Skip links

Gear oil: Why is it important for your car?

According to auto experts and engineers, one of the main reasons behind transmission or gear failure is lack of care and maintenance. Gear oil is critical for the smooth functioning of the gear, transmission and other key components of your car.

By timely investing in the service and repair of your car, you can keep the gear system running smoothly. Gear oil lubricates the critical internal components and protects them from heat damage, corrosion, scuffing and pitting.

Any form of negligence with servicing your car regularly can cause the gear system to deteriorate. It can compromise your car’s performance in the long run. All of it only leads to increased costs as you might have to completely replace the parts with new ones.

However, regularly checking the gear oil, engine oil and other key fluids adds longevity and helps you save money incurred from damage and repair. Inadequate lubrication is the main cause of issues with the transmission.

Which oil is best for the gearbox?

You have to keep a lot of factors when selecting the right oil or lubricant for the gearbox. Some of the factors are as follows:

Type of Gearbox: You need to keep in mind the dimensions, the type of metal of the teeth of the gearbox, gear rotation and sliding properties. You also need to check the casing whether it is open or closed.

Operating conditions: Choice of lubricant also depends largely on the load, shock & vibration, anti-wear properties and pressure. All of it plays a critical role when it comes to choosing the right oil for the gearbox.

Temperature: There are different grades of oil available in the market for temperatures ranging from very low, to moderate i.e., between +20°C and +80°C, and for hot temperatures of over +80°C and for extreme +120°C. It is advisable to seek an expert opinion before you buy the right one.

Besides these other factors such as the environment of the gearbox, degree of anti-corrosion as some oils generally have enhanced anti-corrosion properties to balance the condition and add to the fluid’s service life for events such as exposure to dust, humidity, and other harmful elements.

Maintenance conditions should also be checked because synthetic fluid can yield potential operational savings yet meet all the requirements by giving high levels of safety and longevity.

Are gear oil and transmission fluid the same?

There is a common misconception among users that gear oil and transmission fluid are both the same. This is not the case. The right answer to this confusing question is they are different. Both types of lubricants are made for different purposes and possess unique properties.

Gear oil is specifically meant for use in manual gearboxes where is transmission fluid is intended for use in transmission systems of automatic vehicles. Gear oil is way too viscous for vehicles with automatic transmission systems and might cause clogging between components.

Before buying the right type of lubricants you should always refer to the owner’s Manual for details on what is considered safe to put in the system.

Read Important Facts About Automatic Transmission Fluid

Can I use engine oil as gear oil?

You can do that in some cases like in agricultural machinery. But in general you should only use gear oil in your gear box. Gear oils in general have higher viscosity and have extreme pressure additives that offer a much needed protection for your gears.

How do I know which gear oil to use?

Gear system specifications often vary from one car to another therefore you need to check the owner’s manual to know the correct type.

It is advisable to use high viscosity oils for low speed, manual gears usually with a rough surface. Higher viscosity adds a thicker oil film and provides better protection against friction and wear.

Low viscosity oils are best recommended for high-speed systems with less load, mainly automatic transmission systems. You need to select the right grade of gear oil depending upon the type of transmission.

Using the wrong type of gear oil can result in substandard performance or may even cause damage to critical internal components; therefore it is crucial for you to use only the gear oil which suits the conditions of your vehicle as per the owner’s manual.

Also Read About What Do You Need To Know When Selecting Industrial Gear Oils?

What happens if you don’t change gear oil?

Not changing the gear oil may cause severe damage to the transmission system of your car and other key components of the gear. As a result of not changing the gear oil regularly, you might have to replace parts of the gearbox or repair the transmission system which always comes at an added cost.

Gear oil application fades over time and hence new gear oil is needed to protect the critical components. You need to follow the service and maintenance routine as recommended by the manufacturer or auto engineer.

How often should gear oil be changed?

You need to check the owner’s manual first. It is advisable to change the gear oil for your vehicle with manual transmission at around 80,000 to 140,000 Kilometers mark whereas for an automatic transmission vehicle it can be 60,000 to 120,000 Kilometers.

What are signs that gear oil should be changed?

Some of the telltale signs that you should change the gear oil are:

  • Smoothness of the transmission when shifting the gears.
  • Is there any disturbance when you change the gear?
  • Is there any type of burning smell in the car?
  • Check if there are any cranking or grinding sounds.
  • Are there any leaks?
  • Is the gear oil dark or gritty?

These signs would clearly indicate that you need to change the gear oil.

Leave a comment