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 What Oil is Best for Air Compressors?


What oil is used for air compressors? 

Oil-lubricated air compressors require a special oil to lubricate and cool the moving parts, assisting in keeping the machine operating at peak performance and extending the lifecycle of the machine.

Compressor oils differ from regular motor oils in a number of ways, but the primary difference is that motor oils contain detergents, while compressor oils are detergent free. While detergent will improve the performance of an internal combustion engine it will not do a good job of protecting air compressor parts.

When to change air compressor oil?

The type of air compressor and the level of use will determine when the oil should be changed.

As a general rule:

  • For rotary screw compressor, you should change the oil every 7000 – 8000 hours of use.
  • For reciprocating air compressors, you should change the oil every 3 months.

However, regardless of type or usage, the oil should be changed at least once a year.

Standard vs. Synthetic

The choice of standard or synthetic will come down to the use of the compressor. 

Synthetic oil will be used for professionals and those who use their compressors more often. 

Synthetic oils can help provide compressors: 

  • Better protection from overheating.
  • Run better in cold environments.
  • Run smoother and quieter.


Image result for shell logo    Shell Corena Air Compressor Oils

The Shell Corena range of air compressor oils has been developed to enable equipment operators to select the oil designed to deliver optimum value to their operations through enhanced wear protection, long oil life and high system efficiency.

The range has been designed to meet the challenges of a wide range of air compressors and applications, enabling you to choose a product to match your needs.

Shell Corena oils are designed to promote system efficiency by suppressing foaming, releasing trapped air and rapidly separating out condensed water. The oils are also developed to help reduce wear, which helps to keep your compressors working as their designers intended.

The Shell Corena "R" Range

Rotary vane and screw air compressor oils for use in stationary and mobile air compressors.

Shell Corena S3 R: Long life and improved efficiency for rotary air compressors. Conventional oil with an advanced additive system.
Shell Corena S4 R: Extra long life and improved efficiency for severe applications. Synthetic oil with advanced ashless technology.


The Shell Corena "P" Range 

Reciprocating air compressor oils for safe and reliable operation in demanding high-pressure applications.

Shell Corena S2 P: A conventional oil to provide reliable protection for standard life applications.
Shell Corena S4 P: Extra long life and improved efficiency for severe applications. Synthetic oil with an advanced additive system.