Common Problems with Air Compressors

air compressor issues

Air compressors are essential tools for handyman and DIY enthusiasts. They are commonly used in a wide variety of tasks, from inflating tires to powering tools. Despite their usefulness, air compressors are not immune to problems. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common problems with air compressors and how to fix them.


Problems You May Experience with Your Air Compressor



A common problem with air compressors is air leaks. Leaks can happen at various points in the compressor, including the fittings, hoses, and even the tank itself. The most common symptoms of air leaks are a drop in pressure and the compressor running continuously. To fix a leak, start by checking all the fittings and hoses for damage or loosening. Tighten them if necessary or replace any damaged ones. If the leak persists, it may be due to a faulty valve or tank, and you may need to have it professionally inspected.



Air compressors require proper lubrication to function correctly. Lubrication helps to protect the moving parts of the compressor and reduce friction. The most common issue with lubrication is over-lubrication. Too much oil can cause the compressor to stall or overheat. On the other hand, if there isn’t enough lubrication, the moving parts can wear out quickly. To ensure proper lubrication, you should check and change the oil regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Pressure Problems

Another common problem with air compressors is pressure issues. Some compressors may produce air with too low or too high of pressure. Low-pressure problems can be caused by a dirty air filter, clogged air regulator, or an issue with the compressor’s internal components. High-pressure problems, on the other hand, can be caused by faulty pressure switches, regulators, or valves. If you experience either of these pressure problems, check your compressor’s components for any damage or wear.


Noisy Compressor

Noisy compressors are another common problem. The cause of the noise can vary, but it can be due to anything from loose or damaged parts to improper installation. Try tightening any loose parts or adjusting the compressor’s position to see if the noise lessens. If the noise persists, check for worn belts or bearings. While noisy compressors are not entirely avoidable, proper maintenance and timely repairs can help reduce their severity.




Overheating is a common problem in air compressors that can lead to severe damage if not addressed promptly. This problem typically arises due to excessive use of the compressor or inadequate ventilation. You can fix overheating problems by ensuring the intake filters are clean, placing the compressor in a well-ventilated area, and switching off the device when not in use. Also, ensure the compressor oil is adequate and of the correct quality.


Unloading Problem


This problem arises when the compressor fails to unload air from the tank as it should. The unloading valve may be clogged or not operating due to excessive pressure or a malfunctioning solenoid. You can fix this by cleaning the valve or replacing the solenoid.

Electrical Problems

Lastly, electrical problems can also occur with air compressors. This can include issues with the cord, the motor, or the pressure switch. Common symptoms of electrical problems include a machine that won’t turn on or stays running. If you suspect electrical problems, start by checking the power source and the cord for any damage. If everything looks good, the problem may lie in the motor or the pressure switch.


Air Compressors in Portland, Oregon 


Having an air compressor is an excellent investment for business or a handyman. However, as we’ve discussed, air compressors are not immune to problems. Regular maintenance, such as checking for leaks, proper lubrication, and timely repairs, can help prevent the most common problems from occurring. So, as with any other investment, proper care and attention will ensure that your air compressor serves you well for years to come.

Pacific Air Compressors can repair air compressors. Contact us today if your air compressor is showing signs of stress. If your air compressor is beyond repair then shop our online catalog. You can reach us online or by phone at (503) 674-2744.


Dear valued customers,

We normally keep all our inventory in stock. However, due to backorders from many of our vendors and parts shortages, some items that we have listed may not be in stock or could have a long lead time although they show as available on our store. If you need your items right away, please call or e-mail to ensure availability.