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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of oil should be used in the pump on my ROLAIR compressor?

Please refer to the following oil table. It is extremely important to use oil specifically blended for air compressors. Oil packaged under the ROLAIR name is blended with chemicals that resist foaming, provide excellent wear/corrosion protection, and reduce carbon build up. Accept nothing less than genuine ROLAIR compressor oil. Remember to change the initial factory oil after a break in period of fifty hours. Feel free to contact our service department, for the names of our closest oil stocking distributors.

What is the difference between standard, semi-synthetic, and full synthetic compressor oil?

First, each grade of ROLAIR compressor oil is blended with an additive package specifically formulated to promote longer life. See FAQ #1. Standard compressor oils have a tighter range of operating temperatures and must be changed more frequently. A Group III synthetic blend and a Group IV full synthetic can be used in a much wider range of temperatures and both provide longer change intervals.

What can I do if my air compressor will not start during periods of colder temperatures?

It is our recommendation, regardless of temperature or oil grade, to start the machine with either an aftercooler or tank drain open and allow the air compressor to run “unloaded” for 30-40 seconds before closing the drain to build tank pressure and cycle normally. If the air compressor still does not run properly repeat procedure or change the pump oil to either a lighter weight or synthetic, see chart above, and repeat the “unloaded” starting procedure. If problem persists contact ROLAIR customer service or your local dealer for additional assistance.

Who should I contact to answer technical questions or obtain troubleshooting assistance?

The customer service staff at our Wisconsin factory is well equipped to provide support for any technical or troubleshooting question you have. Please send an email to or call 1-920-349-3281 between the hours of 7:00 AM & 4:30 PM CST. A local dealer or service representative may also be able to answer your questions.

What should I look for when inspecting my air intake filters?

First, check the overall integrity of the intake canister. If cracked, broken, or loose replace the complete canister immediately. Next, check the filter element(s) and replace if holes are found or excessively dirty. The inspection of pump and engine oil level, intake filters, vibration dampeners, and belt/bolt tension should be done on a regular if not daily basis.

Can complete air compressors and spare parts be ordered factory direct?

Complete machines and spare parts must be obtained only through our distributor and service network. Please contact our sales or service department if you need help locating an online, local, or service dealer.

What size generator should be used to power my ROLAIR air compressor?

Our air compressors are built with inductive style motors that draw a significant amperage spike during each start. Most generators will not provide this start up requirement and lead to premature capacitor and complete motor failures. Therefore, our recommendation is to completely avoid the use of generators. Motor related failures that occur due to generator use will void the warranty.

How can I obtain an owners manual or parts list for my ROLAIR compressor?

Current production schematics and owners manuals can be obtained on this website. Simply click on Schematics under the Service & Support tab, scroll down, and choose from the model numbers shown. Additional questions or requests on older production machines should be directed to our factory service department.

What is the difference between CFM Displaced & CFM Delivered Air? Which should be used when sizing an air compressor?

CFM Displacement is a theoretical amount and should only be used when making comparisons with other brands that do not provide information on actual delivered air. CFM Delivered is an actual airflow amount rated at a specific pressure and should always be used when sizing an air compressor. If you have questions on the best air compressor for your application please contact our service department at 920-349-3281 or with details on the tools & equipment you wish to operate.

Why should I purchase a ROLAIR instead of a less expensive high-speed oil less machine?

First, ROLAIR splash-lubricated air compressors have a much longer life expectancy. If properly operated and maintained your ROLAIR is capable of achieving 6,000-8,000 working hours. Compared to most homeowner oil less compressors that are built to provide 200-400 working hours of service the choice is clear. Most of our models are also built with S1 motors rated for continuous duty, unlike many high-speed oil less machines that can only be subjected to 50% duty and must be operated 5 minutes on and 5 minutes off.

Finally, we provide unparalleled customer support. Call us with a question or send an email and do the same with the other brands you are considering. We appreciate your business and look forward to hearing from you.