Do Air Compressors Need Oil? Is it Important?

Latest Update On: December 22, 2020 | Author:

If you don’t have any idea how air compressors work, you may also have some curiosity to know do air compressors need oil.

When you want to run your vehicle or machine smoothly, you need to ensure that it is getting constant lubrication. Plus, you need to ensure that the oil level hasn’t come to a minimal level. Whether it is moving parts or screws, oil prevents friction in each of the parts.

The compressor oil not only helps your air compressor to work efficiently but also boost the performance level. No matter which types of air compressor you use, your compressor always needs oil to operate properly.

Do Air Compressors Need Oil?

What do you think, do air compressors need oil? An Air compressor includes a filter that eliminates dust and dirt. You need to replace this filter whenever the need arises. Replacing it at a timely interval will protect it from unwanted contaminants, dust, or restricted filters. Plus, it will prevent pressure drops and reduced inefficiency. An air compressor needs oil to do all these tasks efficiently.

Do Air Compressors Need Oil

Air compressor will run at optimal temperatures when you use a perfect oil that your air compressors are required to use. Also, it will improve the efficiency of the compression cycle. If you don’t use oil in your air compressor, many vital parts of the air compressor may be damaged by excessive friction.

However, you need also to remember that you can use neither too much oil nor too little oil. The oil amount should always stay at a perfect level. Whenever the oil amount reduces, you should stock the oil at that specific level.

Why Is Compressor Oil Important?

The lubricant you use for other machines isn’t similar to compressors oil. Hence, what best you can do is reduce the use of one oil of your compressor for a long time, and decrease the oil replacement, especially in warm weather.

For other machines, different types of contaminants like gasses, water, or dirt can’t contact with the lubrication as multiple internal seals generally protect it from these contaminants. However, there is a direct connection when a self-lubricating screw squeezer gets in touch with the machine canal air and compacted air.

Why is compressor oil important

When air is squished down the already inside water, the steam is forced out of position, making free water, which is collected by the oil. Plus, when the molecules are compressed together, the dirt from the air also leaves it. The compressors oil also transport these impurities to an oil reservoir, oil filter, and freezer.

The warmth from the squeezing procedure pressure the water-air to leave, and the filtration system eliminates other impurities. Because of internal conditions, the oil accommodates a substance that inhibits oxidation and makes an effort to decrease the mechanical failure of the lubrication properties.

Inside the machine, the oil works in a specific way to shut the spaces between the screw parts, assisting with the compression mechanism.  The heat generated from the squeezing of air is engrossed by the lubricant and dispossessed to the compressor oil freezer.

In this method, the oxygen and heat, which is located inside squeezed air, crumble the properties of the oil. It might decrease the efficiency of the compressor if the level of heat surpassed a minimal level.

Suppose the air compressor lubricant already washed away its actual properties. In that case, it will permit too much bearing wear and create a lacquer that overlays the compressors’ inner parts. Moreover, it will increase the heat exchangers’ inefficiency and lift the lubricant to unwanted levels — resulting in even further impairment.

If you use the food category lubricant, then you need to replace it often. Because it includes various properties of the oil. Also, there are different types of lubricant available in the market which need to be changed in a specific time interval. It mainly depends on the number of hours you operate the air compressor and also operation conditions.

If you are strict in budget and don’t want to change the oil more frequently, then test a specific type of oil that works best for your machine.  There are many suitable lubricants you will find for air compressor under 500. Plus, most of the lubricant manufacturers allow consumers to analyze the oil. However, it is better not to use the same oil for a long time, mostly in humid weather. It may damage the air compressor function or any internal parts, which may cost you significant money.

Frequently Asked Questions

However, our words are few but fruitful. You’ve already got your point, right? Let’s get some additional information that can make you more understandable.

What oil is used in air compressors?

Most air compressors oil is made by chemical synthesis or regular non- synthetic components. If there is no strict recommendation from the manufacturer, you can usually use a typical non- synthetic SAE20 or SAE30 oil.

Can I use regular motor oil in my air compressor?

You can use non-synthetic component motor oil in your air compressor. Make sure to check the component of the motor oil you are buying before putting it on the machine. Using non-synthetic component motor oil won’t harm your engine since it is safe to use.

How often should I change the oil in my air compressor?

Usually, you can operate your air compressor 7000 – 8000 hours for every time you change the oil. If you use a reciprocating air compressor, it is better to change the oil every three months. Even if you hardly use your air compressors, you should change it at least once a year.


Choosing a perfect air compressor oil is crucial to run the machine smoothly and efficiently. Plus, understanding how your air compressors works will also help optimize its performance, and you will able to make an instant decision without damaging the machine.

Plus, an insufficient amount of oil may drain out easily, while an excessive amount of oil may lead to spitting it outside. So the correct amount should always be maintained to prevent running out of oil. Hopefully, the question of do air compressors need oil is already got cleared. Make sure to buy your lubricant oil from a reputed brand that is 100% authentic.

Jim Smith

Hello, this is Jim Smith. I am the owner of this website “power tool wiki” that will inform you about all the latest power tool machines like an air compressor, it’s related accessories and use and maintenance information. As a technical expert on this air compressor machine, I have a complete idea about its function and features. Not just because of a technician I know about this machine, I have been researching this machine for the last few years.

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