Which gear oil is better

Top 5 best transmission oils according to user reviews

Not a single owner of a vehicle can do without transmission oil. If you leave the gearbox without this viscous fluid for a long time, it will definitely fail.

And no one wants to replace the transmission - this is a troublesome and expensive task. That is why it is better to buy good oil so that no problems arise later. This article contains a list of such oils.

We also mentioned the most popular manufacturers, whose products rarely cause serious complaints.

Which brand of gear oil to choose?


A brand that promotes itself through advertising in the World Rally Championship (WRC). Oil manufacturer Castrol is based in London and was founded back in 1899, when cars were just beginning to crowd out horses.

The trademark belongs to the BP group of companies, which produces oil and creates various products based on it.

In Russia, Castrol gear oils can be found in almost every store selling automobile accessories.

Liqui Moly

The German company Liqui Moly GmbH was founded in 1957. From the very first years of its existence, it has been producing auto cosmetics, auto chemicals, lubricants and motor oils.

The quality of its products is evidenced by the fact that transmission oils are used by many teams taking part in motorsports competitions.

German products appeared in Russia in the early 1990s, when the Iron Curtain collapsed. Since then it has been in constant demand.


The American company MOBIL is engaged in oil production, transportation and refining.

In stores all over the world you can easily find gear oils and other auto chemicals bearing the famous MOBIL logo.

The company was founded in 1882 and now earns many billions of dollars. It was noted that almost none of the buyers of MOBIL products switch to competitor oils in the future.


Its long-term presence in Formula 1 has brought SHELL worldwide fame. Who among us doesn't know the yellow and red shell logo? This company was founded in 1907, and its headquarters are located in the Dutch city of The Hague.

The company is engaged in the extraction and processing of oil, gas and some other minerals.

Like many competitors, SHELL produces its own transmission oils, which are chosen not only by ordinary car enthusiasts, but also by athletes participating in racing.

Rating of the best transmission oils

This rating, based on user reviews, took into account:

  • Price;
  • Product properties;
  • Possibility of use at sub-zero temperatures;
  • Availability and quality of additives;
  • Availability in Russian retail.

The best synthetic gear oils


ZIC's products are not distinguished by the highest price. Of course, the company does not supply its goods at their cost, but still the markup is significantly lower than that of the five companies mentioned above. So a liter canister of ZIC GF TOP 75W-90 is relatively cheap, which many buyers really like.


  • High-quality additives that extend the life of the gearbox;
  • Possibility of use in manual transmissions;
  • High thermal-oxidative stability;
  • No vibration or noise even in severe frost;
  • High compatibility with sealing joint materials;
  • Affordable price.


Reviews of ZIC GF TOP 75W-90 show that sometimes you can find almost ideal gear oil at a low price. This liquid performs well at any temperature, even the lowest. If you regularly use ZIC GF TOP 75W-90, the gearbox will work for many years without any problems. Isn’t this what is required from modern oil?

Total Trans SYN FE 75W90

An excellent product that can be used anywhere an API GL-4, API GL-5 or MT-1 transmission fluid is required. The creators turned out the oil to be extremely viscous, which is only a plus for it - the product cannot thicken even at very low temperatures.


  • Maximum thermal stability;
  • Very good anti-corrosion and anti-foam properties;
  • The oil is compatible with most types of synchronizers;
  • The oil change interval is very long;
  • Availability in many stores in Russia.


  • Versatility can also be a negative factor.

Reviews of Total Trans SYN FE 75W90 indicate that this is a good universal oil, the only disadvantage of which is a fairly high price tag.

The product allows you to replace it as rarely as possible, and its high viscosity guarantees stable operation of the gearbox even in severe frost.

The only thing that confuses some buyers is its very versatility - well, such a product cannot ideally suit absolutely all transmissions!

