can I use 10w30 in my air compressor – 2022

What type of oil do you use in your air compressor? Some people might think that all oils are created equal, but that’s not the case. Depending on what type of air compressor you have, you might need to use a specific weight oil. 

The most frequently asked question is can I use 10w30 in my air compressor? The simple answer is: No, you cannot use 10w30 in your air compressor because it contains detergents. These detergents can break down the seals in your compressor, which will lead to premature failure. 

If you are unsure what type of oil to use in your air compressor. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. We’ll discuss the differences between 10w30 and other weights oils and explain which one is best for your air compressor.

Don’t forget to read the last part of the article because we’ll also give you some tips on how to safely change the air compressor oil. So read on to learn more.

What are the Characteristics of Oil used in an Air Compressor?

The oil used in an air compressor must have specific characteristics to ensure the proper operation of the compressor. That’s what we are going to discuss in this section. There are four main characteristics of oil used in an air compressor:

  • Corrosion/Rust Inhibitors
  • Consistency of the oil
  • The oil’s heat limit
  • Oil Viscosity

Let’s discuss each one in more detail.

Corrosion Additives

Additives are chemicals that are added to the oil to improve its performance. One type of additive is a corrosion inhibitor. These additives help protect metal surfaces from corrosion by forming a barrier between the metal and the environment.

Corrosion inhibitors are significant in air compressors because the air compressor contains many different types of metals, including iron, steel, and aluminum.

These metals would quickly corrode without corrosion inhibitors, causing the air compressor to break down.

Another type of additive is a detergent. Detergents help keep the oil clean by attracting and trapping dirt and other particulates. This protects the engine from wear and helps prevent build-up that can cause problems. But as we mentioned above, detergent is not suitable for air compressors. The recommended oil additive for air compressors is a corrosion inhibitor.

Oil Consistency

The consistency of the oil is essential in an air compressor. The compressor works best with oil that is not too thick or too thin. If it is too thick, it will not flow easily and could clog the compressor.

If it is too thin, it will not lubricate the compressor appropriately. For the excellent consistency of the oil, it is recommended to change the oil on time. The oil should be changed every 500 hours to ensure that it remains at the proper consistency.

The Oil’s Heat Limit

Anytime you are using an air compressor, the oil is working to cool the system. When choosing an oil, it’s crucial to select one with a correct heat limit that exceeds the maximum operating temperature of the air compressor. 

The heat limit is when the oil will start to break down. When this happens, the oil will no longer be able to properly lubricate and cool your system, leading to significant damage. Consult your air compressor’s manual or ask a qualified technician to find the correct heat limit. 

Once you know the proper heat limit, check the labels on potential oils to find one that meets or exceeds that number.

Oil Viscosity

It measures the oil’s thickness or how readily it flows. Thicker oils provide better lubrication and protection against wear, but they can also cause increased friction and heat build-up.

As a result, selecting an oil with the proper viscosity for your compressor is vital. The most common air compressor oils are 20, 30, and 40 weight oils.

What type of oil goes in an air compressor?

Different types of oil can be used in air compressors. But it’s good to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations because they know better than anyone else what kind of oil is best for their products. 

We will show you the top three most common types of oil used in air compressors.

1. Synthetic Oils

2. Oil with high viscosity

3. Hydraulic Oils

Synthetic Oils

Synthetic oils are always a good option when choosing the right oil for air compressor. Synthetic oils are designed to provide superior performance and protection in a wide range of conditions, and they can help extend the life of your compressor. 

Synthetic oils also tend to be more resistant to breakdown, so they can keep your compressor running smoothly for longer. As a result, they offer a cost-effective solution for keeping an air compressor in good working condition. Synthetic oils are the way to go if want best performance from your air compressor.

Oil With High Viscosity

If you live in a cold climate, choosing an oil with a high viscosity is essential. High-viscosity oils have a thicker consistency, which makes them better able to lubricate moving parts in cold weather.

While high-viscosity oils can provide superior performance in cold weather, they can also cause increased friction and heat build-up. 

Hydraulic Oils

These oils are specifically designed to lubricate moving parts and minimize friction, which helps to keep the compressor running smoothly. 

Hydraulic oils have good high-temperature stability, which is important in preventing the oil from breaking down under the high temperatures generated by the compressor. 

Hydraulic oils also tend to be more affordable than other oils, making them a good option for budget-conscious shoppers.

When choosing a hydraulic oil for your air compressor, be sure to select one compatible with the materials used in the compressor. Some compressors use synthetic materials that require a particular type of oil, so be sure to check your owner’s manual before purchasing any oil.

How to change the air compressor oil

There comes a time when every air compressor needs its oil changed. Changing the air compressor oil is a task that many people overlook, but it is important. If you are not sure how to change the air compressor oil, here is a quick guide.

You will need:

  • Air compressor oil
  • A container to catch the old oil
  • A funnel
  • A clean cloth
  • Wrench to remove the drain plug

Step 1: Locate the drain

First, you’ll need to locate the drain valve and place a catch basin underneath it. Next, use a wrench to open the valve and allow the old oil to drain out. Be sure to catch as much oil as possible to be correctly disposed of.

Step 2: Remove the filter

Once the oil has drained, remove the air filter. It will give you better access to the oil fill port.

Step 3: Add the new oil

Use a funnel to add the new oil to the compressor. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type and amount of oil.

Related Topics:

Step by step guide about changing central pneumatic compressor oil

Comprehensive guide on changing husky air compressor oil

Final Thoughts: 

Now you know the answer, “Can I use 10w30 in my air compressor?” You also know that the recommended oil additive for air compressors is a corrosion inhibitor. And finally, you learn how to change the oil in your air compressor. 

If you have any further questions about air compressor oil or their maintenance, be sure to consult an expert, you can contact the manufacturer of your compressor directly. You can also go through our Knowledge base articles on air compressors for more tips and tricks.


What is the difference between motor oil and air compressor oil?

Motor oil and air compressor oil are similar in that they are both used to lubricate moving parts. However, there are some critical differences between the two.
Air compressor oil is designed specifically for use in air compressors. It is typically made from synthetic base oil and contains additives that help to protect against wear and corrosion. On the hand, motor oil is designed for use in engines and may not provide the same level of protection for air compressors.

How much oil do I add to my air compressor?

Adding too much or too little oil to your air compressor can cause problems. Too much oil can cause the compressor to overheat, while too little oil can result in premature wear and tear.
To avoid these problems, it is advisable to add the correct amount of oil to your compressor. The amount of oil required will vary depending on the model of air compressor. However, most compressors require 1 gallon (3.8 L) oil for a complete oil change. During an oil change, it’s good to check the insight glass to get an idea of how much oil is in the system.

Can I use 10w30 in my air compressor?

No, It is not recommended to use10w30 in air compressor because it contains detergents. The recommended oil additive for air compressors is a corrosion inhibitor.

Do all Air Compressors use oil?

Though all air compressors need some form of lubrication to keep them running smoothly, not every type uses oil.
For example, oilless air compressors use a Teflon-coated piston instead.
These are typically found in smaller machines as the lack of oil means they require more frequent maintenance and have a shorter lifespan than their oil-based counterparts. That being said,

Leave a Comment