September 16, 2021

Compressed Air in Automotive Repair

From tire inflation to painting and everything in between, compressed air is vital to the automotive repair industry.  Automotive repair shops use compressed air in virtually every stage of the automotive body repair process.  But with so many different things to consider like maximum pressure and flow required, air quality, and drying options, it can seem overwhelming choosing the right system for your shop. 

Let’s break things down to simplify the process:

First, it’s important to consider the air pressure (PSI) required from your air tools.  From impact wrenches and grinders to paint sprayers and sanders, each tool will have a minimum air pressure requirement to operate correctly.  If you’re operating a 1” impact wrench, you may need up to 175 PSI to provide the appropriate torque.  Many common air tools, however, are easily operated at 90-100 PSI.  Make sure your system provides the maximum air pressure your tools require.

The second function to consider in tandem with air pressure is air volume, the total flow (CFM) of air you’re in need of to operate all the equipment in your facility.  Many grinders and sanders only require 3-5 CFM @ 100 PSI to operate, but other air users like sand blasters or paint sprayers could use significantly more air volume to operate properly.  Take all your air users and add up the total volume to come up with a total flow requirement for your facility and make sure your compressor can supply that volume at the minimum.

The last major point to consider in your compressed air system is the air quality required.  Filling tires or operating grinders may not require the highest quality air, but paint spraying certainly does.  Make sure there is adequate filtration to remove any potential contaminants or oil carryover to protect your end use equipment.  Air dryers are also important in removing moisture from your compressed air and can make all the difference when it comes to paint bleeding or fisheyes.


When it comes to choosing the right compressed air system for your facility, it comes down to the little details.  Reach out to us directly and discuss your options with one of our local compressed air experts.  Whether it’s for a new facility, replacing an existing unit, or planning for growth, we can help you choose the best system for your needs.

Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction.

Our comprehensive product and service solutions keep you running 24/7.

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Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.

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