Can I put motor oil in my air compressor?

We speak to lots of customers who, when Googling questions about their air compressor, have been directed to a forum. Ask Google about air compressor oil and you will inevitably come across forums full of compressor users who have been happily pouring motor oil into the equipment for years without a problem.

They’re lucky. Automotive oils contain detergents and additives. In a car engine those additions help prevent corrosion, wear, foaming, sludge build up and more. Put them in an air compressor, however, and they will result in the build-up of harmful carbon deposits. Add water to the mix (as screw compressors inevitably do) and the oil will emulsify, effectively reducing or removing its protective and lubricating qualities.

And that’s before we consider the issue of the manufacturer’s warranty, and the fact that no manufacturer will uphold a warranty on an air compressor that has had motor engine oil in its system.

How compressor oils differ from engine oil

Air compressor oil is detergent, sulphur and additive free, so it won’t cause damaging build ups on the compressor’s valves and other surfaces. An air compressor manufacturer will always recommend a specific brand of oil, and if you are changing the oil yourself we would encourage sticking to this recommendation to avoid invalidating your warranty.

Oil changes are part and parcel of our maintenance service contracts, so if your business relies on an air compressor, talk to us about a service plan that will keep the oil topped up (with the correct oil) and keep every other part in good working order. Call us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

  >  Breakdown cover 24/7? We’ve got you covered
  >  Keep your air compressor running with a good service