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Which AMSOIL Products Are Recommended
For Your Vehicles?
Don't Forget The Gear Oil
Maintaining a vehicle requires
the use of many lubricants, each specifically designed to
perform a certain task or set of tasks. The most common lubricant
requiring routine attention from motorists is engine oil.
Gear oil, on the other hand, is often-times overlooked when
it comes to scheduled maintenance.
Gear Oil Basics
High quality gear oils must lubricate, cool and protect geared
systems. They must also carry damaging wear debris away from
contact zones and muffle the sound of gear operation. Commonly
used in differential gears and standard transmission applications
in commercial and passenger vehicles, as well as a variety
of industrial machinery, gear oils must offer extreme temperature
and pressure protection in order to prevent wear, pitting,
spalling, scoring, scuffing and other types of damage that
result in equipment failure and downtime. Protection against
oxidation, thermal degradation, rust, copper corrosion and
foaming is also important.
Gear Oil and Motor
Oil are Not the Same
Gear oil is very different from motor oil. Most people assume
that SAE 90 gear oil is much thicker than SAE 40 or 50 motor
oil, however, they are the same viscosity. According to AMSOIL
Technical Drivetrain Products Manager Kevin Dinwiddie, the
difference is in the additives.
"Motor oil has to combat
byproduct chemicals from gasoline or diesel ignition and should
contain additives such as detergents and dispersants,"
said Dinwiddie. "Since an internal combustion engine
has an oil pump and lubricates the bearings with a hydrodynamic
film, the need for extreme pressure additives such as those
used in gear oils does not exist in engines."
Engine oils and gear oils both
have anti-wear additives, they both must lubricate, cool and
protect components, but gear oils are placed under extreme
amounts of pressure, creating a propensity for boundary lubrication.
For example, differentials in cars and trucks have a ring
and pinion hypoid gear set. A hypoid gear set can experience
boundary lubrication, pressures and sliding action that can
wipe most of the lubricant off the gears. To combat this extreme
environment, extreme pressure additives are incorporated into
the oil. AMSOIL uses an extra treat of extreme pressure additives
in its gear oils in order to reduce wear and extend the gear
and bearing life.
Because many of the components found in the drivetrain consist
of ferrous material, the lubricant is required to prevent
rust and possible corrosion to other materials. Rust and corrosion
problems are not nearly as prevalent in engines.
The many small and intricate
components that make up gear sets found in the drivetrain
can be quite noisy and may be subjected to shock loading.
The viscosity and extreme pressure formulation of gear oil
quiets gears and dissipates shock loading.
The rotating motion of the gear
sets also tends to churn the lubricant, resulting in foaming.
If a gear lube foams, the load carrying capacity is significantly
reduced because the air suspended within the oil is compressible.
For example, when the gear teeth come into contact with each
other any trapped air bubbles will compress, therefore reducing
the thickness of the separating oil film. In turn, this reduction
could lead to direct metal-to-metal contact between gear teeth
and result in accelerated wear. The gear oil must have the
ability to dissipate this entrapped air, insuring sufficient
lubricating film exists to protect the gears from contact
Typical Drivetrain Fluid
Much like engine oil, the chemical compounds, or
additives, added to drivetrain stocks either enhance existing
properties or impart new ones. Some of the additives that
may be found in a drivetrain fluid include:
- Extreme pressure and/or
antiwear agents - These additives are used to minimize component
wear in boundary lubrication situations.
- Pour point depressants -
This type of additive is used to improve low temperature
- Rust and corrosion inhibitors
- These are used to protect internal components.
- Oxidation inhibitors - These
additives are used to reduce the deteriorating effects of
heat on the lubricant which will increase the lubricant's
- Viscosity index improvers
- These allow a lubricant to operate over a broader temperature
- Anti-foam agents - The churning
effects of gears running in oil causes a foaming effect
in the oil. To reduce the harmful effects of air trapped
in a lubricant, anti-foam additives speed the separation
- Friction modifiers - The
required degree of friction reduction can vary significantly
between differing pieces of equipment in drivetrain applications.
In some cases, friction modifiers may be required to obtain
the desired results.
Gear Design Dictates
Gear designs vary depending on the requirements for rotation
speed, degree of gear reduction and torque loading. Transmissions
commonly use spur gears, while hypoid gear designs are usually
employed as the main gearing in differentials. Common gear
Spur (straight cut) gears are widely used in parallel shaft
applications, such as transmissions, due to their low cost
and high efficiency. The design allows for the entire gear
tooth to make contact with the tooth face at the same instant.
As a result, this type of gearing tends to be subjected to
high shock loading and uneven motion. Design limitations include
excessive noise and a significant amount of backlash during
Bevel gears (straight and spiral cut) transmit motion between
shafts that are at an angle to each other. Primarily found
in various types of industrial equipment as well as some automotive
applications (differentials), they offer efficient operation
and are easy to manufacture. As with spur gears, they are
limited due to their noisy operation at high speeds, and are
not the top choice where load carrying capacity is a requirement.
Worm gear sets employ a specially-machined "worm"
that conforms to the arc of the driven gear. This type of
design increases torque throughput, improves accuracy and
extends operating life. Primarily used to transmit power through
non-intersecting shafts, this style of gear is frequently
found in gear reduction boxes as they offer quiet operation
and high ratios (as high as 100:1). Downfalls with this type
of gear set are its efficiency, high price per HP and low
ratios (5:1 minimum).
Hypoid gear sets are a form of bevel gears, but offer improved
efficiency and higher ratios over traditional straight bevel
gears. Commonly found in axle differentials, hypoid gears
are used to transmit power from the driveline to the axle
Planetary gear sets, such as those found in automatic
transmissions, provide the different gear ratios needed to
propel a vehicle in the desired direction at the correct speed.
