When we talk about maintaining the health and performance of a vehicle, one aspect that should not be ignored is oil maintenance. In this case, the two types of lubricating oil that are often the center of attention are engine oil and axle oil. Although both play an important role in keeping the vehicle’s engine and components running properly, they have fundamental differences in function, use, and when they should be replaced.
In this TransTRACK article, we will carefully discuss the differences between engine oil and axle oil, as well as the importance of understanding this in keeping your vehicle in the best condition. Let’s dive into these differences to understand the role of each type of lubricating oil and how proper use can extend the life of your vehicle.
Definition of gear oil vs engine oil
Engine oil and axle oil are two types of lubricating oil used in vehicles and machines. Here is a brief explanation of both:
Engine oil is lubricating oil that is used to lubricate parts in vehicle engines, such as car engines, motorbikes, trucks and other machines. Engine oil functions to reduce friction between components in the engine, maintain engine temperature within a safe range, clean and protect components from dirt and deposits, and prevent corrosion. Engine oil should usually be changed periodically according to the maintenance schedule recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Gear oil, also known as differential oil, is the lubricating oil used in the axle (differential) system in motor vehicles. The axle system is the component that allows a vehicle’s wheels to rotate at different speeds when turning, which is especially important in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles. Axle oil lubricates the gears in the axle, helping to reduce friction, cool components and prevent excessive wear. Like engine oil, axle oil also needs to be changed regularly according to the guidelines provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
These two types of oil have a very important role in maintaining the performance and life of the engine and vehicle components. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule and use the appropriate type of oil for your vehicle.
What is the difference between gear oil vs engine oil?
The following are the differences between engine oil and axle oil in several aspects:
- Engine Oil: The main function of engine oil is to lubricate the parts in the vehicle engine, such as the piston, crankshaft and bearings, to reduce friction and heat, and keep the engine functioning properly.
- Axle Oil: Axle oil is used specifically to lubricate the gears in a vehicle’s axle (differential) system, which allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds when turning.
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Viscosity Grade
- Engine Oil: Engine oil often has different viscosities depending on the engine’s needs. Therefore, you will find various types of engine oil with various viscosity levels, such as SAE 5W-30, SAE 10W-40, and so on.
- Axle Oil: Axle oil also has a certain viscosity level that meets the requirements of the axle system. Typically, you will find axle oil labeled SAE 80W-90 or SAE 75W-140, which indicates the viscosity at various temperatures.
- Engine Oil: Engine oil should be changed regularly according to the maintenance schedule recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Typically, engine oil change intervals range from 3,000 to 10,000 miles depending on the type of oil and vehicle.
- Axle Oil: Axle oil change intervals are also recommended by vehicle manufacturers, but tend to be at longer intervals than engine oil. This interval can range from 30,000 to 60,000 miles or more depending on conditions of use and vehicle type.
- Engine Oil: Engine oil usually contains special lubricating additives designed to protect the engine from dirt, rust and wear. It may also contain other additives such as detergents and dispersants for cleaning the engine.
- Axle Oil: Axle oil is specifically designed to lubricate the gears in the axle, so it contains suitable additives to protect and reduce wear on the gears and reduce friction in the axle system.
It is important to always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for proper oil selection and appropriate replacement schedule. Using the appropriate oil and changing it regularly is an important part of vehicle maintenance that can extend the life of the engine and vehicle components.
When should the gear oil vs engine oil be changed?
Engine oil and axle oil change schedules may vary depending on several factors, including vehicle type, conditions of use, and manufacturer’s recommendations. Here are general guidelines regarding when you should change engine oil and axle oil:
- Engine oil change intervals are usually listed in the vehicle owner’s manual or manufacturer’s service manual. This is the best guide you should follow.
- As a general rule of thumb, engine oil usually needs to be changed every 5,000 to 10,000 miles (approximately 8,000 to 16,000 kilometers) depending on the type of oil and your vehicle.
- If your vehicle is used under harsh conditions or experiences frequent intensive use, you may need to change the oil more frequently, perhaps every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (approximately 5,000 to 8,000 kilometers).
- The axle oil change interval should also be listed in your owner’s manual or vehicle service manual.
- Typically, axle oil needs to be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles (approximately 48,000 to 96,000 kilometers) depending on the type of vehicle, conditions of use, and the type of axle oil used.
- In some vehicles, such as heavy trucks or off-road vehicles, axle oil changes may be required more frequently, for example every 15,000 to 30,000 miles (approximately 24,000 to 48,000 kilometers).
It is always important to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, as they have the most accurate information about the conditions in which your vehicle will be used and the type of oil required. Additionally, keep in mind that oil changes are an important part of vehicle maintenance that can extend engine life and maintain good performance. If you are unsure when to change the oil, you can consult a repair shop or experienced technician for further advice.
In keeping your vehicle in the best condition, selecting and changing engine oil and axle oil is an important step. Understanding the differences between the two and the correct replacement time can help you prevent expensive engine and axle damage. However, keeping track of these maintenance schedules can be a complicated task if you own multiple vehicles or company vehicles.
Fortunately, you can take advantage of technology solutions such as the Vehicle Maintenance System from TransTRACK to make it easier to manage your vehicle maintenance schedule. By using this system, you can easily monitor and plan engine and axle oil changes according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and get automatic notifications when the change time arrives.
So, don’t let vehicle maintenance become a confusing burden. Use the Vehicle Maintenance System from TransTRACK to keep your vehicle in top condition and efficiently. With this system, you can save time and money, while ensuring that your vehicle is always ready to operate properly. Don’t hesitate to try TransTRACK today and enjoy the benefits of more efficient and organized vehicle maintenance.