The best semi-synthetic gear oils

LIQUI MOLY Hypoid-Getriebeoil TDL 75W-90

This product comes in a familiar plastic bottle. It has double approval (API GL-4/5), thanks to which the oil can be used with synchronized and non-synchronized gearboxes. It is also possible to pour fluid into a gearbox with a hypoid clutch.


  • Can be used in machines with any type of drive;
  • Very good anti-corrosion and lubricating properties;
  • Decent heat resistance;
  • Quite reasonable price.


  • Lack of love for some domestic synchronizers;
  • The need to strictly maintain intervals between replacements.

Reviews of LIQUI MOLY Hypoid-Getriebeoil TDL 75W-90 show that this oil requires regular replacement. But on the other hand, it has maximum anti-corrosion properties, thanks to which the service life of the gearbox is significantly increased. Buyers are also pleased with the price of this liquid - although it is not minimal, it will definitely not make you faint.

THK Trans Gipoid Super 75w90

If you prefer to save money, then take a closer look at THK Trans Gipoid Super 75w90. Three liters of this semi-synthetic oil are sold for about the same money that other manufacturers ask for one liter of their liquid! At the same time, this product has quite good properties; the oil cannot definitely be called bad.


  • Copes well with sub-zero temperatures;
  • Excellent protection against corrosion and wear;
  • Very low cost;
  • Suitable for hypoid gears;
  • High level of protection under various loads.


  • Not the best interaction with synchronizers made of non-ferrous metals.

Reviews of THK Trans Gipoid Super 75w90 indicate that this liquid retains its viscosity even at a temperature of -25°C. The oil is also endowed with excellent anti-corrosion properties, due to which the service life of the gearbox is significantly increased. It can be used in cars and trucks that require API GL-5 oil.

The best mineral gear oils

Total 75W80 BV

This mineral transmission fluid has no competitors! If some oils are superior to this product, they will definitely disappoint with their high price tag. As for Total 75W80 BV, the cost of this liquid can be called reasonable. We must not forget that you will change the oil very rarely, as this product retains its properties for a very long time.


  • Ideal interaction with manual transmissions;
  • Adequate price;
  • Excellent fluidity and viscosity parameters;
  • Does not oxidize for a very long time;
  • Not afraid of Russian frosts.


Reviews of Total 75W80 BV show that this oil simply has no drawbacks! It is ideal for both front-wheel drive domestic cars and other vehicles equipped with manual transmission.

When using this product, a thin oily film is formed, which is elastic and resilient. It does an excellent job of protecting gearbox parts from dirt and wear.

All these properties are maintained until the oil change required during maintenance.

Which gear oil to buy

There is nothing complicated in choosing gear oil. You just need to look at the car’s operating instructions; all the recommended parameters will be indicated there.

However, you can choose oil without this book. It is enough to pay attention to the relative sliding speeds and specific loads acting in the mechanism.

Depending on these criteria, a liquid with a suitable viscosity and the required amount of additives is selected.

Nowadays the most popular gear oils are GL-4 and GL-5. The first group contains fluids that are ideal for domestically produced front-wheel drive cars.

Well, GL-5 class oils are used in all other cars, including foreign cars. There are also options that belong to two groups at once, called universal.

Their properties are slightly worse, but under certain conditions such oils can also be used.

As for the viscosity mentioned above, according to this parameter, transmission fluids are divided into groups SAE 85W-90 (thick mineral oils), SAE 80W-90 (less thick mineral oils) and SAE 75W-90 (synthetic and semi-synthetic oils).


9 best transmission oils

A car today is quite an expensive pleasure. We are talking not only about the price of the car itself, but also about the constant increase in the cost of gasoline, taxes and expensive spare parts. Therefore, many car enthusiasts take good care of their vehicles, trying to extend its life so as not to invest large amounts of money in repairs.

Some people are confused when it comes to transmission oils and gearboxes.

They ask the question: why change something that should work all your life? But this is not so, especially when in auto repair shops you see dozens of dead checkpoints and the questioning faces of motorists.

