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Can you put motor oil in air compressor?

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High-quality oil is among the most vital elements required for air compressors to function properly and operate smoothly. However, trying to work out the best type of oil for a compressor takes careful consideration. Users should be wary of jeopardising their unit by using an inappropriate lubricant that may damage their compressor or of spending money on a solution that proves to not be energy efficient over extended use. Many users looking to avoid the stress of tracking down a compressor oil are often curious if using standard motor oil can be a substitute and, in this blog, we’ll take an in-depth look at why this isn’t the best choice.

Why motor oil is not a good lubricant for compressors.

Technically, you can lubricate an air compressor with motor oil, but it can have a negative impact on your unit. As a rule, most modern motor oils contain considerable amounts of detergent to help clean the engines they are designed to serve. Unfortunately, in compressor units this will lead to an unwanted build-up of carbon deposits that can clog up the unit and result in inefficient operations.

The good news is that leading oil manufacturers have engineered specially formulated lubricants for air compressor oils. These dedicated air compressor oils contain zero detergents to mitigate any chance of carbon accumulation and are the best option by far. Instead of risking the system health of a compressor by using motor oil, consult your equipment user manual and track down an air compressor oil instead.

Regular and synthetic compressor oils

Both synthetic oil and regular oils can be used to lubricate air compressors components. The main differences between these two options are cost and efficiency. Typically, synthetic oil is manufactured from base oils that are more refined than standard blends and, as a result, will work with greater efficiency within an air compressor’s engine. Additionally, synthetic blends are usually more reliable over a wider range of temperatures and as a rule, are less likely to cause overheating in the unit. The downside of using these innovative products is that they will most certainly cost more than standard oils.

To select the best option for an application, consider how often you will use the air compressor. For home or irregular use, a cheaper regular oil is a suitable solution but for commercial or industrial equipment in constant use, synthetic oil is always a better option.

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