Is your air compressor wearing out? Does your machine get heated during compression? If yes, then what you should be looking for is an air compressor oil.
Using a little bit of air compressor oil can help you prevent your machine from wearing out. The parts will have a much smoother motion, and your machine will remain in a good state for a long time.
All in all, air compressor oils are effective, advanced, and user-friendly. They also provide great utility. With all its uses and benefits, it is something worth having.
Eager to learn what is air compressor oil? We have answered it with many more details on the topic. So without wasting any time, jump right into it!
Table of Contents
- What Is Air Compressor Oil?
- Why Is Compressor Oil Important?
- How to Choose Air Compressor Oil
- How to Check Air Compressor Oil Level
- Alternatives of Air Compressor Oil
- Specialized Lubricants
- Air Compressor Oil vs. Motor Oil
- Final Words
What Is Air Compressor Oil?
Air compressor oil is a lubricating agent specially designed to prevent regular forms of deterioration. As the name suggests, this oil is specifically created to be used in air compressors.
Because of its composition, it is often used as a substitute for motor oils. There are two types of air compressor oils: Natural air compressor oil and synthetic air compressor oil.
The difference between the two depends on their additional elements and viscosities. We have more details about these two types of air compressor oils later in this article.
Why Is Compressor Oil Important?
If you have an air compressor, it is very beneficial to have compressor oil to go with it. Here are some reasons why compressor oil is important.
Providing lubrication is the main job of air compressor oils. It is important to lubricate the parts in an air compressor that remain in motion. If they are not lubricated properly, the machine will not function.
When air is compressed in an air compressor machine, heat is produced. The lubricating oil absorbs this produced heat and, in turn, helps to cool the air during the process. In this way, the temperature inside a compressor is kept in check.
Since a compressor oil provides lubrication, it prevents the machine from being deteriorated untimely. Besides, the additional elements in the oil help to increase the durability of the machine.
Dure air compression, it is quite possible for the oil to get mixed up with water. Elements present in the oil prevent such kind of emulsification.
How to Choose Air Compressor Oil
To choose the perfect air compressor oil for the machine, you should assess the following factors:
Factor 1: Viscosity
It is important to determine the density of oil beforehand. You can determine it by checking the viscosity. The density of oil is directly proportional to the viscosity.
Compressor oil should neither be too thick nor too thin. Viscosity lets you determine that.
Factor 2: Performance
Of course, the performance of the oil is crucial. You should observe how much lubrication is provided, how much heat it can keep away, and how durable it makes the compressor.
Factor 3: Temperature Scale
Oils tend to behave differently when exposed to extreme temperatures. You should get an oil that can withstand extreme temperatures as much as possible.
Factor 4: Additives
Additives are present in all types of oils. Although most additives are present to enhance the performance of the oil, some may be harmful. You should research additives and avoid the ones with detergent.
How to Check Air Compressor Oil Level
It is not too difficult to check the oil level in an air compressor. Most compressors come with a sight glass through which you can observe the level easily. Follow these simple, easy steps to do so:
At first, make sure the vehicle is placed in a secured place, and it is safe enough to be examined. The machine should be neutralized before making any contact.
Using the sight glass, check the oil level. The key is to observe how full it is shown through the sight glass. If it is two-thirds full, the level is satisfactory.
Now, if the level is below satisfactory, fill the oil level as much as required by removing the covering. Make sure you don’t fill up too much.
At this stage, all you have to do is replace the covering of the air compressor and tighten it. Make sure it is secured enough to be used again.
Although most air compressors have a sight glass, some of them don’t. However, these models have another component known as a dipstick. For these particular types of air compressors, check out the determinants of their dipsticks to figure out the level of oil.
Alternatives of Air Compressor Oil
If you don’t have air compressor oil at hand, there is no need to worry! These alternative options work just as well as compressor oil. Here are some common and beneficial alternatives.
Hydraulic oil functions just as a regular air compressor oil does. However, it does not have any additional cleaning agents. Depending on the weather condition, choose the consistency of your hydraulic oil.
The term “ATF” means Automatic Transmission Fluid. Instead of air compressor oils, automatic transmission fluid oil is something you can easily use. It has a small amount of cleaning agent in its formula. But the formula itself is quite long-lasting.
Synthetic Motor Oil
A very common substitute for air compressor oil is synthetic engine or motor oil. However, you need to remain careful that there is no detergent present in these motor oil formulas. This substitute is mostly adopted during emergencies.
Apart from all these options, some specially designed lubricants can get the job done. Often, manufacturers produce these lubricants themselves. Try to match the product with their respective brand’s lubricant accordingly.
Synthetic or Standard?
We have mentioned earlier that there are two types of air compressor oils – standard and synthetic. They are both suitable for use. But to make a choice, you need to consider some factors.
Let’s start with standard air compressor oils. This particular type of oil is based on mineral oils and is a little crude compared to the synthetic one. Its biggest merits include its cost and functionality. Compared to synthetic compressor oil, it is much cheaper and easy to use for light jobs.
However, it also has many demerits. You will frequently need to change your oil if you use this one. Since it is cheap, it is also less efficient. Besides, there are also possibilities of friction and deposit production.
Now, moving on to synthetic air compressor oils. These oils have a synthetic base. They are much more refined than traditional oils. Because of their features, these oils are suitable for continual use.
Synthetic oils are highly efficient, performing well under extreme conditions and producing less hazardous situations. Furthermore, you won’t have to change your oil frequently. Even the durability of your machine will increase. Users have also shared that this oil makes their compressors run much smoother.
There are not many demerits concerning synthetic oils. One would be their higher price. Another would be the fact that their use is quite limited. You cannot use it on many components like plastic, adhesives, etc.
Therefore, it can be concluded that both synthetic and standard compressor oils are efficient. Standard oils are great for common, household jobs and synthetic oils are suitable for commercial use. Depending on your preference and need, you can select one.
Air Compressor Oil vs. Motor Oil
Air compressor oil is often compared to motor oil. It is thought that these two are interchangeable. But are they? Let’s compare the two.
An air compressor oil is usually synthesized to lubricate certain parts inside the body of an air compressor. There are specific ball compartments inside an air compressor where the oil is used.
Air compressor oils are specially produced without the detergents present in motor oils. Producers especially recommend this oil for compressors as they help prevent deposit production in the machine.
Motor oils, unlike air compressor oils, have detergents in their composition. Other than detergents, motor oil also contains additional elements for lubricating the area between certain metal sections. Usually, these metal sections are found in engines of vehicles. Motor oils can be sourced in both organic and synthetic ways.
Now, you can use motor oil for air compressors. Although it is not advised by experts to do so, it is possible.
However, compressor oil is specifically designed for compressors only. Using them on the engine of a vehicle is not suitable at all. Therefore, in terms of versatility, motor oil is superior.
Performance and practicality – these are what make an air compressor oil stand out and be required by users. Since you have learned what is air compressor oil by now, we believe you can use it for various purposes.
We tried to answer all the questions related to this particular type of oil. Besides, we have all added some extra information. Make sure you refer to our article before using it. Good luck!