Without delving into the technical details, it is obvious that the gearbox, whether automatic or manual, requires careful handling and high-quality oil.

Obviously, oil manufacturers have reached unprecedented heights: today on the market you can find dozens of types of gearbox fluids to suit any needs of car enthusiasts. Therefore, we have compiled a rating of the best and most optimal transmission oils with a detailed description and identified distinctive features. When compiling the list, we relied on the following criteria:

  • Experienced opinions from technical experts
  • Real reviews from car enthusiasts
  • Ratio of price and quality characteristics
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The rating includes popular and fairly simple brands that have been offering high-quality and reliable products for many years.

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This type of oil is stable over long-term vehicle operation, unlike semi-synthetic or mineral ones.

Synthetics have greater fluidity and viscosity, which are not so dependent on temperatures. This indicates a wide operating range of this oil, and it is also less susceptible to oxidation.

The main disadvantage is the relatively high price.

3 Liqui Moly Hochleistungs-Getriebeoil 75W-90

The third best synthetic transmission oil is a Liqui Moly product with a strange German name. It meets all international requirements. It is used in manual transmissions and hypoid axle gearboxes.

The API GL-4 standard allows the oil to be used in passenger cars. The manufacturer claims that Hochleistungs-Getriebeoil is the best oil for wear protection. This is confirmed by many years of practice.


  • High quality chemical components
  • Wear resistance
  • Withstands extreme loads
  • Excellent protective properties


Expensive and elite oil MOTUL GEAR 300 stands out among the rest not only in price, but also in technical features. This product has the highest performance, quality and reliability. This is why it is used in sports and racing cars.

SAE classic – 75W-90, API standard – GL4. Viscosity under extreme loads does not affect the car's power: horsepower "does not decrease." MOTUL is recognized as a leader in many properties, which is why it has such a price.

Overall, an ideal option if you have the means.


  • For high and shock loads
  • Maximum development of oil composition
  • The film has increased resistance under pressure
  • Oil properties reduce wear and friction


At the top of the ranking among synthetic oils is ZIC GF TOP. Ideal for regions with low temperatures due to its cold resistance, which allows the oil to be fluid and viscous in any frost.

A separate feature is the low probability of counterfeiting, because the manufacturer uses a special technology for manufacturing the canister. Car enthusiasts note that when using ZIC TOP, noise in the transmission is reduced.

Another feature is that this oil is effective under extreme loads.


  • Thermal-oxidative stability
  • Anti-friction properties
  • Compatible with materials inside the gearbox
  • Optimal price

There are no disadvantages.

Semi-synthetic oils are cheaper than pure synthetics, but they have average characteristics and properties because they are a mixture of two other types. Good viscosity indicators and compatibility with other types of oils are excellent advantages. However, semi-synthetics require more frequent replacement and have a smaller temperature range than synthetics.

3 LIQUI MOLY Hypoid-Getriebeoil TDL 75W-90

The German manufacturer produced universal oil. It is used for all types of drives because it belongs to the Total Drive Line classification. Moreover, API GL-4/5, which indicates the presence of double approval.

This means that this oil is suitable for most gearboxes. This versatility is complemented by anti-friction properties, wear resistance and other pleasant features.

Overall, the best option, excellent value for money.


  • Versatility of use
  • Anti-corrosion properties
  • Wear resistance
  • Price


  • Strict oil change intervals

The Korean manufacturer did not skimp on “stable” oil. Ideal option for HYUNDAI and KIA owners. This oil allows the gearbox to operate over a wide temperature range. The frictional properties are excellent, and an important feature is one of the best compatibility with many metal products, which protects the box from wear and tear.


  • Wide temperature range
  • Metal compatibility
  • Wear resistance
  • Price


The French manufacturer managed to create the most optimal option with the best extreme pressure characteristics.

NFJ 75W80 has excellent temperature stability: it thickens slightly when the temperature drops, and does not become extremely liquid at high degrees.

