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Can Synthetic Motor Oil be Used in Air Compressors?
 
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Question:
Can Synthetic Motor Oil be Used in Air Compressors?
Synthetic oil for a shop air compressor pump? It's getting close to the time to change the oil in my 5hp, 80-gallon, 3-cylinder single stage, electric air compressor. Being a "diehard" fan of Mobil 1 products, I would like to use them as well in my air compressor's pump motor. The pump calls for normal 30 weight oil. Being a mechanic (and Corvette owner) I have seen first hand how well synthetics work. But can an air compressor pump use synthetics? I'm worried the more slick and thinner synthetic oils will blow by the pistons and end up inside the tank and air lines. Can synthetics be used in air compressors? And would it be better or worse for the pump to use synthetics over normal fossil oils?
-- Ralph Smith, Linwood, NC
Answer:
Mobil 1 is not recommended for air compressor applications.  If you want to use synthetic oil, you should find synthetic compressor oil that is specifically designed for this application.
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