Oil acts as the primary coolant and lubricant in the engine of a air compressor. It is essential to have the correct amount of oil in your as it helps your vehicle to function at its best. On top of that, it guarantees the longevity of the parts that need lubrication in order to function normally. This is

That said, oil issues are a challenge that all people face, whether they are a first-time air compressor owner or a veteran. Overflowing or lack of oil are the most common oil issues.

Overflowing is caused by putting too much oil in your air compressor. Lack of oil, on the other hand, might be caused by oil leaks or the engine burning the oil during runtime due to mechanical problems. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the symptoms, causes, and remedies for overflowing or lack of oil.

How do you know if you put too much oil in your air compressor?

Some of the first overfill engine oil symptoms that you’ll notice if your engine oil is overflowing are:

White exhaust smoke

Thick white/grey exhaust smoke is a tell-tale sign that you put too much oil in your engine. Generally, white smoke is an indicator that something is burning in the engine. When oil overflows, it might churn into foam, start to burn, and cause white smoke.

Emissions from burning oil are not eco-friendly. In some states, it is illegal to drive a smoking air compressor or motorcycle. Therefore, as soon as you notice white smoke, take your automobile to a mechanic to avoid engine and legal problems.

Leaking oil

Can oil leak if overfilled? Excessive oil tends to leak from the engine. Therefore, some of it will end up on the floor where you park your air compressor. Make sure that you check for drops of oil underneath if you suspect that you have added too much oil.

It is important to note that if you added oil in the same spot where you park, some of it might have spilled over during the process. However, if you find oil beneath your air compressor after you have moved it, it may be leaking.

Remember that drops of oil underneath your air compressor is not always a symptom of overflowing oil. Sometimes, a leak might be caused by a loose oil plug underneath the vehicle.

Dipstick reading

One of the surest ways to know if you have too much oil in your air compressor is to conduct the dipstick test. A dipstick is a calibrated rod that is used to check the amount of oil in an oil tank. This rod has a minimum and maximum mark.

If you check your oil and it is beyond the maximum mark, then you have too much oil in your air compressor. Always make sure that your dipstick reading is between the minimum and maximum mark, to avoid overfills.

Effects of too much oil in a air compressor

If there is too much engine oil in your rotary screw air compressor, it will be affected in the following ways:

Unstable pressure

Can too much oil cause low oil pressure? The answer is, yes! Burning oil churn into foam, which has high quantities of air in it.

As the foam circulates through the engine, it might destabilize oil pressure. Unstable oil pressure causes your air compressor to work harder, and it might also bend some rods or cause valve pipes to collapse.

Engine wear

Incorrect oil pressure due to overflowing oil will reduce the lubrication of engine parts. As a result, there will be increased wear and tear in the system.

Pressure on crankshaft heads and tails

Ends on crankshafts and head and tail couplers are designed to stop oil from leaking. Excessive oil puts extra pressure on these components, resulting in oil leaks. If there is increased pressure on the flywheel end of the shaft, the oil might contaminate and damage your clutch.

Friction on the crankshaft

The crankshaft and crane experience increased friction and resistance when there is too much oil. If an overflow is prolonged, these parts will be damaged by excessive friction.

Engine damage

Increased pressure on the crankshaft can result in oil entering the crankshaft exhaust chamber. The oil might then flow to the combustion chamber and block the suction hose with soot. This puts your air compressor at the risk of engine overload.

Resolving oil overflow

If you detect an engine overfill early, your air compressor should, most probably, be okay. However, if you are not so lucky, it might cost you. Be to take your air compressor to the mechanic for fixing.

You can also take your air compressor to the mechanic for the excess oil to be drained. Alternatively, you can drain the oil yourself using a drain plug.

Now that you know the symptoms of an oil overflow let’s take a look at those of lack of oil.

Symptoms of low engine oil

If your air compressor has little oil, you will notice the following low oil in air compressor symptoms:

Clunking sounds

If your engine oil is low, most parts will not be well lubricated. As a result, you will notice loud knocking, clunking, and grinding sounds.

As soon as you notice these sounds, schedule an oil change immediately. In doing so, you’ll reduce the risk of damage and breakage of air compressor parts.

Oil pressure warning light

If your air compressor is running out oil, your vehicle’s warning light will come on. This light indicates that oil pressure is too low. Make sure that you add oil upon noticing it.

Overheating engine

One of the significant signs your air compressor is out of oil is an overheating engine. Improper lubrication leaves parts unprotected as they rub against each other.

Aside from causing noises, metal-to-metal contact due to inadequate lubrication will cause your engine to overheat. On top of that, it increases fuel consumption.

If you notice that your engine is overheating, pull over immediately to cool the engine. Also, check oil levels and call a mechanic to check if any parts are damaged.

Burning oil smell

A burning oil smell is caused by an oil leak. If you smell oil from the inside of your air compressor, pull over immediately and turn off your vehicle. When the air compressor has cooled for about ten minutes, check oil levels using the dipstick method. If the oil is low, add some more before driving the air compressor again.

Effects of low engine oil

If your air compressor is low on oil, it will experience severe loss of power. Your air compressor might also start shaking upon acceleration due to the low transmission of fluid. If the oil goes unchanged for a while, the engine will overheat and, eventually, fail.

How much oil should you put in your air compressor?

The amount of oil that your air compressor requires depends on the size of your engine. Smaller engines require less oil to meet the engine volume. A 4 cylinder engine requires about 5 liters of oil. A 6 cylinder engine requires about 6 liters, while an 8 cylinder engine requires about 5-8 liters depending on engine size.

In conclusion

As soon as you discover too much oil in your air compressor, make sure you drain it before it damages your parts. You can call a mechanic to drain the oil for you and check for any related damage.

If you notice too little oil in your air compressor, pull over immediately and let the air compressor cool before adding more oil. Remember to refer to the manufacturer’s manual to see the type and quantity of the oil that you need to add.


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