The oil's properties make it easier to change gears in cold weather and also reduce noise due to its strong viscosity stability against shear. The gears don't change on their own. Mechanical components receive reliable protection due to the chemical properties of the oil.


  • Protective properties
  • Wear resistance
  • Stability of characteristics
  • Excellent friction properties
  • Enhances wear protection of transmissions, especially mechanical components

No deficiencies found.

Mineral oils are the cheapest type because their production does not require serious technology. In fact, the price determines the characteristics of the oil: they are optimal and worth the money. The viscosity of this type is high, but the quality leaves much to be desired.

Therefore, frequent replacement is sometimes required. Mineral oil has a low temperature range and also contains impurities due to poor purification. Overall, a good option if you don’t have the opportunity to purchase more expensive oils.

Although sometimes nothing else is required.

3 Lukoil 80W90 TM-4

Russian Lukoil is the leader among manufacturers in the Russian Federation. This oil differs in price, as well as the addition of an additive package. The scope of application is wide: cars, trucks, equipment and other mechanisms.

Excellent wear resistance for 120 rubles, as well as anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion properties. You shouldn't expect much from this oil, but this product is one of the leaders in this category.

Despite its relative versatility, the oil is suitable for GM-4 systems. Overall, a fairly effective oil at an extremely reasonable price.


  • Price
  • Simple composition
  • Good resistance to low temperatures
  • Good lubricating properties

No deficiencies found.

Total pleases with its attitude towards consumers: they managed to develop the most optimal gear oil. Price and quality are in direct correlation: the cost is adequate to the properties, and the duration of use is impressive.

GEAR 8 has properties that allow you to avoid changing the oil as often as is common among mineral products. Many users note that it has no disadvantages as such. This is an ideal option for Russian cars and for any others with a manual transmission.

The film from this oil is quite resilient and elastic, which creates excellent protection for the mechanisms and gears of the box.


  • Price and quality
  • Optimal flow and viscosity properties
  • Withstands low temperatures

No deficiencies found.

Getriebeoil mineral oil is based on the highest quality of the components used and the use of a set of special additives, which ensures excellent properties and reliable operation. This oil is suitable for all-season use, which means the oil will not thicken excessively in winter.

It is assumed that Getriebeoil can be filled for all types of spur gears, which indicates a wide range of applications. Chemical properties ensure compatibility with most types of seals.

In general, this German oil offers high reliability, protection against rapid wear and pleasant operation of the gears in the gearbox.


  • Wear resistance
  • Withstands low temperatures
  • Wide range of uses


  • High price for mineral oil

How to choose gear oil?

Choosing oil is a responsible decision, so you need to know a few simple rules. We've put together a short list of tips to help you choose the best option.

  1. The price of oil is not a determining criterion for selection. High cost does not guarantee that the oil will work perfectly.
  2. First of all, gear oil is selected relative to the gearbox . A wide range of oils are used for manual transmissions, while for automatic transmissions a special low-viscosity fluid has been developed, which is labeled ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid).
  3. Particular attention must be paid to the specific loads inside the box mechanism and the relative sliding speed. Knowing them, you can choose the right oil.
  4. The next criterion is the amount of extreme pressure additives , since they may contain increased levels of sulfur compounds. This can lead to corrosion of non-ferrous metals, but such additives also provide increased protection for the main mechanisms of the unit.
  5. Marking for performance properties: GL-4 and GL-5 . The first type of oil is great for front-wheel drive cars, the second - for all others. There is also a universal GL-4/5 , which fits most types of transmissions.
  6. Viscosity parameter – SAE. The classic “all-season” is 75W-90, it maintains a wide temperature range. The letter W means that the oil is intended for low temperatures; the absence of a letter indicates that it belongs to the summer season.
  7. You should consult with a specialist in a store or service station if you have doubts about the choice of gear oil.

Attention! The information presented above is not a purchasing guide. For any advice you should contact specialists!


