How Much Oil Does My Air Compressor Need?

Oil Does My Air Compressor Need

Disclaimer: None of our reviews are sponsored. We earn a commission when you purchase items through our links.

Changing your air compressor’s oil is an essential step to maintain its efficiency and prevent any damage from occurring to either your compressor, your tools, or your project.

The amount of oil that your air compressor needs differs according to its type and model. There are different ways in which you can identify the exact amount that this needed.


Methods of Identifying

There are multiple methods of determining how much oil your air compressor needs, and they are:

  1. Using the manual
  2. Checking the oil sight glass
  3. Using the oil dipstick
  4. No Oil Sight Glass and No Dipstick

Using the Manual

This is the easiest way to know the optimal amount of oil that your air compressor requires. The manual provides you with a lot of useful information regarding your model. However, the only drawback to this method is that some people might lose their manual. We have provided you with a solution if that happens, you can always search for your manual here, by entering your model number.

Checking the Oil Sight Glass

This is also a straightforward way to identify your air compressor’s oil level, and whether you need to add more oil or drain some. All you have to do is check the oil sight glass. The oil should be a little above the middle of the glass

If the oil is near the top of the glass, then you need to drain some oil to avoid damage, while if it is below the center of the glass and is at a low level, then you need to increase your oil.

Using the Oil Dipstick

Similar to the oil dipstick used in cars, all you have to do is insert the oil dipstick into the oil fill tube cap. This is an easy and straightforward procedure, and it saves you a lot of time.

No Oil Sight Glass and No Dipstick

In this case, you will need to check if your air compressor even requires adding oil. Many of the new generation air compressors are self-lubricating and do not require you to add any oil.



Draining the oil out of your air compressor is an essential step to maintain its efficiency. Moreover, it is straightforward to do so; all you have to do is locate the oil drain, which is usually at either side of the air compressor’s bottom, then all you have to do is open it and let the compressor fully drain its oil into a bucket.

This is also an important step to determine the optimal amount of oil that your compressor requires. It lets you know the exact amount of oil that your compressor requires, thus saving you both time and money in the future.

What Happens If Your Air Compressor is Low on Oil?

Running your air compressor while it is low on oil is just as dangerous as running it at a high oil level. Having a low oil level can lead to heat building up inside your compressor. This is very dangerous as it can cause immense damage to the metal, friction-bind moving parts, as well as the motor, which could lead to the total failure of your compressor.

What Happens if Your Air Compressor is High on Oil?

Whenever your air compressor has high levels of oil, it becomes dangerous to operate Since this will lead to oil leakage, where excessive amounts of oil will be aerosolized due to your compressor’s discharge, leading to immense interior damage as well as damage to any tools that you are operating on. Moreover, damage will occur to the project that you are currently working on, meaning that you have to start over again.


Final Thoughts

It is safe to say that regularly changing your compressor’s oil and adding just the right amount is an essential step to maintain your compressor’s efficiency and durability. Moreover, it will also serve as a means of preventing any of your projects from ever being stopped or hindered due to possible oil leaks.