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Can I Use Motor Oil In My Air Compressor?

Can I use motor oil in my air compressor? The truth is that there is an alternative lubricant that is both safer and more effective than motor oil. Consider adding AMSOIL Synthetic Compressor Oil as a safer option. AMSOIL’s synthetic compressor oil is available in three different viscosities: ISO 32 (SAE 10W), ISO 46 (SAE 20), and ISO 68 (SAE 30.)

Compressors of all types—whether rotary screw, rotary vane, or reciprocating—should be lubricated with oil of the appropriate viscosity grade. Synthetic compressor oils from AMSOIL’s PC Series are interchangeable with PAO, ester, and petroleum oils.

It is important to remember that this oil is not compatible with compressor oils that are based on glycol or silicone. AMSOIL PC Series Synthetic Compressor Oil uses cutting-edge, patented technology to provide lubrication for compressors that lasts for thousands of compression cycles.

It is designed to withstand extreme heat thanks to a combination of high quality PAO synthetics and superior non-detergent additives. In contrast to conventional motor oil, it has a lifespan of up to 8,000 hours, which considerably lowers the expenses associated with maintenance and the disposal of waste oil.

If it is time to replace the oil in your air compressor, you may question about the possibility of using synthetic motor oil. If you visit a number of online message boards where this topic has been addressed, you will discover that a lot of people have reported putting motor oil in their compressors without incident. They’ve been quite fortunate not to have encountered any problems thus far.

Synthetic Compressor Oil - ISO 32, SAE 10W.
AMSOIL Synthetic Compressor Oil – ISO 32, SAE 10W

For practical reasons, it would seem to be nice to utilize the spare engine oil sitting about your workshop. This could be a costly error, since your air compressor needs a specific kind of high-performance oil. To get the most out of your air compressor in the long term, we recommend using an oil that was created specifically for use in air compressors.

Difference Between Compressor Oil And Motor Oil

To assist motor oil in overcoming its obstacles, chemists use additives that have been created specifically for this purpose. Dispersants, detergents, viscosity improvers, etc. are all additives that may be used in conjunction with base oils.
Because gasoline is used in the engines of cars, the gasoline itself may contaminate the engine oil and lead to performance concerns. Because of this, high-quality engine oil is developed specifically to overcome these challenges.

Motor oils include compounds that are effective in a vehicle’s environment but are ineffective or even dangerous in an air compressor. Carbon deposits are possible to form over time from motor oils that are used in air compressors. Particular types of air compressors, namely screw compressors, are more likely to experience water collecting than others. Oil and water do not mix, as you may already know, and this may result in emulsification, which can lessen or eliminate the lubricating or protective properties of motor oil.

Synthetic Compressor Oil - ISO 46, SAE 20.
AMSOIL Synthetic Compressor Oil – ISO 46, SAE 20

Can I use synthetic motor oil in my air compressor? All of the technical considerations, such as recommendations from the manufacturer and personal experiences, point to the notion that air compressor oil is technically better than engine oil.

There is a big difference between motor oils and air compressor oils. During the process of producing air compressor oil, detergents and sulfur are removed in order to prevent the development of potentially hazardous deposits on the vital component surfaces and valves of the air compressor. Modern synthetic base stock oils have been evaluated to ensure they meet the performance specifications of air compressors. A premium synthetic air compressor oil will include a sizeable amount of chemistry designed to prevent foaming, wear, oxidation, and rust. These properties are sought after in air compressor oils.

Types of Air Compressors

There are a variety of air compressor types, including screw compressors, reciprocating compressors, and flooded vane compressors. On a reciprocating compressor, an SAE 30 is often needed on both the valve and crankcase sides of the device. It is possible that the SAE rating will need to be dropped to 20 if the reciprocating compressor is used in situations or temperatures that are much cooler.

You can ensure that the rings, valves, and cylinders of the crankcase of the air compressor remain clean by opting for a high-quality synthetic air compressor oil. This in turn enables the air compressor to function without the formation of deposits.

Synthetic Compressor Oil - ISO 68, SAE 30.
AMSOIL Synthetic Compressor Oil – ISO 68, SAE 30

When operating, the rotors of a screw compressor never come into contact with one another. When compared to vane compressors, screw compressors are more efficient and can work at lower temperatures. Because of the decrease in heat, temperatures are lowered, and compressor oils often have a longer lifespan as a result. The viscosities SAE 10, SAE 15, and SAE 20 are representative of this kind of compressor; however, the specific values might vary depending on the manufacturer.