Review of 75W-90 gear oil. Rating of the best transmission oils from Motul, Castrol, ZIC and other manufacturers

Oils intended for use in manual transmissions, transfer cases and drive axles are called transmission oils. Transmission and motor oils have similar classifications. For TM, the main properties are: viscosity characteristics, operational and anti-corrosion properties, as well as lubricity and thermal-oxidative ability.

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75W-90 Transmission Oil Review

Let's learn about 75W90 oil:

Transmission oil, just like motor oil, has its own markings, which you also need to be able to decipher correctly. The oil label contains SAE and API , some have a ZF classification or MIL specification , and there may also be approvals from individual automakers .

Viscosity characteristics 75w and 90

According to SAE, TMs are divided into types and, accordingly, their purpose depending on viscosity. Since we will be talking about 75W-90 gear oil, we will first of all look at its characteristics.

75W – this indicator is known as “winter”, it shows the degree of fluidity at low temperatures. The lower the value in front of the letter “w”, the more fluid the transmission is in the cold. For this type of oil, the threshold should be at -40 °C.

The second indicator of the viscosity range is 90 , also called “summer”, indicating the maximum tolerated positive outdoor temperature at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius. The parameter itself also does not reflect the true value, you just need to know that according to reference data, this threshold will be up to +35 °C.

It would seem that why 75W90 oil is the most suitable for our latitudes , why not create a universal one with an even wider temperature spectrum? But it's not that simple. Protection against friction between gear surfaces directly depends on the lubricity of the gear oil.

Although this indicator significantly improves with increasing viscosity, the law of resistance comes into force, and transmission power losses increase due to the waste of energy squeezing it out from under the gear teeth. Also, viscous oil thickens very much in the cold. Less viscous, it feels good at sub-zero temperatures, but has a less durable protective film and worse lubricating properties.

To balance these two indicators, special additive packages are also used.

In the zone of moderate temperatures, it is better to focus on the viscosity class “90”, but “140”, that is, TM, the viscosity of which at 100°C is not lower than 24 mm2/s, may be preferable for hot southern climates or heavy loads at high speeds .

Transmission fluid must perform the following functions:

  • exclude friction, jamming, scuffing, pitting (deep metal corrosion) and other damage;
  • reduce energy loss and increase efficiency;
  • remove heat from friction surfaces;
  • reduce noise and vibration during gear operation.

Therefore, TM 75W90 from different manufacturers, of course, is somewhat different in its properties and, naturally, in its price tag.

In addition, 75W90 gear oil is often synthetic, although in some cases, a number of manufacturers may indicate it on the label as semi-synthetic.

But in fact, it differs from synthetics only in the content of synthetic substances of 20% - 40% and the amount of additive from 2 to 15%.

In addition to the fact that these fluids are classified according to the SAE system, there is a division of transmission oils according to the API system with the index “GL” (in the Russian version - the index “TM”).

Performance properties of TM

The API classification shows a comprehensive assessment of the transmission depending on its performance properties and is divided into six categories.

Categories are marked with an index, which makes it possible to understand the scope and level of quality of the product.

Today, in passenger car transmissions, only two groups of fluids are used – GL-4 and GL-5 (TM-4, TM-5 according to the domestic classification).

GL-4 (or TM-4) - designed for medium-loaded gears . Used in manual transmissions and mechanisms with spiral bevel gears. The operation of such oils can be carried out in hypoid-type transmissions at significant speeds, but small or moderate torques.

GL-5 (or TM-5) - used for heavily loaded gears . Operation of oil with this standard is carried out in hypoid gears at low torques in combination with high speeds, subject to short-term shock loads. This oil contains a large amount of sulfur-phosphorus containing extreme pressure additive.

Also a very common oil is 75W90 marked GL-4/5 ; the presence of two indices indicates use under different load conditions and different types of mechanisms.

MIL specification

In addition to API classification, the American MIL specification . For 75W90, this is MIL-L 2105 A, B or C. Confirms compliance with the specifications of multigrade gear oils , equivalent to API GL-4 or GL-5.

