Using proper amounts and types of lubricants is essential to ensure the optimum operation of air compressors. It’s important to check with equipment manufacturers’ recommendations to determine the best oil for their specific brand and model of compressor.
In general, synthetic motor oil can be used in air compressors. However, care should be taken to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding what type of oil is best suited for your machine, as some synthetic motor oils are not compatible with compressed air systems.
Understanding the differences between synthetic motor oil, mineral-based motor oil, air compressor oils, and other specialty lubricants can help you decide which lubricant will work best with your specific compressor.
What is Synthetic Motor Oil?
Synthetic motor oil is an improved version of traditional petroleum motor oils. It is created in a laboratory through a specific process that results in uniform size and structure oil molecules. This allows the oil to better protect against wear and extends its useful life, which makes it well-suited for use in air compressors.
Synthetic motor oils are composed of one or more base stocks blended with additives designed to reduce engine wear, clean the engine, improve lubrication, enhance fuel economy, increase heat resistance and reduce emissions. Different manufacturers may employ different combinations of these components to suit their particular products best.
Synthetic motor oils are manufactured to exacting standards and tested extensively before being sold. Most often marketed as “high performance” lubricants due to their ability to perform well under extreme environmental conditions, these synthetic-blend oils have been designed for maximum protection for air compressor engines that operate at high temperatures for extended periods.
When considering using synthetic motor oil in your air compressor, it is important to consult your manual and follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding how much oil should be used, and what weight should be used. Any other instructions they provide specifically related to the use of synthetic motor oil in their recreational vehicle units or equipment.
You must know your unit precisely before attempting any changes or substitutions, as improper use or substitutions can result in serious damage or invalidate all warranties associated with your equipment.
Advantages of Using Synthetic Motor Oil
Using synthetic motor oil in your air compressor can provide several distinct advantages over traditional petroleum-based oils. The most significant benefit is its long service life, making it more cost-effective and convenient. Synthetic motor oil withstands high temperatures better than conventional oils, resulting in less sludge formation and degreasing build-up over time. This can help extend the service life of many moving components like pistons, piston rings, and cylinder walls.
Synthetic motor oil also provides superior lubrication for all moving parts, including the compressor pump and tanks, keeping them cool throughout the cycle without frequent changes or added maintenance. This oil also offers increased rust protection from moisture and environmental elements, allowing you to use your air compressor confidently, even in damp climates or outdoor locations.
In addition to improved lubrication properties, synthetic motor oil helps reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released during normal operation compared to petroleum-based products.
These VOCs can be hazardous when inhaled or come in contact with skin, resulting in multiple health risks due to short-term exposure. When used properly, synthetic motor oil in your air compressor offers several important benefits that increase safety while providing increased longevity for all components within the system.
Disadvantages of Using Synthetic Motor Oil
While synthetic motor oil may appear to be a cost-effective solution, there are several reasons why it is not recommended for air compressors. Synthetic motor oil is generally too sticky and viscous, resulting in increased friction within the cylinder walls and other parts of the compressor that could cause long-term damage to the unit.
Furthermore, many of the lubricants found in synthetic motor oil can evaporate and separate over time, leaving residue on the compressor parts that can contribute to decreased performance or wear. Due to this lack of compatibility with air compressors, many manufacturers and professionals recommend using a dedicated air compressor lubricant such as mineral oil.
Mineral oils are specifically designed for use with air compressors, as they have properties that prevent them from becoming thick or sticking over time. Additionally, mineral oils do not evaporate easily nor separate into their constituent parts when subjected to high temperatures, ensuring they remain effective as a lubricant even when used frequently.
Finally, unlike synthetic motor oils, which can contain harmful chemicals or additives that could harm the environment or your health if inhaled through leakage or aerosolization during use, mineral oils do not present any health hazards. They have no major environmental concerns associated with their proper disposal.
Can I Use Synthetic Motor Oil in My Air Compressor?
The use of synthetic motor oil in air compressors is becoming increasingly popular, as it can provide several benefits. Synthetic motor oil is designed to last longer and protect engine parts better than conventional motor oil, and it can also help your air compressor to run more efficiently. However, there are some considerations that you should take into account when deciding whether or not to use synthetic motor oil in your air compressor.
Advantages of Using Synthetic Motor Oil in an Air Compressor
Using synthetic motor oil in your air compressor has several advantages over conventional motor oil, including increased oxidation stability and viscosity index. Improved oxidation stability helps the oil withstand temperature extremes, making it ideal for air compressors requiring longer operation periods.
Synthetic motor oil also has a higher viscosity index than conventional oils, resulting in improved lubrication and better performance over a wider range of temperatures.
Synthetic motor oils offer more reliable protection than conventional engine oils since they do not contain molecules that can break down easily due to harsh chemical reactions caused by overheating and extreme pressure.
This makes them ideal for use in high-performance compressors that require lubricants to stay together better and resist breakdowns at high pressures and in extreme conditions.
Synthetic motor oils are also highly detergent and dispersant, so they help keep the air compressor’s internal components clean by effectively separating contaminants from the machine’s moving parts.
So, if you’re looking for reliable protection for your air compressor during long periods of operation or under tough environmental conditions, synthetic motor oils are definitely worth considering. Just make sure you check with your machine’s manufacturer to ensure compatibility before making any changes to your routine maintenance schedule.
Disadvantages of Using Synthetic Motor Oil in an Air Compressor
Using synthetic motor oil in an air compressor is not recommended, as some of the additives used in synthetic motor oil can cause a buildup of deposits and sludge within the air system of your compressor.
This can lead to corrosion, a reduced lifetime of the components, and overheating from the inability of the motor or compressor to move excess heat away from the components. Additionally, this may reduce the efficiency and overall performance of your system.
When using an air compressor for industrial purposes, it is important to use oil formulated specifically for compressors. These types contain anti-rust properties, detergents to reduce sludge build-up, pour depressants to reduce foam created by running hardware, and special lubrication additives designed to provide better protection against wear and tear on components. Regular synthetic motor oils do not contain these specific elements, which puts your machine at risk when used as a replacement.
For best results when performing maintenance on any air compressor, it is essential always to use oil specifically made for compressors rather than synthetics. Doing so will help you get maximum performance from your equipment while reducing long-term damage caused by chemical incompatibility with other oils or fluids in these machines.
In conclusion, synthetic motor oil can be used in air compressors, but it is not always the best choice. Synthetic oils provide better lubrication, corrosion resistance, and viscosity retention than conventional oil; however, they can be more expensive.
Before using synthetic motor oil in any air compressor system, it is recommended first to consult the owner’s manual or directly with the manufacturer to ensure that they approve of using synthetic oil in the compressor system. Synthetic motor oils must also meet ASTM standards for air compressors to ensure optimal protection of all components.