Flooded vane blade compressors are effective in extreme conditions. They are constructed in such a way as to generate a rapid rate of rotation, which results in a significant amount of friction. Both the high rotating speed and the flooded vane compressor’s design contribute significantly to the generation of heat, and the design’s shear force also contributes significantly. The choice of a synthetic heavy-duty air compressor oil is something that should be given a great deal of consideration. Pick an oil for your compressor that is synthetic, has a synthetic base oil, and has high-performance anti-oxidation compounds to ensure it can withstand high temperatures.

Generally speaking, an SAE 20, SAE 15, or SAE 10 is required for a flooded rotary vane compressor. To illustrate why motor oil, especially multi-viscosity motor oil like 10W30, is not a good option for a flooded vane compressor, consider the intense shearing action that occurs inside one. Shear sensitivity is a common trait among the viscosity enhancers that are used in multiviscosity motor lubricants. As time goes on, the quality and performance of this motor oil will inevitably decline.

The Advantages of Premium Air Compressor Oil

Demulsibility is a property that should be present in the lubricants used in properly manufactured synthetic air compressors. This indicates that the oil will remain separate from the water and will not emulsify with it. The demulsibility of synthetic air compressor oil is another feature that sets it apart from conventional motor oil. Water may enter the system by condensation, leaks, or other sources if the air compressor is run for a lengthy period of time.

Compressor damage might occur if this water causes corrosion or, worse, alters the oil’s properties. Therefore, all lubricated critical components are protected when you use demulsible synthetic air compressor oil.

In addition to being superior to conventional motor oil in terms of performance, synthetic air compressor oil is superior because of its capacity to produce less foam. Antifoam ingredients will make up a significant component of a high-quality synthetic air compressor oil’s overall composition. You may be able to mitigate the effects of high temperatures if you reduce the amount of foam. As the temperature drops, the oil lasts longer and wear is reduced.

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When it comes to the oil that should be used in your compressor, the best option is to use synthetic compressor oil rather than motor oil. These lubricants have unique technology and prolonged drain intervals. High-grade synthetic compressor oils are produced by using PAO synthetic base stock oils that are of a high caliber and are also thermally stable. Scientists use cutting-edge, non-detergent compounds to create these compressor lubricants, which provide the highest possible level of protection even under extreme temperatures. The use of synthetic compressor oils reduces the expenses of maintenance and waste oil disposal.

Diminish Wear and Foaming

Anti-foaming compounds are present in significant proportions in high-quality synthetic compressor oil. Using these high-efficiency anti-foam additives may significantly reduce foaming, which in turn lowers temperatures, oxidation, and wear.

In order to safeguard the high-contact areas within the compressor, these anti-foam additives are strengthened with powerful anti-wear ingredients. The use of these anti-wear chemicals will lengthen the life of the compressor, which will in turn reduce the amount of money spent on repairs and maintenance.

Gains in Efficiency for Compressors

Synthetic compressor oils are resistant to the viscosity increases induced by oxidation and enhance the working efficiency of the compressor as a result. This is made possible by the use of friction modifiers in addition to friction-reducing PAO synthetic base stocks.

Protect against High Temperature and Oxidation

An effective synthetic compressor oil chemistry is achieved by combining high-performance antioxidant additives with specific synthetic PAO base stock oils, which eliminates the need for acid generation, carbon formation, and varnish development.

Conventional motor oils and lubricants made from petroleum cannot provide the same level of protection for compressors as high-performance synthetic compressor oil can. This is particularly true when the ambient temperature is high and the compressor must work.

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Prevent Water Contamination

Water cannot contaminate high-quality synthetic compressor oil. Condensation is a natural byproduct of air compressors, which is what ultimately results in the production of water. Emulsions of water and oil, which may form when there is moisture present, can lead to problems like rust and corrosion. When developing a high-performance synthetic compressor oil, significant attention is paid to the hydrolytic stability of the product.

This cutting-edge composition can be separated from water in a short amount of time, is resistant to acid, and contains compounds that prevent rusting and corrosion. It is easy to drain and dispose of since water and oil do not mix. Because of this, the lubricant will have a longer useful life.

Safety Is Enhanced With Synthetic Air Compressor Oil

Ash is not present in synthetic compressor oils of a high grade. Because of their very high flash point, the creation of carbon is prevented. Because the oil does not contain ash, has a high flash point, and has a very little amount of carbon, the risk of flammable hot spots occurring is considerably reduced. This particular kind of oil provides an extra layer of protection against fire. They cannot, however, be regarded as noncombustible.

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Can I Use Motor Oil In My Air Compressor?

It is not a good long-term plan. In conclusion, air compressors need a lubricant that has been meticulously created and manufactured for their one-of-a-kind functioning design and operating circumstances. A regular or synthetic motor oil is not equipped to deal with these aspects of an air compressor’s operation.

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