ZF transmission oil quality classifier

Also on the canister of 75W-90 oil you can see the Z classifier - this is a classification system for all types of motor vehicle transmissions . The designation is made by letters and numbers from ZF TE-ML 01 to ZF TE-ML 14.

What is the difference between GL-4 and GL-5 75W-90 oils?

As already mentioned just above, the purpose of TM GL-4 (according to GOST 17479.2–85) is for operation in transmissions with bevel and hypoid gears , operating at contact stresses up to 3000 MPa and oil temperatures up to 150 °C. By and large, these are gearboxes of front-wheel drive cars.

API GL-5 - ensures reliable operation of hypoid gears operating with shock loads at stresses above 3000 MPa. It is used in gearboxes with hypoid bevel gears and for final drives with cardan drives in drive axles (with limited slip differential LSD).

This transmission fluid provides better protection under high load and pressure conditions.

Errors when choosing TM 75W90 and the difference between GL 4 and GL 5.

The key feature is that 75W90 API GL-4 oils contain two times less sulfur-phosphorus additives than similar ones, only of a higher class.

Such additives create a special protective coating on parts that prevents wear, but this substance is even stronger than the surface of parts made of copper or other soft alloys. Therefore, using TMs for purposes other than their intended purpose threatens to wear out the surface of an element made of soft metal.

So, in those gearboxes where it is necessary to use 75W90 GL-4, and GL-5 is poured, there is a rapid appearance of copper shavings, since the synchronizers are made of copper, and the sulfur-phosphorus additive kills them.

Switching from GL-4 to GL-5 and back is unacceptable: these are different oils with different properties and purposes.

To build a rating of the best oils, you need to navigate among the following indicators:

  • Viscosity _ The oil must maintain optimal viscosity both at low temperatures and maintain its astringent properties at high temperatures;
  • Temperature characteristics . Each liquid has its own pour point and ignition temperature, TM should have the largest gap between these indicators;
  • Critical load . The higher this number, the better the product;
  • Bully index . Unfortunately, there are no standards for this index, but the higher this value, the better the TM;
  • Welding load . According to GOST, this value should be no lower than 3,000 H;
  • Wear indicator . This criterion is determined only for GL-5 class oil; it should be less than 0.4 mm.

In many respects, Motul Gear 300 75W90 transmission oil takes first place among all tested.

This transmission has the highest protection against scuffing (the index is 60.1), welding, oil film stability without loss of engine power, and an average wear rate (0.75 mm).

Although it cannot boast of viscosity characteristics (especially at sub-zero temperatures).

Temperature test of transmission oils 75W90

Second and third places are occupied by transmission fluids from Castrol (Syntrans) and Mobil (Mobilube).

Castrol Syntrans Transaxle oil is used in gearboxes, transfer cases and drive axles.

It has good low-temperature fluidity, but compared to Mobile, the scuff index is quite high for a liquid of this class, but the wear level is even better than Motul (59.4).

TM Mobil Mobilube can be placed in third place, since it has good test results for the level of protection and wear under high loads, and therefore provides low friction losses at operating temperatures. But, unfortunately, it has an insufficient viscosity index at sub-zero temperatures.

The fourth result when testing transmission oil was shown by Total Transmission SYN FE 75W-90 oil.

Reviews about this fluid are also good, although since it is universal - it has API GL-4/GL-5, it will not be suitable for all gearboxes.

This TM has a scuff level of 58.8, which is even better than the leader in the rating of gear oils 75W90. But it cannot boast of wear levels and good viscosity in low-temperature tests.

Semi-synthetic gear oil LIQUI MOLY Hypoid-Getriebeoil TDL 75W-90 GL-4/5 also performs well in tests, especially standing out when tested at minus 40; its fluidity at such a low temperature will allow the gearbox and gearboxes to operate without problems. However, other important indicators are at an average level.

synthetic oil ZIC GF TOP 75W-90 in this rating, since there is very little data on its wear and scuffing indicators, although the temperature test passes excellently.

