Owning a vehicle comes with multiple responsibilities and maintenance factors to keep track of. Timely maintenance and regular checks and replenishment of various lubricants are the key factors to having great performance and efficiency of the vehicle. There are multiple oils that service the engine and its various components, the most crucial and the most commonly known lubricants are the engine/motor oil and the gear oil, also known as the transmission fluid. Understanding the difference between engine oil and gear oil is critical to maintaining a healthy life for your vehicle. It could save you from potential repair costs and a trip to the service center.
What is Engine oil ?
The engine is the heart of a vehicle. A lot of design and engineering goes into the making of a complex engine. The engine oil plays a critical role in ensuring the engine and all its moving components move smoothly. The engine oil ensures moving parts in the engine are well lubricated and reduce friction between them thus reducing wear and tear. The engine oil circulates and dissipates the heat generated from the engine, running the engine at optimum temperatures results in better efficient combustion.
What is Gear oil?
Just like engine oil, the gear oil has a very specific purpose – the Lubrication of the manual transmission, differentials, and transmission boxes. Since it does not deal much with heat, Gear oils are often mixed with additives and their main function is protection from wear and tear, corrosion reduction, and optimizing friction for smooth transmission shifts.
A key difference between gear oil and engine oil is the additives found in Engine oil. that helps reduce the corrosion caused by oxidation. Additives not only reduce wear and tear but also improve fuel efficiency. Engine oils are subject to high running temperatures while Gear oils are subject to high-pressure movements. High-quality gear oil will not only lubricate but also cool and take away debris from the moving components of the differentials.
Engine and gear oils are very critical elements of a vehicle, regular oil checks and looking for any oil leaks from the transmission will ensure the vehicle is never running low on either oil. Gear oils do need to be drained and changed at regular intervals. Engine oils have to be changed at intervals of about 10,000 to 15,000 km. Gear oils are not required to be changed as often as engine oils and have much longer intervals such as 100,000 km.
When it comes to changing oils be it engine or gear oil, it can often be very confusing as they look similar to each other and the different grades of oils are hard to understand. Safe to say one must always refer to the owner’s manual and use the same grade oil that is mentioned in the manual. Any changes in the grade of oil used can largely affect the functioning of the vehicle. In order to avoid major repair costs, it is always advisable to seek advice from the manufacturing service center or your trusted vehicle mechanic.