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Gearbox Oils

API Gear Lubricant Classifications

This classification was prepared by the American petroleum Institute (API) to assist manufacturers and users of automotive equipment in the selection of transmission, trans axle and axle lubricants for the operating conditions described.

Selection for specific applications involves consideration of the operating conditions and the physical and chemical characteristics of the lubricant.

Gear Oil GL 1, GL 2, GL 3, GL 4, GL 5 and GL 6


Intended for manual transmissions operating under mild conditions where straight petroleum oils may be use


Intended for automotive worm gear axles under more load, temperature and sliding velocities


For manual transmissions operating under moderate "severe" conditions and spiral bevel axles under mild conditions of speed and load.


For hyoid gears operating under mode rare speeds and loads or for spiral bevel gears in axles operating under moderate conditions


Intended for gears under combinations of high speed, low speed, shock load conditions and high torque in axles


For gears designed with a pinion offset



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