This gear oil can be used in manual transmissions (including synchronized transmissions) and drive axles.

According to reviews from car owners, it significantly reduces transmission noise, withstands extreme loads and has virtually no drawbacks.

It is also impossible not to pay attention to Transyn 75W-90 API GL 3/4/5 oil from the manufacturer Eurol, since, despite the lack of real temperature tests and a very high level of wear - 0.94, it has a good scuff level - 58.5 and is very popular among car enthusiasts.

As you can see, the range of 75W90 gear oils on the market is quite large and there is always something to choose for your needs and affordable price. But remember that you need to select not because your neighbor advised, but based on the needs of your car’s transmission and the characteristics of the transmission fluid itself.

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How to choose the best gear oil?

This question came to the mind of every car enthusiast who was faced with the need to change the transmission oil (hereinafter referred to as TM). What is the best oil and what is the rating of lubricants for gearboxes? We will try to give you an idea of ​​how to make your choice.

Variety of types of foreign-made trademarks

This may be a discovery for you, but not every element of the transmission system needs lubrication specifically with transmission fluid.

In many transmissions (gearboxes) in vehicles with front-wheel drive, car manufacturers recommend using traditional motor fluid.

Because it is precisely because of the cylindrical shape of the gears of such gearboxes that the likelihood of scuffing the elements will be minimal.

If we talk about automatic transmissions, then neither engine nor transmission fluid is suitable for such units.

Since the design of the unit itself is specific, a special ATF consumable is required for its adequate functioning.

As for TMs specifically, they are, as a rule, used in gearboxes of passenger cars and trucks with a traditional layout.

For manual transmissions

Manual transmission shift lever

Today, most passenger cars with manual transmissions use TMs of two classifications - GL-4 and GL-5. However, there are five such groups in total, so we will consider the purpose of consumables for each of them.

  • Standard GL-1. Such TMs are intended for use in spiral-cone gearboxes, the vehicles of which are used in light conditions. These consumables are based on traditional oils and additives. It is worth noting that the complex of such additives in liquids is insignificant; they can be anti-foaming, antioxidant and anti-corrosion. Accordingly, they help prevent the occurrence of foam, acid and corrosion on the parts of the unit.
  • Class GL-2. Such TMs were developed specifically for use in trucks and agricultural vehicles. In particular, they are optimally suited for cars whose gearboxes are used in moderately difficult conditions. Consumables of this class are also based on anti-wear additives. As you might guess, they are designed to reduce wear on gearbox parts.
  • Class GL-3. Consumables belonging to this standard are also intended for use in cone gearboxes. But here we are talking about cargo vehicles that are used in moderate conditions. These oils are literally enriched with anti-wear additives and their use is not recommended in cars equipped with hypoid gearboxes.
  • As stated above, the GL-4 standard is one of the most common types of TMs that are used in manual transmissions, according to the rating of the famous automobile publication “Behind the Wheel.” Such TMs can be used both in gearboxes of trucks and cars. Class GL-4 is universal, since these consumables are suitable for operating gearboxes that experience loads of varying degrees of severity. The composition of such TM includes extreme pressure and anti-wear additives, and these consumables are characterized by a relatively low sulfur content in their base. This was done because at high concentrations of this chemical, HM can negatively affect the unit’s synchronizers.
  • As a rule, TMs that have excellent performance properties correspond to this class. Such consumables make it possible to ensure optimal operation even of overly loaded units operating in difficult conditions. In terms of their composition, GL-5 standard TMs are enriched with an additional package of additives with a high sulfur content.

Draining used transmission oil from the gearbox under the bottom of the car

It should also be added that consumables related to the GL-5 standard can be divided into several subgroups according to viscosity characteristics:

  • SAE 85W-90 - are mineral fluids for transmission, thick in composition;
  • SAE 80W-90 - these TMs are less thick, they are also mineral liquids;
  • SAE 75W-90 - are semi-synthetic and synthetic TMs.

