different types of air compressors

The Ultimate Guide to Diagnosing and Repairing Air Compressor Oil Blowouts

Air compressors are necessary devices that transform energy from a source into potential energy stored in compressed air. These devices can power pneumatic tools and inflate car tires, among other things. But occasionally, air compressors might have issues, such as blowing out oil. This problem may have an impact on the compressor’s operation and require expensive repairs. We will go over the reasons, signs, and remedies for an air compressor blowing out oil in this post.

The purpose of oil in air compressor

Mobil 101016 Rarus 427 Compressor OilAir compressors are necessary equipment in a variety of fields, including construction, manufacturing, car repair, and home renovation. The use of the proper oil is essential to the efficient operation and long life of an air compressor. We’ll go over what air compressor oil is used for below and why picking the appropriate kind is crucial for your compressor.


Air compressor oil serves the primary purpose of lubrication. The compressor has many moving parts that generate friction and heat during operation. The oil helps to reduce friction and wear between these parts, protecting them from damage and ensuring smooth operation.

Heat dissipation

Dissipating heat produced while operating is another function of air compressor oil. The compressor produces heat while it runs, which could raise the temperature inside of it. Overheating of the compressor is avoided because of the oil’s ability to absorb and transmit heat away from it.

Corrosion protection

Mitigating corrosion is crucial in industrial machinery, especially air compressors, and air compressor oil serves as a pivotal shield against rust and corrosion on the internal components. The formation of a protective barrier with the oil is crucial to prevent moisture and impurities from contacting the metal components, thereby extending the compressor’s life. Understanding the importance of using air compressor oil for corrosion prevention is imperative for ensuring the machinery’s operational efficiency.


By filling up cracks and crevices in the components, air compressor oil can function as a sealant to stop air leaks. By doing so, the performance of the compressor is improved and the desired air pressure is maintained. This air compressor oil feature must be understood in order for the machinery to operate effectively.

Causes of air compressor blowing out oil

When an air compressor starts blowing out oil, it’s a sign that something isn’t working properly. There are several causes that could be behind this issue, and in this article, we’ll take a closer look at each one.

  1. Piston rings:

Piston rings are small metal rings that seal the space between the piston and cylinder wall. These rings help to prevent oil from getting into the compression chamber. However, over time, piston rings can wear out or become damaged, causing oil to leak into the chamber and get blown out with the compressed air.

  1. Worn valves:

Air compressor valves are responsible for controlling the airflow and regulating the pressure inside the compressor. When these valves become worn or damaged, they can cause oil to enter the compression chamber, leading to oil blow-by.

  1. Overfilled oil level:

Sometimes, overfilling the oil in the compressor can cause it to blow out oil. When the oil level is too high, it can create too much pressure and cause the oil to leak out.

  1. Clogged oil separator:

The oil separator is responsible for removing oil from the compressed air before it exits the compressor. When the separator becomes clogged with debris or sludge, it can cause oil to pass through and get blown out.

Symptoms of air compressor blowing out oil:

If your air compressor is blowing out oil, you may notice some warning signs that indicate there’s a problem. These symptoms can range from minor issues to more serious concerns that require immediate attention.

  1. Oil leaks:

One of the most noticeable symptoms of an air compressor blowing out oil is oil leaks around the compressor. You may see oil puddles forming under the machine or oil stains on the compressor’s body.

  1. High oil consumption:

If your air compressor is using more oil than usual, it could be a sign that oil is being blown out with the compressed air. You may need to top up the oil level more frequently than before.

  1. Reduced air pressure:

When oil is being blown out with compressed air, it can reduce the air pressure inside the compressor. This can lead to reduced performance or cause the compressor to stop working altogether.

Solutions to air compressor blowing out oil:

When it comes to fixing an air compressor that’s blowing out oil, there are several solutions that can help address the problem. Depending on the cause, some solutions may be simple and straightforward, while others may require more complex repairs.

  1. Piston ring replacement:

If the piston rings are worn out or damaged, they will need to be replaced. This is a complex repair and requires disassembling the compressor. It is best to hire a professional to carry out this repair.

  1. Valve replacement:

If the valves are worn or damaged, they will also need to be replaced. This repair is also complex and requires disassembling the compressor.

  1. Oil level adjustment:

If the oil level is too high, adjust it to the recommended level.

  1. Oil separator cleaning/replacement:

If the oil separator is clogged, it may need to be cleaned or replaced. This repair is less complex than replacing the piston rings or valves and can be done by a technician.

Final Words

An air compressor blowing out oil can be a frustrating and costly problem. However, with proper maintenance and timely repairs, it can be resolved. In this article, we have discussed the causes, symptoms, and solutions to this issue. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, it is best to address them promptly to prevent further damage to the compressor. Remember to hire a professional technician for any complex repairs, such as piston rings or valve replacements. With proper care, your air compressor can provide reliable and efficient performance for years to come.