Which oil should I choose for the gearbox?

The operation of the gearbox is associated with high mechanical loads on various cooperating mechanisms. Thanks to the use of appropriate gear oil, it can be used for even hundreds of thousands of kilometers. It is important to change the oil often enough and choose a product adapted to the given type of gearbox.


Gearbox – how often should you change the oil?

In manual transmissions, the oil should be changed approximately every 100,000 kilometers. In the case of an automatic transmission, this service should be performed more frequently - every 40,000 km. Oil leaks cannot be underestimated, as there is always a risk that they are the result of damage to the automatic or manual transmission. When selecting gear oil, consider the SAE J306 oil standard. According to it, oil viscosity is defined on the basis of classes: 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 110, 140, 190 and 250. In Poland, due to specific weather conditions, products of classes from 70 to 90 are most often used.

Why does oil wear out?

In both automatic and manual transmissions, there are frictional forces that arise from the mechanical interactions between the gears. During operation, the oil can heat up to 150 degrees Celsius, which means that even then it must retain its properties. For this reason, engine oil is not used to lubricate gearboxes. It is also worth mentioning that during the operation of manual and automatic gearboxes, small particles are released into the oil as a result of the above-mentioned friction. Over time, the oil loses its properties, which means that the gearbox oil must be changed.

Symptoms of transmission oil degradation in the gearbox

An experienced driver will immediately detect that the oil in automatic and manual transmissions needs changing. This manifests itself by:

  • difficulty in shifting gears, especially in winter,
  • characteristic "throwing" in the case of automatic transmission,
  • noisier operation, both on manual and automatic transmission.

Accelerated oil consumption can be influenced by rapid driving, driving with a semi-trailer, driving on difficult mountainous terrain, etc. Please note that automatics are more sensitive to oil consumption than manual transmissions.

Which gearbox oil to choose?

Gear oil selection should be in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations for specific gearboxes. If a driver notices the need to change to a different oil, he or she should bring this observation to the attention of an experienced mechanic. The quality of gear oils is determined by their brand and price.

Only the best oil manufacturers can afford to introduce products with strictly defined properties. If a driver has, for example, a sports car or an off-road vehicle, he or she should use a gearbox-specific oil with the appropriate driving properties. Otherwise, they will be subject to early degradation.

In summary, a driver wishing to change gear oil should not only take into account the oil standard and viscosity, but also the specific parameters for the selected gearbox type.

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