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How Do I Change the Oil in my Reciprocating Air Compressor?

To change the oil in your reciprocating air compressor, follow these steps:

  1. Unscrew and remove the oil fill plug.
  2. Unscrew and remove the oil drain plug to drain the old oil into an approved container for proper disposal.
  3. When the crankcase is empty, replace the oil drain plug.
  4. Then fill the crankcase with fresh lubricant.
  5. Replace the oil fill plug (hand tighten only).
  6. Dispose of the old oil in an approved manner.

For most Ingersoll Rand reciprocating compressor models, the oil level is considered full when the lubricant reaches the bottom of the threads in the fill hole OR the oil level reaches the top of the sight glass if so equipped. (See notes below for exceptions.)


  • For model’s P1.5IU-A9 and P1.5IU-A9-H only, the oil level is full when it reaches the top of the bubble located in the center of the sight glass.
  • For model P1IU-A9, refer to the markings on the oil dipstick to determine when the unit is full.
  • If your model is powered by a gasoline or diesel engine, please refer to the Operators Manual to review the engine oil requirements and service interval.