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

Gear Oil Overview 75W-90

Transmission oil, as well as engine oil, has its own marking, which also needs to be able to correctly decipher. On the oil label there is an SAE classification and APIsome have ZF classifier or MIL specificationand can also be approvals of individual car manufacturers.

All modern gear oils must comply with the classification according to the international standard SAE J306. 75w90 is the most commonly used viscosity grade among transmission fluids.

Gear oils of which company is better to choose

The market for oils, including transmission oils, is very saturated with various offers. Among them are both budget and mid-priced brands, as well as premium brands. This rating included products of both foreign manufacturers and domestic, Russian companies. Here are the companies in question:

  • Shell is a British-Dutch oil and gas company that supplies gasoline, lubricants, motor and transmission oils to the international market. She has both fully synthetic products and mineral ones. There are optimal offers for both low-power and serious engines. The company manufactures products for cars, trucks, motorcycles. It differs in environmental friendliness, safety and an optimum ratio of the price and quality.
  • Eneos – a Japanese company produces oils and transmission fluids with a wide choice of viscosity, density, operating temperature conditions. Its products are suitable for use in any season, even in harsh winters. There are options for both automatic and manual transmissions. They are sold in several volumes – 0.94 l, 1.88 l, 20 l and 200 l, and usually, if you take a large amount at once, you can save a lot.
  • ZIC is a huge industrial concern engaged in the extraction and processing of oil, which is supplied to many countries of the world. Its range includes fuel, automotive lubricants, gear oils. Basically, here we are talking about fully synthetic products that have excellent astringent, anti-friction, anti-corrosion properties. They have reasonable prices and good quality.
  • luxury – transmission oils of this brand are created using the latest technologies, which guarantees a long transmission life, smooth gear shifting, prevention of wear of parts and elimination of friction. There are offers for both manual and automatic transmissions. Most often they can be used in all weather conditions, even during extremely cold winters. The company has provided options for passenger cars, trucks and other equipment.
  • Rosneft is a Russian oil and gas company, one of the largest oil producers in the world. It produces gear oils for cars, trucks and other equipment. Depending on the type, they can be used in both automatic and mechanical transmissions. Their use allows you to guarantee efficient operation in difficult conditions. The company’s product range includes synthetic and semi-synthetic lubricants.
  • Castrol – a European brand under which products are manufactured in Germany, Austria, Italy and Belgium. It is created on the basis of innovative developments and is recommended for use by such car market giants as Opel, Porsche, Ford, Chevrolet and others. They are stable in operation, regardless of temperature and season. With their help, premature wear and overheating of parts is excluded. They also help to protect them from corrosion and thereby increase the service life.
  • Lukoil is one of the main competitors of Rosneft, the company also operates primarily in the Russian market. It produces many technical fluids and oils for cars of completely different classes. There are also suitable offers for commercial vehicles. In its assortment there are mineral, and semi-synthetic, and synthetic products. Products are sold in containers of 1 and 4 liters. The most common materials with a viscosity of 75W-90 and 80W-90.
  • Liqui Moly is one of the oldest companies in the auto chemical goods and care products market. The main office is in Germany, goods are delivered to many countries of the world. The products are characterized by good fluidity, excellent resistance to low and high temperatures, impeccable anti-corrosion and anti-friction properties. It does not oxidize, prevents the formation of deposits and shows low volatility, which saves on its consumption.

The products of each company are well represented on the market and there are usually no problems with finding it on the market.

The best motor oil

The best motor oils

Existing classifications

The choice of oils is based on a classification that takes into account the viscosity of the lubricant and the features of the additives introduced into the material. To separate transmission fluids for mechanical units into categories, there are international SAE and API standards.

The Russian GOST standard (completely borrowed from the normative documents of the times of the USSR) introduces the gradation of oils according to viscosity classes.

For automatic transmissions, special fluids are used, there is no international standard. Each car manufacturer publishes its own specification, which oil refineries adjust to. For example, General Motors products use the Dexron standard, while Ford Corporation uses the original Mercon classification. Automatic transmission fluids can simultaneously meet the standards of several automobile concerns.

According to SAE

The SAE standard divides transmission oils into 9 categories:

  • 70W, 75W, 80W and 85W, which are winter (W – Winter);
  • 80, 85, 90, 140 and 250 for summer use.

Since it is not economically feasible to change the oil 2 times a year, all-weather materials were created. Lubricants carry a double designation (for example 80W-85) indicating compliance with 2 categories. Numerical designations indicate the temperature range of operation (for example, 80W-90 material freezes at -20 ° C, and oils of 75W-85 or 75W-90 standards withstand frosts down to -35 ° C and below).

