The title to this article is actually doubling as a very good question. Really, what is an air oil separator and why does anyone need one? If you did a search online for air oil separator you’d find a lot of sites selling them, but not one of them actually explains what they are, what you use them for, and how they work. Here is a fount of information that you may actually find useful.
The a/o separator is basically a filtering system that takes the oily vapor from engines and removes the oil allowing the air to pass through. This means that it keeps the air you breathe free from stinky, inky oil that may find its way into your lungs, eyes, and all over your skin and clothes. Not only is that a health hazard, but imagine what kind of fire hazard it would be to have every surface in your workspace covered in flammable oil residue-this could be quite dangerous if you are a smoker.
The a/o separator is used in any machine that is motor/engine powered/driven. You’ll find a/o separators in cars, motorcycles, ATVs, and trucks-all engine types that use viscous engine oil to lubricate all those hot moving parts. You’ll also find a/o separators in air compressors that use compressor oil which also needs to be filtered from the air.
The a/o separator is more than just a way to keep your workspace and body free from oily vapor and its effects; it is also a way to keep the air free from polluting toxins that increase the incidence of greenhouse gasses. Not everyone agrees with the idea of Global Warming, but the a/o separator is still a great tool (part) for keeping the air fresh and breathable. Actually, your vehicle won’t pass an emission inspection without a working air oil separator. The a/o separator doesn’t just keep the oil from the air you breathe, it also keeps the oil where it’s supposed to be-in the engine (motor). A happy and efficient engine is a well lubricated engine. No vehicle or machine that is motor/engine powered/driven can work if the pistons or kinetic parts are rubbing against each other or against other surfaces. This can lead to engine burnout or even an engine fire, both of which are difficult to come back from.
Finding an a/o separator requires a knowledge of the vehicle or motorized tool that you’ll need one for. An a/o separator used with compressor oil isn’t going to work or even fit into a Dodge Ram pickup. You can find a/o separators at parts stores, in specialty part shops online or around the block, or you can dig one up at a pick n pull. They come in many different sizes, designs, and use different filters. One cannot replace another unless they are manufactured specifically for use in the intended appliance, car, or compressor.
The air oil separator may have started out as a mystery to you, but now that you’ve read this article, you can walk away a bit smarter and a lot less oily.