip is worth considering. So, what’s the difference between these choices and is there one that is better for washing your vehicle than the others?

The Green 25o Nozzle

If you have a lot of stubborn dirt or grime stuck to your vehicle, then this tip will blast it away. You can use it on mats, as well as the grills, wheels, and vehicles emblems/badges. The water pressure isn’t as aggressive as that from a 15o tip but has more power than you would get from the 40o tip.

The White 40o Nozzle

Perhaps you have never used a pressure washer before to clean your car. Harboring fears regarding causing damage to your vehicle’s exterior is understandable. The 40o tip should be your first choice in this situation. That’s because it’s a lot gentler with the water pressure than the 25o option. Yet, it can be just as effective at removing the hardiest of dirt (it may just take a little longer).

The white nozzle also provides a wider coverage of water. You’re cleaning job will be quicker than if you go with the green nozzle.

The Black 65o Nozzle

You may be told that you should use the 65o nozzle for washing your car. This is the most gentle choice of all three options. Yet, because it doesn’t have the same water pressure as the 25o and 40o tips, it isn’t suitable for removing the built-up gunk from your vehicle.

However, if you are wanting to prep your car with some detergent before giving it a more full-on spray, you can use this nozzle.

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What about a variable nozzle?

You may be thinking that washing your car means swapping over nozzles a few times during the process.

For example, perhaps you start the cleaning using the 65o tip to wash down your vehicle with detergent. Next, you change over to the 25o nozzle to get rid of those hard-to-remove marks. After that, it’s time to rinse everything off using the 40o tip.

That can be a great plan but maybe after the fifth time cleaning your car, the novelty of changing out your tips can wear off. That’s where a variable nozzle is a god-send.

Variable (also known as adjustable) nozzles offer a variety of settings within one tip: 0o, 15o, 25o, and 40o. Such versatility allows you to wash your car without the hassle of having to constantly swap over nozzles.

You may find some adjustable tips that offer a couple more choices: soap and rinse. 

Now your car cleaning task has become so much easier and more efficient.

Man pressure washing vehicle with sunset in background

How do nozzles influence water pressure?

Pressure washer tips are created in a way that allows them to control the V-shape spray of water from the spray head. Through this the amount of water that is outputted changes depending on the angle of the tip.

Lower-angled nozzles allow for more water pressure than the higher-angled tips.

Dos and don’ts with car washing using a pressure tip

You may be tempted to rush into the task of cleaning your vehicle. However, if you make a mistake and harm the paintwork it can be a costly error to fix.

Take your time with the job. If it’s your first try and washing your car with a pressure washer, start with the lowest pressure setting possible (1,200 PSI). Begin by being 4-feet away from your vehicle and gradually move closer to it.

Slowly increase the water pressure, but don’t go any higher than 1,900 PSI. Experiment with an obscure spot, such as under a bumper. If you think you have done something wrong. Stop and re-evaluate the situation.

If you aren’t that confident at first, use a 65o or 40o tip. These are the more forgiving nozzles thanks to their water coverage and pressure. You can always upskill to the 25o nozzle later.

Perhaps you are eyeing up the 15o yellow tip as something to try. It’s an option worth considering if you have a recreational vehicle such as a 4 x 4. Again, caution should be used with this nozzle. It can remove tough grime like the 25o tip but has stronger pressure. Use the 15o tip at a lower pressure setting and stand a distance from your vehicle.

You can always practice using the higher angeled tips on something you may have lying around your property (such as a piece of tin roof or equivalent) that you won’t mind damaging.


Washing your car with a pressure washer can make the job a lot quicker. Yet, if you use the wrong tip the result can be an expensive repair bill to fix the damage. The most appropriate nozzles for cleaning your car are the higher angle options: 25o, 40o, and 65o.

To get rid of stuck-on dirt and grime, you can use the 25o tip and then finish the job with the lower-pressured 40o or 65o nozzles.

Don’t think you need to hurry the task just because you are using a power washer. One moment of inattention can have your heart sinking as you realize you have blasted away some of the paintwork.

Use both care and caution throughout the cleaning process. The reward for that will be a car that looks gleaming and showroom standard.