Gear teeth remain in constant mesh, which allows for gear
changes to be made without engaging or disengaging the gears,
as is required in a manual transmission. Instead, clutches
and bands are used to either hold or release different members
of the gear set to get the proper direction of rotation and/or
Helical gears differ from spur gears in that their teeth are
not parallel to the shaft axis; they are cut in a helix or
angle around the gear axis. During rotation, parts of several
teeth may be in mesh at the same time, which reduces some
of the loading characteristics of the standard spur gear.
However, this style of gearing can produce thrust forces parallel
to the axis of the gear shaft. To minimize the effects, two
helical gears with teeth opposite each other are utilized,
which helps to cancel the thrust out during operation.
Herringbone gears are an improvement over the double helical
gear design. Both right and left hand cuts are used on the
same gear blank, which cancels out any thrust forces. Herringbone
gears are capable of transmitting large amounts of horsepower
and are frequently used in power transmission systems.
The differences in gear design
create the need for significantly different lubrication designs.
For instance, gears normally seen in automotive differentials
are hypoid gears and require GL-5 concentration and performance
of extreme pressure additives.
"This is because of the
spiral sliding action that hypoid gears have," said Dinwiddie.
Most manual transmissions have
helical gears and do not require GL-5 performance.
"The helical gear is almost
a straight cut gear, but on an angle" said Dinwiddie.
"There is spiral action and very little sliding action,
hence there is less need for extreme pressure additives."
Gl-4 gear lubes have half of
the extreme pressure additives of GL-5 lubes.
AMSOIL Provides Gear
AMSOIL carries drivetrain lubricants to meet nearly
any application. The synthetic base stocks and top-quality
additive packages found in AMSOIL gear
lubes and transmission
fluids provide the ultimate in wear protection for cars,
trucks, outboards, differentials, heavy-duty and racing applications.
Why Motor Oil Deteriorates
It is common knowledge
that, at some point, engine oil must be changed. It's something
that is preached relentlessly to vehicle owners by vehicle
manufacturers, quick lubes and oil companies. But consumers
are widely unaware of what exactly makes oil changes necessary.
Many factors contribute
to a motor oil's demise, but it is essentially the accumulation
of contaminants in the oil and chemical changes in the oil
itself that make a motor unfit for further service. With time,
it is inevitable that the oil will be contaminated by dirt
or sludge, or succumb to the extreme pressures or temperatures
found inside an engine. AMSOIL Motor Oils are formulated with
the industry's most advanced synthetic base stocks and additive
packages to combat the forces that deteriorate conventional
What is the NOACK Volatility
Volatization is a term used to describe
what happens to a fluid as it is heated to the point it begins
to "boil off." Upon reaching a certain temperature,
oil will begin to lose some of its lighter weight molecules
as they "boil off" and leave heavier weight molecules
behind. Not only does this cause higher oil consumption, this
process can also cause increased viscosity making the oil
more difficult to circulate through the lubrication system.
Quality Takes Priority at AMSOIL
The AMSOIL chemical
laboratory plays an important role in the daily operations
at AMSOIL headquarters. The lab fulfills tech service requests,
performs competitor testing and comparisons, and works on
the research and development of products at AMSOIL. One of
the most important jobs at the lab is quality control. AMSOIL
is known for formulating high-quality products and the AMSOIL
chemists ensure that everything coming in and going out meets
AMSOIL standards. How do they do it? (read
Synthetic Motor Oils offer the longest drain intervals
on the market, unsurpassed protection and performance that
effectively extends equipment life and improved fuel economy,
saving customers money at the pump and reducing the nation's
dependence on foreign oil.
INC. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause
mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when
AMSOIL INC. products are used in full compliance with the
company's recommendations and instructions."
synthetic motor oils are formulated to surpass engine test
specifications, offering protection far greater than competing
motor oils for extended drain intervals. Most synthetic oil
manufacturers make no claim to extended drain intervals, deferring
to the maintenance schedule provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
With its unparalleled oil and warranty program, AMSOIL offers
consumers unprecedented protection and economics.
More than 20 years
ago, AMSOIL began using the NOACK volatility test as a comparison
tool and measurement of quality. Back then, nearly every oil
tested side-by-side with AMSOIL synthetic motor oils failed,
and those that passed barely squeaked by. Other oil companies
paid no attention to NOACK results until Ford Motor Company
made it a requirement for service fill oils, validating what
AMSOIL had said all along.
NOACK Volatility Test
Volatility Test determines the evaporation loss
of lubricants in high temperature service. The more
motor oils vaporize, the thicker and heavier they become,
contributing to poor circulation, reduced fuel economy
and increased oil consumption, wear and emissions. AMSOIL
Synthetic Motor Oil resists high temperature volatization
better than other motor oils. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor
Oil maintains peak fuel efficiency and reduces oil consumption
AMSOIL Now An ISO Certified
received ISO 9001:2000 certification of our Quality Management
System (QMS). NSF International Strategic Registrations is
the registrar that has verified our QMS meets the requirements
of the ISO 9001:2000 standard, the most widely utilized quality
standard throughout the world for quality management systems.
ISO standards are used by over 300,000 companies worldwide
setting rigorous standards for businesses, government and
is applicable to any manufacturing and service organization
providing a framework for system development that focuses
on the customer, quality system performance and ongoing improvement.
AMSOIL received ISO 9001:2000 registration under the scope:
synthetic lubricants blending, packaging, and other fulfillment
directly associated with lubricant product.
certification puts AMSOIL in line with some of the most efficient
companies in the world. It is further assurance that the products
and services AMSOIL provides will continue to maintain the
high level of quality the company always demanded.
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