Air Compressor Oil OKC Air power Equipment Co

Compressor Oil

What Is The Use Of Oil In An Air Compressor?

Air compressor oil is a specialized lubricant designed for air compressors. It serves several crucial functions to ensure the proper operation and longevity of your lubricated air compressors.

The main characteristics of any air compressor oil type include:


Air compressor oil lubricates the moving parts inside the compressor, which reduces wear. Lubrication prevents damage and extends the compressor’s service life.


It creates a seal between various components, preventing air leakage and ensuring optimal efficiency.

Thermal Stability

Air compressors generate heat while producing compressed air, and the oil needs to have good thermal stability to withstand these elevated temperatures without breaking down or losing its lubricating properties.

Oxidation Resistance

As the oil becomes exposed to oxygen and high temperatures during operation, it must resist oxidation, which can lead to sludge formation and deposits. Oxidation can clog the compressor and reduce its efficiency.


The air compressor oil is enriched with specialized additives that enhance water separation, safeguarding the compressor against water and oil emulsions. This process facilitates the oleophilic bags’ efficiency in capturing the oil during later stages.

Increased lifespan

The additives in air compressor oil extend the lubricant’s longevity, protect machine components during standby periods, and ensure compatibility with a diverse range of operating conditions.

Why Do Air Compressors Need Oil?

Most air compressors require oil for residential and industrial applications because they use a reciprocating or rotary mechanism. These mechanisms involve metal parts moving against each other, which creates friction and heat. The compressor’s performance would suffer without proper lubrication, leading to increased wear and tear and potentially costly breakdowns. Think of your compressor oil as a way of extending the life span of your unit.

Air Compressor Oil

Can You Use Motor Oil In An Air Compressor?

Although you can technically use motor oil to run and produce compressed air, experts do not recommend it due to the presence of detergents within motor oil. These added detergents can lead to the accumulation of unwanted carbon deposits within your compressor. Oil manufacturers have developed specialized air compressor oils free from detergents to handle this situation, ensuring optimal performance and longevity for your system.

What Is The Difference Between Compressor Oil And Motor Oil?

Motor oil often contains chemical detergents that serve the purpose of preventing residue buildup inside the engine. Conversely, compressor oil is formulated without these additives because detergents can harm the compressor’s machinery and contaminate the airflow.

Do I Need To Put Oil In My Air Compressor?

Most air compressors do require oil to function correctly. However, there are exceptions, such as oil-free compressors that use alternative materials for lubrication. Before purchasing an air compressor, you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s details to determine if it’ll require oil.

What Kind Of Oil Should I Use In An Air Compressor?

The type of oil you should use in your compressor depends on its design and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Commonly, air compressor oils are mineral-based, synthetic, or a blend of both. Following the manufacturer’s air compressor oil type and viscosity guidelines ensures optimal performance and longevity.

Different Compressor Types & Corresponding Oil

There are various compressor oil types to choose from when operating reciprocating air compressors and rotary screw compressors. However, manufacturers frequently recommend using synthetic oils due to their sulfur-free and additive-free nature, which helps prevent unwanted buildup on valves and ensures optimal performance.

How Much Oil Does An Air Compressor Need?

You’ll want to regularly check the oil levels in your compressor using the provided dipstick or sight glass, no matter the air compressor oil type. The appropriate oil level is usually indicated in the user manual or on the dipstick. Overfilling or underfilling the compressor with oil can lead to performance issues, so you’ll want to stay aware & maintain the correct oil level at all times.

Can You Add Too Much Oil To A Compressor?

No matter the type, adding too much oil to an air compressor can produce less desirable performance. By overfilling, your air compressor can experience excessive heat buildup, reduced efficiency, and potential damage to the components. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper oil level.

When To Change Air Compressor Oil

The frequency of oil changes depends on factors, including the type of compressors you have, how often you use them, and the environmental conditions. Generally, you should change an air compressor’s oil every 100 to 200 hours or every couple of months. Allowing your compressor work to be at its finest.

Reciprocating air compressor oil change

How To Change Air Compressor Oil

Use the checklist below to change your air compressor oil:

  • Ensure the compressor is turned off and disconnected from the power source.
  • Drain the existing oil completely by removing the drain plug.
  • Dispose of the used oil according to local regulations.
  • Refill the compressor with the recommended air compressor oil type and amount, as the user manual indicates.
  • Check the oil level using the dipstick or sight glass, and adjust if necessary.

Redefine Air Compressor Care With APEC

Air compressor oil plays a vital role in ensuring your compressor’s proper functioning and longevity. Its essential functions, such as lubrication, sealing, thermal stability, and oxidation resistance, keep the compressor’s moving parts working smoothly and efficiently. When choosing an oil for your air compressor, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and opt for synthetic oils free from detergents, as they prevent carbon accumulation and offer enhanced safety.

Regular maintenance – like checking oil levels, adhering to oil change intervals, and ensuring the correct oil type and viscosity – is essential for optimal compressor performance. Save time and money by partnering with APEC. Our trained technicians can help answer any question and even service your compressor, no matter the type of oil needed. We can provide info regarding substitutes for air compressor oils.

Air Power Equipment Company in Oklahoma City (OKC), is the leading source for new air compressor sales and used air compressor sales throughout the country. We specialize in rotary screw air compressor sales and reciprocal air compressor sales. Air Power Equipment Company is also the best source for air compressor service and air compressor parts in Oklahoma.  If you are looking for new air compressors, used air compressors, air compressor parts, or air compressor service call Air Power Equipment Company OKC. We are experts with all brands of air compressor equipment and we are a stocking distributor of air compressor brands like FS Curtis Air Compressors, Champion Air Compressors, Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressors, Kellogg Air Compressors, American Air Compressors, Quincy Compressor and many more. Call us at (405) 445-1216 – we have what you need, and at the best price you will find.