Air Compressor Troubleshooting

For a body shop to give it’s 100% a well-functioning air compressor is a must, after all, many important services provided by a body shop involves such machinery which works with the help of an air compressor.

Needless to say, when such a crucial aspect of your work routine goes haywire, you are bound to be infuriated.

Doesn’t matter how top-notch your air compressor is, it eventually breaks down. In such an event it is advised that you follow the suggestions of the manufacturer first, before figuring out the issue on your own. 

Air Compressor Troubleshooting

In this article we will discuss some of the common issues which we encounter with regards to an air compressor, why they happen in the first place, and how to tackle them.


Troubleshooting Air Compressor

Can’t turn it on?

A couple of reasons as to why your compressor fails to start, like for instance:

  • Low pressure in the tank.
  • The pressure switch cannot make contact.
  • Low on oil.
  • No power.

Almost all these issues can be resolved by following these simple methods.

  • Adjust the pressure switch, or replace it entirely.
  • Change the oil.
  • Reset the device.

Compressed air is too hot.

You know it’s time to clean the compressor or replace some parts, (depending upon the situation) when the compressed air ejecting from the compressor has a higher than normal temperature.

There are a couple of reasons behind this anomaly like:

  • The buildup of dirt on the internal mechanism.
  • Lint buildup on filters.
  • Ventilation might be poor.
  • Problem with gasket/valves.

It’s ideal, to begin with the basic possible fix while dealing with the above-mentioned issues like:

  • Inspecting and cleaning discharge tube, cylinder, inter-cooler, and filter.
  • Relocating the air compressor to a better-ventilated area.

If these fixes fail, then it’s time to buy a new valve plate, or a head gasket, or both.

Decreased pressure

There are many aspects of your air compressor which would require thorough inspection for possible leaks, loose parts or any other inconvenience when you are dealing with an inadequate amount of air pressure at the receiving end.

At the end of your inspection for any inconvenience in the piping and hose, for leaks, after performing any necessary repairs for belts, filters, and hoses, you might likely end up having lesser than required air quantity, thus causing the low pressure in the first place.

It’s the most common problem, to deal with it you might have to utilize fewer tools at any given time or resort to smaller ones.

Here is another article – Why not Air Compressor Build Pressure?

Excess of noise

When your air compressor is running and you hear some noise, albeit not a pleasant one. This signifies that you might have a piece that is either defective or gotten loose over time.

First things first, check for any loose parts or bolts and tightened them in these following areas:

  • Flywheel.
  • Pulley.
  • Belt and its guard.
  • Clamps.
  • Cooler.
  • Floor mounting.

If the problem persists, then it is advised that you replace the crankcase itself, as it might be the source of the problem. We have a guide for quieting your air compressor.

Accumulation of liquid.

Sometimes a milky oil substance gets accumulated in the reservoir, or you might notice oil trickling out of the air compressor.

There are some conventional fixes to patch this up.

  • If the oil is leaking then it’s time to change the gasket.
  • Increase the drainage by dealing with the issue of condensation, as it happens to slow down the process.

Compressed air contains oil

There are numerous reasons behind this issue like:

  • Restriction in the compressed air intake.
  • Piston rings are shabby.
  • Improper oil viscosity.
  • The increased amount of oil in the compressor.

Worry not; they can be handled by employing these easy fixes.

  • Clean up or replace the air filter.
  • Replace those piston rings.
  • Drain the existing oil and then refill it with the proper oil.
  • Bring the oil mark to ‘full’ on the sight gauge by removing the excess oil.

Vibration in the compressor

Yet another common issue faced while using an air compressor  

and there are few reasons which give rise to this problem like:

  • Belts have gotten loose.
  • The compressor has not been mounted properly.
  • Deformed crankshaft.
  • Loose mounting bolts.

Here are some easy fixes to counter these issues.

  • Tighten those belts.
  • Before you mount the compressor, make sure you have leveled it correctly on all feet.
  • Replace the crankshaft.
  • Needless to say, those bolts need some tightening as well.


Often times a leak signifies that a particular part of your air compressor is either working inadequately or has become faulty. If it’s the latter then it means it needs to be replaced.

In any case, do check to see if there’s any leak in the gasket or an issue with the safety relief valve.

If it’s a damaged or defective part then it needs to be replaced.

Fuse keeps blowing up

A blown fuse is not a big issue as it tends to happen on occasions, but if it became a daily routine then that implies your air compressor has an issue.

It could be anything like:

  • Perhaps the fuse you have is of incorrect size.
  • Belts are exceedingly tight.
  • Valves are defective.

While purchasing a new fuse for your compressor, keep the voltage requirements in mind so that the fuse can get the requisite amount of power.

Note:    Always check the ampere rating before buying fuses, so that the fuse you choose goes with your compressor’s need.


Facing issues with your compressor over time is the ultimate eventuality. Not just with compressor, it happens with any equipment that you possess.

Needless to say that it is of utmost importance that you do routine maintenance of your compressor.

Most of the times the issues that arise are minor ones that can be dealt with personally without much hassle but seek professional help if the problem is tricky.

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