As you understand, the viscosity class corresponds to the first combination of numbers and letters, namely 85W, 80W and 75W. We also note: previously there was a popular TM TAD-17I among domestic motorists. But today this oil can no longer be found in our auto stores, but there is its modern analogue - TM 5-18.

For automatic transmissions

As mentioned above, automatic transmissions use a different transmission fluid, unlike manual transmissions. TM for automatic transmission is a special consumable material, the purpose of which is to transfer the necessary information from element to element of the gearbox. Absolutely any violations in the composition of this consumable material will negatively affect the operation of the unit.

Automatic transmission lever

Here we will no longer be able to give a clear answer as to which TM should be used in an automatic transmission. In this case, the car owner will only be helped by the car’s operating manual, since it will indicate exactly what kind of liquid should be filled.

If you do not have a service manual, when choosing a TM you should carefully read the label on the product packaging. It should say that this TM has received approval for use in a specific car model and fully complies with the manufacturer’s approvals.

We also add that consumables for automatic transmissions do not have such extensive standards as in the case of “mechanics”. They are often divided into three classes, these are:

  • Dexron;
  • Dexron 2;
  • Dexron 3.

Everything here is much simpler than in the case of manual transmissions. The higher the number in the name, the higher the quality of the oil itself.

Filling the gearbox with transmission fluid through a special syringe

How to determine the best gear oil?

When choosing transmission fluid, you should pay attention to several factors, in particular:

  • the vehicle loads to which your powertrain is subjected;
  • on the speed of relative sliding of the elements of the unit.

Based on these criteria, it is necessary to select TMs that also differ from each other in viscosity classes and the number of additives.

And although, for example, extreme pressure additives are based on sulfur components, which can subsequently cause chemical changes in metal elements, they help reduce wear on gearbox parts.

That is, during their operation, the unit can work longer than expected.

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How to determine the best gear oil for a gearbox? When choosing a consumable fluid, in addition to the main operational characteristics, you should also pay attention to its viscosity class.

  • For example, transmission oils with a viscosity class of 140 and higher according to the international standard SAE should be used in those cars that are used in weather conditions at elevated temperatures. That is, if the region where you live regularly has hot weather, then for your gearbox you should use fluids with a viscosity class of 140 or more.
  • In turn, products corresponding to viscosity class 90 are all-season oils, that is, they can be used both in summer and winter. However, you should not pour TM with such a standard into a car that will be used in extreme cold conditions. Transmission consumables with the 80W-90 index are considered the most universal, and TMs with the 75W-90 class are suitable for use in extreme cold conditions.  

Car enthusiast Svetlana does not yet know that transmission fluid is not poured into the engine oil filler neck, and also that work on replacing it should be carried out in work clothes

As for domestically produced cars, most of them use TMs of the GL-4 or GL-4/5 standard. And the viscosity class in these cases will be optimal: SAE 75W-80, 80W-85, 80W-90.

It will be quite difficult to find a domestic brand in our auto stores. This standard includes expensive foreign-made trademarks.

However, it is the operation of such technical components that helps to increase the service life of the gearbox.

In any case, when choosing a consumable, be guided by its main characteristics, as well as the technical requirements of the internal combustion engine of your car. Sometimes the answers to such questions lie in the service manual for the car, where everything is described in detail. Moreover, the manufacturer knows better than anyone else what kind of “transmission” to put in their cars.

Your face when I read on how to choose transmission fluid

Please also take into account the fact that the replacement time for this consumable material ranges from 60 to 500 thousand kilometers, depending on your gearbox. Therefore, the use of seasonal liquid is unprofitable from an economic point of view. From an economic point of view, it will always be beneficial to use mineral TMs.

Video “Errors when choosing transmission oil”

In this video, an auto expert talks about the main mistakes that domestic motorists make when buying gear oil.


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