Axle Oil

There are two different types of gear oils, those used in industrial applications and those used in automotive applications. Automotive gear lubricants can be used in automotive manual transmissions, front and rear axles fitted with differentials, transaxles, power transfer units and differentials with limited slip or locking features.

Axle oils or axle lubricants are used in many different types of vehicles, including passenger cars, commercial trucks, as well as agriculture, mining, and construction equipment. Axle lubricants are often considered fill-for-life for passenger cars and in most cases, commercial vehicles have extended drain intervals up to 500,000 miles. Whereas the average passenger car owner changes their engine oil every 3000 miles, they rarely change their axle oil, so the quality of the gear oil used to fill the axle at the factory is crucial.

Performance Packages

Passenger cars, trucks and heavy equipment have different operating conditions, but all of these vehicles require axle fluids to offer friction performance, heat removal and extreme pressure protection. Lubrizol's axle oil performance additive packages focus on:

  • Extreme pressure and anti-wear protection for metal parts
  • Maintaining thermal stability to avoid oxidation of the oil
  • Dissipating heat from metal parts
  • Rust and copper corrosion protection
  • Lubrication and protection of seals
  • Prevention of foaming
  • Providing appropriate frictional properties

Axle Lubricant Specifications

There are a range of lubricant service designations (defined in API 1560) for manual transmissions, transaxles and axles that are tailored to the performance needs and operatingconditions of each application. The axle lubricant used in a sports car needs to deliver speed (power), but the axle oil used in a heavy duty 18-wheel truck needs to deliver towing capacity (torque). Industry specifications reflect different grades of axle oils for different applications. 

While axle oil quality in North America and Western Europe is consistently high, lubricant quality throughout the rest of the world may vary widely. The use of lower quality lubricants may severely limit the useful life of equipment, resulting in excessive warranty claims for OEMs.

Leading Worldwide Lubricant Quality

Lubrizol has led the industry in developing performance additive packages that meet the needs of equipment manufacturers worldwide. Here are a few examples that demonstrate this leadership:

  • First to develop sulfur-phosphorus additive chemistry to meet performance needs of hypoid gears
  • Developed thermally stable additive technology to meet needs of higher speeds and loads
  • Introduced the first total driveline lubricant additive technology meeting the needs of both axle and synchromesh transmissions
  • Led the market in fuel-efficient gear oil by developing additives to enable SAE 75W-85 viscosity lubricants

Lubrizol's commitment to research, development and testing of new technologies, including proven field performance, ensures that Lubrizol will continue to deliver products to the marketplace that meet the changing needs of OEMs and end-users worldwide.