According to GOST

The current standard 17479.2-85 provides for the division of liquids into 4 viscosity classes (denoted as 9, 12, 18 and 34). The category is determined during the test measurement of the kinematic viscosity when heated to +100°C. An additional criterion for assigning a class is the minimum temperature for maintaining dynamic viscosity at a level of up to 150 Pa * s. Lubricants are also divided into areas of application.

There are 5 groups, and the first does not provide for the use of additives, it includes pure oils obtained by distillation of oil.

To designate gear lubricant according to GOST, an abbreviation of the form TM-x-yy is used, where the letter x indicates the application group, and the second digit allows you to determine the viscosity class (for example, TM-5-18). Some Russian manufacturers continue to indicate the grade of oil according to GOST, but supplement the marking with data according to SAE or API requirements. Foreign concerns never use the Russian designation system.

According to API (American Petroleum Institute)

The global API grading system provides for the division of lubricants into 6 groups depending on the volume and type of additives:

  • GL-1 – oil without additional components, suitable for units with light loads;
  • GL-2 – the introduction of additives to reduce friction is allowed, the lubricant is designed for refueling in worm gears;
  • GL-3 – contains a set of additives, suitable for refueling in units with helical gears and shafts located in parallel or at an angle of 90 °;
  • GL-4 – grease adapted for gearboxes with hypoid pairs that transmit high torque at low speeds;
  • GL-5 – designed for refueling in transmissions operating under shock loads or operated at high speeds;
  • GL-6 – differs from GL-5 in an increased content of additives, lubricants are adapted for units with gears with hypoid tooth contact, operating with a vertical offset of the gear wheels axes.

Gear oil rating

To compile this rating, we analyzed many offers on the market, choosing the most worthy of them according to driver reviews. Before inclusion in the TOP of a specific product, the opinion of buyers was carefully studied. This took into account many factors:

  • Manufacturing firm;
  • Price;
  • Type of oil – mineral, synthetic or semi-synthetic (mixed);
  • Viscosity class;
  • Antifriction properties;
  • Quality of parts lubrication;
  • The effectiveness of preventing wear of working elements;
  • Purpose – for which gearbox it was released;
  • Environmental friendliness of the composition;
  • Are there leaks?
  • Reliability to prevent deposits and corrosion;
  • Number of tolerances;
  • Compliance with international quality standards;
  • Volume;
  • Cost savings.

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The best antifreeze

The best mineral gear oils

This type of oil is usually cheaper than synthetics and semi-synthetics, as they are made from environmentally friendly materials, without the use of expensive additives. Accordingly, these products are safer both for the environment and humans, and for transmission parts. There are 3 best gear oils in this category.

80W Shell Spirax S3G

This oil is considered the best in its category due to its good performance for transmissions and manual transmissions from ZF, MAN and products from a number of other manufacturers. Thanks to the use of high-quality additives, long-term protection of the gearbox is ensured.

Shell has improved the anti-wear properties of the fluid, which allows it to effectively prevent the formation of deposits on gears. It also helps to reduce fuel consumption and save money on refueling.


  • Virtually no leaks;
  • Does not pollute the environment;
  • Excellent lubrication of transmission units;
  • Good compatibility with seal materials;
  • Increased transmission resource;
  • It can be applied in knots where liquid with low viscosity is necessary.


  • Not detected.

The reviews write that this tool is chosen due to its relative naturalness and long service life, which saves money.

Eneos ATF Dexron II

…I have used Eneos fluid several times and can say that it provides an excellent level of transmission lubrication…

Expert opinion

In the TOP gear oils, this is the best tool for use in winter, including in the northern regions. It is interesting from the point of view of the possibility of application at temperatures up to -33 degrees Celsius, and only after exceeding this indicator, fluidity is lost.

Its feature is intended for cars with automatic transmission. The main advantage of this tool is considered to be a large interval between replacements, which allows you to save on car maintenance.


  • Not afraid of frost;
  • Good resistance to high temperatures;
  • Excellent viscosity;
  • Perfect interaction with the automatic transmission;
  • No unpleasant odor;
  • Natural composition.


  • Unfortunately, not very suitable for manual transmissions.

Luxe 80W-90GL-5

This product is the best for lubricating manual transmissions. It is intended for use in rear-wheel drive models. It contains enough phosphorus and sulfur, which provide the oil with excellent extreme pressure properties. Due to this, it can be safely used in harsh conditions. It facilitates the operation of the vehicle. Having a viscosity grade of 80W-90, it can be used at temperatures up to -26 C. The oil provides high-quality lubrication of transmission elements.


