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Gearbox Oil Choice? 2.3 T5 5 Speed

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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 21:06   #11
AndyV7o
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Ive not had good experience with comma fluid before.
Either go genuine, or use a 75w80 of a high quality such as Motul Motylgear (gives a lovely smooth shift) dont use crap.
How is the gearshift? If its sweet and factory fresh, go genuine if ya want peace of mind. If its getting a little less sweet like it sometimes feels a little crunchy as it engages (which could just be tired oil anyway) it may be a little syncro wear, in that case a 75w80 may help the syncros keep up to speed (this can be a problem on vag boxes which also use straight 75 but a change to 75w80 usually sorts it, and is the grade of choice of transmission specislists and/or performance oriented users)
Dont use cheap stuff, especially not cheap Gl5, GL5 is ok if it states compatibility with brass syncros, some GL5's will eat syncro's. GL4 is fine no worries.
Don't use 75w90 it'll most likely make the shifts baulk.

Last edited by AndyV7o; Jul 12th, 2018 at 21:11.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 22:19   #12
volvoid
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If anyone wants, I have 3 litres of Genuine Volvo 75w synthetic GL4 going spare.
Possibly 4 litres, enough for 2 boxes.
Unopened bottles.
Open to offers. Happy to post etc at cost.
(Im sure they are on the for-sale section somewhere)


Ive changed gearbox oil occasionally, highly recomend doing so, what comes out is often mud-like, gearchange, overall smoothness and quiet all improved. Box will last longer as well.
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 23:29   #13
AndyV7o
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Ive just noticed the post saying Volvo do the very best synthetic...
Yeah, itll last forever, cos Volvo make their own oils, and know some secrets all the other oil companies dont...
Im being a bit narky here I do appreciate (Ive had some wine), but seriously what is this obsession that anything that passes over a volvo counter is superior to everything else in the known universe and will last forever? Oe volvo stuff is good, yeah, but there are equal or better I guarantee, and nothing lasts forever, oil is not just golden slippery stuff that can be ignored, it wears out, its a physical substance that breaks down.

Peace-out, love ya really!
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 08:49   #14
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Some interesting comments, thanks. CheshireD5 and Clan, yes I am sure the most certain choice is the Volvo oil, spec 97337, and just 2 litres of it. Perhaps it can last 200K miles + but I think an oil change at 113K miles is sensible. What's in it can't be as good as fresh oil of the right quality, 18 years and 113K miles must have caused a degree of wear to the oil.

AndyV70's comments are interesting and are along the lines of my view as I'll be filling it with GL4 75W80 fully synthetic.

I think the reason Comma state they do not market an oil to this Volvo spec is possibly because they make it for Volvo? They buy from Esso I think, Esso refine the stuff, and independants like Comma add an additive pack. Or perhaps they just buy bulk "own label" and then bottle it with their own labels, labels for others (car manufacturers), or sell it on to other smaller independant marketeers.

I am not sure that it is possible to buy poor quality new motor or transmission oil now in the UK, I think it is supplied by just a few main oil refineries.

The stuff I will be using meets the following spec:

API - GL-4
ZF - TE-ML 01L, 02L, 08, 16K,
TE-ML 02A, 02B, 02D, 02E
Mercedes Benz - 235.4
Volvo - 97305, 97307
Military - MIL-L-2105

If it ruins my gearbox I'll let you know. But given that Carlube used to specify 75W90 GL4 and EP I think at that, I can't imagine it will harm it at all and that it will prove to be a quality lubricant.
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 09:04   #15
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PS When I had my overdrive gearbox rebuilt in Sheffield for an old TR6 I had, they said to fill it with straight 20W50. So that's what I did and it worked really well, overdrive too. But I figured I shouldn't fill the Volvo with this!
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 09:08   #16
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Green440wedge, let me know how you get on with the GL4. My gearbox at 230K miles I'm sure is overdue an oil change.
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 09:36   #17
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Iirc Comma are part of the Esso group. Ive used their gear oil a couple of times in two cars and both times the shifts were notchy and crunchy, just my experience of course, lot of cars out there with it in.

Some gearboxes do indeed use engine oil. The mini is a fine example as the gearbox is effectively also the sump!

Its widely accepted and not just a hangover from years past that transmission oil should be changed every 75k.
Someone on another forum talking about the vag boxes said (now I have no idea as to the accuracy of this statement, but it doesnt sound all that far fetched) that in Germany the lifespan of a vehicle is considered to be 5 years, and this is the 'life' for which the boxes are filled to last...
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 09:56   #18
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And therein lies the problem. People are quick to say things are 'sealed for life', but no one has ever told me how long that life is? If it's 100k, then fair enough. My other car is 89 years old and still alive - though with gearbox oil changed specified every 5,000 and they recommend flushing with paraffin first.

I've changed the oil in a couple of manual boxes at around 100k and in both cases, the oil came out as clean as it went in. However, the box was transformed by the new oil, so clearly it has degraded. The VW Golf had started to stick in gear when it was really hot after a motorway run and I assumed it was the clutch dragging, but after the oil change, the symptoms were gone.

I remember checking out of interest on the shelf life of oil from one of the big manufacturers and it was I think 5 years. Not sure how putting it in a gearbox and driving around for 100k would extend this

Last edited by BarryCambs; Jul 13th, 2018 at 09:58.
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 10:56   #19
AndyV7o
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryCambs View Post

I remember checking out of interest on the shelf life of oil from one of the big manufacturers and it was I think 5 years. Not sure how putting it in a gearbox and driving around for 100k would extend this
Exactly. (Though shelf life is the oil still having a suitable service life remaining tbf)
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Old Jul 13th, 2018, 11:09   #20
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For the record, I've never even slightly intimated that Volvo oil lasts forever and somehow ignores the process of degradation.

I use Volvo manual gear oil because it's guaranteed correct and it's guaranteed to last well beyond another 100k miles because there are literally hundreds of thousands of examples of this.
That is reason enough.

Notice how I said manual gear oil though.

For automatics, the saving is huge and justifiable when going aftermarket because of the quantity needed so I never buy Volvo ATF.

The price differential on manual oil doesn't justify shopping around as it matters not whether you get 5 litres for 22 or 10 litres for 22 because
a) you can still only use 2 litres, wasting 3 litres
and
B) you've still spent 22 so only saved 16.

Since when was saving 1 a year a subject for discussion? Seriously.
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