Air Compressor Maintenance Guide

Air Compressor Maintenance

Whether it’s a piece of mechanical equipment or an electrical, maintenance is a must. Having a maintenance schedule will undoubtedly save you both time and money, as you will be able to catch any minor issue in time before it gets turned into a major setback for you.

These days having an air compressor is a necessity, and since they aren’t cheap, if you show negligence you will end up with costly repairs.

The worst-case scenario would be the complete failure of the equipment.

So when you come across any minor issues with your compressor take immediate action, instead of procrastinating.

An orderly maintenance routine would no doubt guarantee your equipment’s longevity.

In this article, we shall talk about those aspects which are involved in your air compressor’s maintenance.

So without further ado…


9 Tips For Maintaining Your Air Compressor:

Oil Change

If you have a car then you know that it needs an oil change after a certain amount of time.

Even your air compressor has a similar requirement, not every compressor is oil-based but those who are needs oil of the right viscosity.

Different type of climate has a different effect on the oil’s viscosity.

For instance, the humid atmosphere diminishes the viscosity of the oil which means the internal parts of the compressor won’t get properly lubricated.

On the other hand, cold temperature further increases the viscosity of the oil, especially when the moisture gets into the play.

In any case, if the lubrication is insufficient the metal components will experience friction which will lead to wear and tear of the components.

When to change the oil?
Well either in 3-4 months or after 8,000 hours of usage. Do make sure that the oil you are using has no impurities and is of the right viscosity.

Drain The Compressor Tank

The undesirable and unavoidable result of compressing air is “moisture”.

The design of the compressor prevents the moisture from reaching the outlet, hence the air released is completely pure and moisture-less.

The water will corrode the components of the equipment, the reason why it is vital to draw off the moisture from the tank when it gets full, not to mention the pungent smell of the water.

Furthermore, it will affect the performance of the air tool attached.

Don’t forget to drain the water from the tank.

Check The Fuel Tank

Fuel is the soul of the compressor, yet this very soul can become the reason for inconvenience.

As it happens fuel consists of minute particulates that get trapped inside the tank, even in the filter (based on the design).

With time their quantity increases and starts hindering normal functioning.

Now to overcome this issue first you need to empty the fuel in the tank, then proceed to vacuum (wet-dry) the insides of the tank to remove the debris accumulated, including filters if they are present.

Check The Air Filters

The outside air is filled with dust and particles which are not at all ideal for an air compressor or its tools, hence a filter is attached inside the compressor to weed out such impurities and debris.

Even though these air filters are designed to withstand the onslaught of the debris, with time they too get clogged up which decreases their efficiency.

Must change the filter every once a year.

Check The Intake Valves

If the air tools that you are using tend to create dust particles like a pneumatic woodcutter, then those particles will get build up in the air intake valves.

Continued accumulation of such particles inside the valves decreases the working capacity of the air compressor.

Don’t forget to clean the intake valves at least once in 3 months.

Check The Compressor’s Shut-Off System

Prolonged use or increased atmospheric temperature means the compressor will get hot, in a situation like that your compressor should be able to shut it down

In absence of this feature, the compressor will continue to work causing it to overheat, this creates a hazardous situation both for the compressor and for those working with it.

There’s a tendency for the shut-off system to fail, and a humid condition also jeopardizes this process.

Make sure you go through the manufacturer’s guide to understand the instructions laid out to operate this feature.

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Check The Hoses.

Considered as one of the most susceptible components of your compressor, hoses are the connecting link between your compressor and your tools.

Unfortunately, the hoses have to go through a lot, whether it’s the inconsistencies in the air pressure or being dragged around causing those subsequent folds and bends.

Wear and tear in the hoses will affect the overall performance of the compressor, so make sure to change them if they get damaged.

Check The Oil-Air Separator

Despite having a simultaneous presence, air and oil don’t mix, at least not in normal condition.

The oil gets dispersed in the chamber where the air is present, but it gets removed courtesy of the oil-air separator. The result is the pure air and well-lubricated compressor.

However with time, even this separator gets ineffective and the air starts carrying traces of oil, which completely messes up your work.

Thus we recommend that you change out the filter after every 1,500 hours of use, or earlier than that to maintain the integrity of the compressed air.

Nuts And Bolts

A compressor creates vibration and that makes the nuts and bolts loose, after all, each and every component of the compressor is in motion so it’s only expected to happen.

This is not a big issue, all you need is a wrench and it will be sorted out pretty nicely.


The perks of proper maintenance are many, if you invest your time in looking after your compressor then your equipment will always work at its full capacity.

Moreover, a properly maintained compressor means fewer issues at hand, so less downtime, and more savings.

Not to mention the increased longevity of the equipment due to its equipment being in good shape.

With that being said, air compressor maintenance can be tricky sometimes as each model has its own set of intricacies.

So make sure you familiarize yourself with the instructions provided in the user’s manual.

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