  • Prevents premature transmission wear;
  • High oxidative stability;
  • Works well on cold start;
  • Does not lose its viscosity with temperature fluctuations;
  • One download lasts a long time.


  • Not suitable for all types of drives;
  • Not the best option for heavy loads on gear teeth.

What is the difference between manual transmission oils and automatic transmission fluids

The principle of operation of an automatic transmission is different from a mechanical one. In mechanics, a torque transmission system is used by means of gears, which significantly increases the wear of parts in the unit. It is precisely with this that manufacturers recommend pouring compositions with additives against wear and corrosion in manual transmissions: GL-3, GL-4, GL-5. In automation, the main role is played by a hydroconvector, so hydraulic oil is used for it.

oil drain

If you do not know what oil to pour into your manual transmission, then it is better to turn to the manufacturer’s manual for help. The vehicle instructions contain all the necessary information about which lubricant to use in your car’s box. It also indicates how much oil is placed in the gearbox and where the hole for replacing it is located.

Best Synthetic Gear Oils

This is a cheaper and more profitable alternative to mineral water, since, in addition to pure oils, it also contains additives. Such funds are poured mainly into cars that are not heavily loaded and most often with old transmission models. This type has only one more or less important drawback – it can flow through various seals due to its insufficiently high viscosity. We present here the top 3 gear oils in this category.


This oil is of good quality due to the content of a large number of effective additives. Thanks to this, it is guaranteed to extend the life of the transmission parts and allow it to work correctly even in extreme weather conditions. It prevents the formation of deposits. Practical this tool makes and full compatibility with the materials of the sealing joints. It also minimizes friction losses, which prevents premature wear.


  • Adequate price;
  • Does not allow the destruction of polymer seals;
  • Prevents vibration and noise during severe frosts;
  • Sold in convenient canisters;
  • Does not lose fluidity at temperatures up to -45 C;
  • Graded both GL-4 and GL-5.


  • Application restrictions regarding automatic transmissions.

Rosneft Kinetic GL-5 75W90

This gear oil is ranked among the best due to the content of quality additives that guarantee the gearbox a long service life due to effective lubrication and friction prevention. Thanks to them, the replacement interval of the product is extended, which is beneficial for car owners. This option is suitable for use in heavily loaded transmissions, including those operating at extreme positive temperatures.


  • Can be applied in any season;
  • Improved antioxidant properties;
  • Suitable for use in both passenger cars and commercial vehicles;
  • Reliably protects gears;
  • Increases the life of synchronizers.


  • Not detected.

Rosneft transmission oil Kinetic GL-5 75W90 in the ranking has the best value for money, suitable for both Russian cars (Niva, etc.) and foreign ones.

Castrol Syntrans Transaxle

Despite the synthetic composition, this oil is of good quality. It is universal, as it can be poured into cars and small trucks. It contains effective additives that can improve the performance properties of the product and thereby increase the life of the transmission. According to customer reviews, it performs well both in loaded cars and in those that are not used very often. A special point is the resistance to a wide range of temperatures, both low and high.


  • Does not lose fluidity at temperatures up to -54 degrees Celsius;
  • Sold in a convenient container;
  • Economical in consumption;
  • Minimum losses during operation;
  • Pronounced lubricating properties.


  • Not the best option for automatic transmissions;
  • One type of classification is GL-4+.

Popular manufacturers

Popular brands of transmission oils include:

  • Shell – offers synthetic and mineral base oils suitable for passenger cars or heavy equipment;
  • Eneos – produces materials in original metal containers, offers manual transmission oils and automatic transmission fluids;
  • Motul – supplies lubricants and working fluids for high quality automatic transmissions;
  • Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazpromneft offer mineral and synthetic materials manufactured in accordance with the GOST standard;
  • Elf and Total – produce oils designed for transmissions of French-made cars.

A detailed overview of the most popular and high-quality additives for automatic transmissions. We understand how they work, what they are for, whether they are really effective, and how to choose the right one.

The best semi-synthetic gear oils

This is the “golden mean” for those who do not like the quality of synthetics and at the same time the price of “mineral water” seems high. They combine all the advantages and some of the disadvantages of both types of funds. With its help, it is possible to reduce friction between the working surfaces of parts and thereby increase their service life. With a large amount of additives, they can corrode the metal somewhat, but at the same time they qualitatively reduce the level of general wear. On the market, 3 options can be highlighted, presented in the rating.

