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Many people and businesses own small air compressors that are used for tasks such as inflating tires and balls,spraying paints and varnishes and running air tools like nailers, impact wrenches and air ratchets.
Oil-lubricated home and Shop compressors are typically powered by an electric motor that is connected to the pump unit either directly or by a belt. When the electric motor turns the pump unit a piston creates a vacuum as it travels down the cylinder and pulls air through the inlet port. As the inlet valve closes and the piston travels up the cylinder, air is compressed and pushed through the discharge port and into the tank.
Air Compressor
The tank is filled with compressed air until it reaches a preset pressure, at which time the motor and pump shut off until the pressure in the tank drops to a predetermined point and needs to be Filled again
Although driven by an electric motor, oil-lubricated piston-type small air compressor pump units contain a crankshaft, valves, pistons, piston rings and bearings that require lubrication. Like the engines found on push mowers, compressors of this type often rely on a splash lubrication method to protect parts against wear.
Compressor maintenance is not a high priority for many people. Compressor units tend to be used only on an intermittent basis, and the oil is rarely, if ever, checked or changed. However, like any other engine, it is important to check the oil level occasionally and top it off if necessary to ensure optimum equipment protection and performance.

Compressor Oil Challenges

The challenges faced by compressor oils include the following:

  • Reduce friction and dissipate heat.  The more the pump unit runs, the hotter it becomes.
  • Resist sludge and varnish to keep valves from sticking or leaking.
  • Minimize foaming. Foam is a common byproduct of splash lubrication systems, leading to overheating and oxidation problems.
  • Corrosion and rust control. Water is a natural byproduct of compressed air, often working its way into the compressor oil and leading to rust and corrosion problems in the pump.
  • Good cold temperature performance for units used in cold climates.

AMSOIL  Synthetic Compressor Oils

AMSOIL compressor oils cover many types of compressors. From home and small shop reciprocating units to various industrial machines like rotary screw, rotary vane compressors. Lets take a look at the AMSOIL products most suited for home and shop use. Contact me directly for industrial compressor applications such as rotary screw, rotary vane compressors.

AMSOIL Synthetic Compressor Oil


AMSOIL PC Series Synthetic Compressor Oil is a long-life, premium compressor lubricant based on novel, proprietary technology. It incorporates the highest quality, thermally stable PAO synthetics fortified with premium non-detergent, ashless additives for maximum protection at high temperatures and pressures. It lasts up to eight times longer than petroleum oils, effectively reducing maintenance and waste oil disposal costs.

  • Improves Compressor Efficiency
  • Controls Foam and Reduces Wear
  • Resists Water Contamination
  • Resists Heat and Oxidation
  • Safety Advantage, high-flash-point formulation reduced fire chance

AMSOIL PC Series Synthetic Compressor Oil is compatible with petroleum oils and most synthetic oils such as Mobil, Atlas Copco, Craftsman, Ingersoll Rand, Sullair, Quincy, Kaeser, Shell, BP and others. Please call for proper viscosity and compatibility for your individual compressor application.
AMSOIL PC Series Compressor Oils are available in the following viscosities:

  • PCH SAE 10,  ISO 32
  • PCI SAE 20,  ISO 46
  • PCJ SAE 30,  ISO 68
  • PCK SAE 40,  ISO 100
  • PCL SAE 50.  ISO 150

* Check your owners manual for the correct viscosity. ISO-VG is known as the International Standards Organization Viscosity Grade, ISO-VG for short and primarily used in Industrial Lubricants.
Don’t wait until your compressor is broken to do lubricant maintenance on it. For most small shops, the Air Compressor is the life blood of the shop, airing tires and running power tools.
Give is a call today for you a free AMSOIL quote for your compressor oil needs.

Michael Sparks
PO Box 3590 Clarksville, TN 37043