When to Change Air Compressor Oil

Posted on: December 20, 2021

when to change air compressor oil

Maintaining your air compressor with regular oil changes is essential to extending its lifecycle.

Why change your air compressor’s oil? Your air compressor’s internal engine relies on regular maintenance to prolong its working life and increase uptime by preventing unexpected breakdowns.

How Often Should You Change the Oil in an Air Compressor?

The kind of compressor you have and how often you use it will affect how often you’ll need to change your air compressor’s oil. The machine’s user manual will have specific information, but a general rule is to change the oil every 100 to 200 hours or every few months. You can also check the oil level with a dipstick or oil glass.

When changing your air compressor’s oil, drain the oil chamber completely. Contaminated oil can degrade the effectiveness of new oil. Check out other tips in our preventive maintenance guide.

4 Risks of Low Oil in Air Compressors

Contaminated or low oil levels in your air compressor run several risks.

1. Overheating

Compressing air produces heat, and oil absorbs some of that heat. If the oil levels are too low, the air compressor can overheat due to increased friction.

2. Wear

You change your air compressor’s air filter to ensure pure, compressed air. Similarly, it’s essential to empty the contaminated or old oil from your air compressor regularly. The more often you use it, the quicker the debris and nanoparticles build up in the oil. Clean, working lubrication ensures your air compressor runs smoothly and effectively.

3. Rust and Corrosion

Your air compressor’s metal joints and components require adequate oil levels to prevent expensive repairs caused by rusting, general wear and corrosion.

4. Breakdowns

Oils oxidize over time when exposed to water and heat. When oil has broken down, its effectiveness decreases. Eventually, the oil no longer performs its intended purpose, potentially resulting in a costly breakdown.

When to Perform Air Compressor Sampling

We advocate for catching potential problems early. A great way to prevent spontaneous breakdowns is to know how long your oil lasts. An oil analysis measures the viscosity, particle count, water contamination, and total acid number (TAN), helping you determine when you need to change your air compressor’s oil. We recommend conducting an oil analysis every 500 to 2,000 hours, but be sure to check the user manual and warranty.

Sign Up for a Service Plan Through Quincy Compressor

If you’re unsure about what oil your air compressor requires, check out our guide to choosing the right oil. Professional maintenance can help you get the most of your equipment. At Quincy Compressor, we offer warranty plans for various compressed air and vacuum product services. Contact us today!