ZIC ATF Multi Vehicle

It is worth adding this gear oil to the ranking of the best because it is approved by most car manufacturers. A carefully balanced set of additives allowed him to gain such an arrangement. But at the same time, this semi-synthetic oil is only suitable for automatic transmissions, which makes it not universal. He can prevent friction that is dangerous for parts and the appearance of harmful deposits. Its use ensures the absence of vibration during switching and makes this process smoother.


  • Good low temperature fluidity;
  • Provides fast gear shifting;
  • Excellent thermal and oxidative stability;
  • Pronounced anti-friction properties;
  • Reliably prevents corrosion and wear.


  • Not detected.

Lukoil GL5 75W90

This gear oil is interesting in that it allows the use of the gearbox under high loads and a wide temperature range. It has excellent anti-wear and extreme pressure properties. According to customer reviews, this tool is universal, since it performs well both in cars and in trucks. Viscosity grade SAE 75W-90 makes it possible to save on fuel.


  • Suitable for use with mechanical transmission with any type of gear;
  • Produced from carefully refined oils;
  • Does not pollute the environment;
  • Excellent oxidation resistance;
  • Perfectly lubricates the details.


  • There is no choice of packaging volume for purchase, sold by 4 liters.

The tool is considered one of the best for pouring into VAZs, including Niva.

Liqui Moly Hypoid-Getriebeoil TDL 75W-90

This oil is popular due to its versatility, a large number of tolerances and compliance with the most stringent requirements for the production of such products. The prefix TDL in the name means that it can be used regardless of the type of drive. The fluid is excellent for almost all types of vehicles, which allows it to be effectively used in a mixed fleet. The tool is easily replaced by yourself, for this it is not necessary to contact the service.


  • Dual approval GL-4/5;
  • Reliably prevents wear of parts;
  • Excellent anti-friction properties;
  • Suitable for both synchronized and non-synchronized gearboxes;
  • Can be used with gearboxes with hypoid gearing.


  • Not the cheapest, as for a semi-synthetic type of oil.

What is written on the advertising sticker ↑

Often, when buying an oil canister, you can see a lot of symbols and designations on the front side. Few people thought about their content. In order to conduct an educational program, deciphering the labels of oils, their interpretation:

  • the name of the company, their manufacturer;
  • brands of lubricant;
  • group, API classification: GL-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6;
  • characteristics, SAE indicators, viscosity;
  • chemical base of lubricant: mineral, semi-synthetic, synthetic;
  • date of manufacture;
  • batch number, manufacturer index.

A good example: MOBIL, TAF-C, GL-6, 85W-90, No. 753419931.01.2015.

What gear oil is better to buy

When it comes to semi-synthetic and synthetic oils, you need to pay attention to SAE 75W-90 class products. If a mineral is required, then SAE 80W-90 or SAE 85W-90 should be selected. The first is not so thick, and the second has a high viscosity. Remember that winter oil is denoted by the letter W. If you need liquid for cars, then first of all you should focus on the 3rd, 4th and 5th types, while trucks and other equipment usually buy 1st and 2nd.

Here is what you can choose from this rating, starting from the situation:

  • For manual transmissions, the best choice would be 80W Shell Spirax S3 G.
  • If you need an option for servo transmissions, then you should take a closer look at the Eneos ATF Dexron-Ii.
  • For those who prioritize extreme pressure properties, it is better to buy 80W-90 GL-5.
  • For use at extremely low temperatures, ZIC GFT 75W oil will be just right
  • If you need to focus on lubricating functions, then Rosneft’s Kinetic GL-5 75W90 would be an ideal option.
  • For vehicles that are used very often, Castrol Syntrans Transaxl is well suited.
  • ZIC ATF Multi Vehicle has the best thermal-oxidative stability and anti-corrosion properties.
  • Those who want to save money can buy products from Lukoil GL5 75W90.
  • If a large number of tolerances are important, then the best option is Liqui Moly Hypoid-Getriebeoil TDL 75W-90.

The rating included the best gear oils according to buyers, but before making a choice, you need to decide whether it is right for your situation.

What it looks like in real life ↑

SAE 80W, SAE 85W and SAE 90W – winter version of oils, grades SAE 95, SAE 135 – summer. Due to the fact that transport can be operated in different geographical conditions, at critical external temperatures, a special designation has been developed for this type of oil. Grade classification SAE 80W-95; 80W-135; 85W-120. Their marking, characteristics, viscosity, can be modified. For the category of machines designed for special tasks, the EP, HD indices are added when marking the oil.