Written by Esther

How do you replace the oil in a compressor?

You've been using your compressor for a while and it's time to replace the oil. Want to know how to do this? Read on.

What do I need?

  • A container
  • A funnel
  • Gloves
  • An old cloth

Why replace the oil?

Oil for compressors and air tools

The oil provides lubrication and cooling to the motor. Eventually the oil will get turbid and dirt such as metal fragments and burned residues will get into it. The oil will absorb these fragments and ensure the motor keeps working smoothly. When the oil is old and dirty, the motor won't work as well and eventually the motor's functionality will be harmed. That's why it's important to replace the oil regularly.

Compressor oil drain plug

The manual precisely indicates how often you'll have to replace the oil for your type of compressor. Check now and then if the oil still looks good and clear and replace the oil at least 1 time a year, no matter how often you use it. If you're using the compressor a lot, replace the oil every 250 operating hours. Note: never mix different kinds of oil.

Getting started

Go through the following steps to replace the oil:

  1. Before replacing the oil, turn the compressor on for a few minutes. This will heat the oil, making it flow out more easily.
  2. Turn off the motor, unplug the connector, and grab the container you'll use to catch the oil.
  3. Remove the fill cap. This will let some air in, which will make the oil run out more easily.
  4. Remove the drain plug and hold the container underneath.
  1. Now it's a matter of patience until all the oil has come out. When no more oil is coming out, put the drain plug back on and pour fresh oil into the oil fill hole. Use a funnel to prevent spills and take your time to get the right amount of oil in.
  2. Use the oil dipstick to check if you've reached the right level or look at the oil sight glass for this. If you don't have an oil dipstick, check the manual to see how much should go in. Don't put in too much at a time, because if you put in too much oil, you'll need to let some out again.
  3. Don't just throw the old oil down the sink afterwards, this causes the sewers to get clogged. Hand in the oil at your supermarket (more and more supermarkets offer collection points next to the old paper and the glass containers) or at the a recycler.

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