I bought a new air compressor from Harbor Freight (8-gallon, 2hp,) and last night I added oil to the fill line, opened all valves, and started it to run it for the break in period (30 minutes with no load, open valves on the tank.)
When I first turned it on, it shut off immediately (1-2 seconds.) I pressed the reset button, started it up again, and it ran a bit longer (3 seconds) and then shut off again. Each time it shut off, it took progressively longer for the reset button to be pressable (it gives a little click when it's ready to be reset.) This went on for 5-7 cycles until it finally stayed running (much louder,) at which point it ran for the full 30 minutes until I turned it off.
Today I changed the oil and went to turn it on again, and it was the same deal: several cycles of progressively longer short moments of quiet run time, and then it fired up and ran fine.
Is this normal for oil-lubed air compressors? Is this part of the cold start process, or should I return it as DOA?