How Often Should You Change the Oil on Your Air Compressor?

Like any piece of machinery, your air compressor needs regular maintenance in Pennsylvania. Air compressors require oil to lubricate the moving parts and keep them running smoothly. Even if they stay on top of other preventative maintenance, many owners forget to change the oil on a regular schedule. So how often do you really need to change the oil, and why is it a good idea? Read on to learn more.

Why do I have to change the oil?

The oil in your air compressor doesn’t just lubricate the moving parts. It also cools the parts so the motor won’t overheat, and acts as a sealing agent during compression. If you fail to change the oil in a timely fashion, your air compressor will overheat. In most modern models, this causes an automatic shutdown. You’ll have to wait for the compressor to cool down and replace the oil before you can use the air compressor again.

Since the oil also acts as a sealant, that’s yet another reason you’ll need to stay on top of oil changes and replacement. A lack of oil can cause air leakage, which means your compressor won’t perform as powerfully as it should. Plus, since a lack of oil causes even more wear and tear, you can see why changing your oil regularly is so important.

How often should I change the oil?

The answer to this question depends on what type of air compressor you own. Some will need more frequent oil changes—and of course, how often you use your air compressor also plays a role. The best way to determine how often you should change the oil is to check your owner’s manual. They’ll tell you when to change the oil, either based on service time or months.

Generally speaking, a rotary screw air compressor’s oil should be changed every 1,000 to 2,000 service hours, while a reciprocating air compressor’s oil needs to be changed every three months. If you notice performance issues with your air compressor, check the oil first—it may be affecting the pressure and efficiency. Sometimes all you need to do to fix the issue is change or top off your oil.

If your air compressor includes a filter, make sure you change that regularly as well.

What type of oil should I use?

Your air compressor owner’s manual will usually tell you exactly what kind of oil to use. Air compressor oil is specially formulated for this machinery—without the detergent that motor oil includes. Whether you purchase standard or synthetic, make sure you get the right kind for your specific machine.

Can’t find your owner’s manual? Try searching for that model online. If you still can’t find anything specific, most air compressors will work with standard 68 grade or 100 grade hydraulic compressor oil.

If you have more questions about when and how to change your air compressor oil in Pennsylvania, reach out to the team at Central Equipment Company today. We look forward to assisting you!

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