Skip to main content

The New SEVERE GEAR Easy-Pack Makes Changing Gear Oil Easy

The New SEVERE GEAR Easy-Pack Makes Changing Gear Oil Easy

Changing gear oil in differentials and manual transmissions is critical for smooth operatation and reduced maintenance. But professional mechanics and DIY enthusiasts agree: changing gear oil is a hassle.

The rigid conical bottle has been the industry standard for gear lube for decades.

That ’70s squeeze bottle

The source of the hassle can be found in the packaging. For more than 40 years the packaging standard has been a semi-rigid squeeze bottle with a narrow spout. This design was adequate when it was introduced due to the generous clearances and easy access to the differential and other components under your vehicle.

Vehicles, however, have grown more complex. The spaces to access components, including differentials, have shrunk. Trying to fit a rigid bottle into a confined space to reach a small fill hole is a recipe for bloody knuckles. Attempting to squeeze the fluid from the bottle into the differential is a mess, with much of the fluid ending up on you or your garage floor.

Despite these challenges, gear oil is runner-up only to grease for least attention paid among the majority of lubricant manufacturers. For most brands, this lack of focus is likely due to low gear oil sales.

Enthusiast experiences drive innovation

The AMSOIL brand is focused on providing enthusiasts and independent shop owners with the next level in protection. In addition to developing innovative ways to pack more protection into our products, we also focus on packaging innovations.

Many who work at AMSOIL are enthusiasts or DIYers. In fact, a weekend attempt to change gear oil in his truck led our gear-oil product engineer on a search for a better way to package gear oil. The gear-oil pump he had on hand didn’t work. His own attempts to engineer a Rube Goldberg machine of sorts to direct gear lube into the differential didn’t work.

The frustration and hassle led him to a single thought: there has to be a better way.

The SEVERE GEAR easy-pack eliminates the hassles of changing gear lube.

Flexibility eliminates hassle and waste

The result of this effort is the new AMSOIL SEVERE GEAR® easy-pack. The flexible package bends around obstacles so you can easily reach fill holes. This flexibility also allows you to squeeze all of the gear lube into the differential. That way you don’t have to buy extra gear lube just to account for the waste inherent to rigid bottles.

The industrial-strength packaging allows the easy-pack to withstand drops, abrasions and extreme pressure, as shown in the video below. The result is packaging that saves professional mechanics and enthusiast’s time, money, hassle and mess.

BUY THE SEVERE GEAR EASY-PACK NOW

Safetey changing oil at 3,000 Mile? Why not 50 or 100 miles?

Busting the 3,000 Mile Oil Change Myth

Changing your oil every 3,000 miles is a practice passed down for generations. The origin likely stems from the noble effort to provide consumers with a simple vehicle-maintenance rule that left plenty of room for error.

Marketed by fast lubes

Fast lube chains, which first entered the market in the 1970s, adopted and amplified the message through sustained marketing campaigns. Owned by major oil manufacturers, fast lube chains had a financial interest in seeing customers frequently and selling more oil, the vast majority of which was conventional.

Endorsed by your dad and mechanic

While this timeline helps provide context, it does little to address the emotional connection to changing oil every 3,000 miles. The reason so many motorists dutifully change oil every 3,000 miles is because their fathers and their mechanics – two of the most influential groups in automotive circles – told them they should. For many people, the 3,000-mile oil change is a tradition that ties them to the person who taught them many important life lessons, like how to keep your car running properly.

Tradition updated with new technology

Many families pass down traditions, and while the spirit of the tradition is upheld, many elements are updated to reflect current technology and lifestyles. Your call to a distant relative during the holidays may now require Skype instead of a rotary phone. Likewise, your annual family vacation may start at the airport instead of in the family station wagon. In the case of the 3,000-mile oil change, we can preserve the noble spirit of taking good care of our vehicles by establishing a habit of changing oil periodically, but not necessarily every 3,000 miles.

Since the advent of the 3,000-mile oil change, advances in lubrication and automotive technology have rendered it outdated, like adding water to automotive batteries, replacing ignition points and adjusting the carburetor. Now, many vehicle manufacturers recommend changing oil every 5,000 miles or longer, with BMW calling for 15,000 miles between oil changes.

Synthetic motor oil technology

Synthetic lubrication technology plays a significant role in moving beyond the 3,000-mile oil change interval. Synthetic motor oil offers better wear protection, improved resistance to temperature extremes and increased cleanliness properties compared to conventional oils. For that reason, it’s safe to use them longer than 3,000 miles.

AMSOIL products provide confidence with additional protection that goes beyond the standard. It’s what your dad or grandfather may have called the “belt and suspenders” approach. For example, AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil…

  • Provides 75% more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear than required by a leading industry standard.¹
  • Achieved 72% better protection than required by a leading industry standard2, providing ultimate protection against extreme heat and the harmful deposits that can plague turbochargers.
  • Achieved 100% protection against LSPI.3

So, while it’s vital to change your oil and take care of your vehicle, it’s also important to advance your methods in lockstep with the latest technology. And modern synthetic oils have made the 3,000-mile oil change as dated as the rotary phone.

FIND AMSOIL PRODUCTS FOR MY VEHICLE

1Based on independent testing in the ASTM D6891 test using 0W-20 as worst-case representation.
2Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the GM turbo coking test.
3Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5w-30 motor oil in the LSPI engine test as required for the GM dexos 1® Gen 2 specification.

Why Does Motor Oil Turn Black?

Motor Oil Turning Black Isn’t an Indicator of Bad Oil

What causes black motor oil? And when your oil darkens does it mean it’s time to change it? Well, there are a couple of factors that can cause the former. Let’s dig in.

Factors causing black motor oil

Heat cycles naturally darken motor oil

During your drive to work in the morning, your engine reaches normal operating temperature (typically 195ºF-220ºF), heating the motor oil. Then the oil cools while your car sits in the parking lot. During lunch, the oil again is exposed to heat during your drive to Walmart for butter and shoe laces. The process repeats on the way home. And the next day. And the next.

That’s what’s meant by “heat cycles.” The continual exposure to periods of high heat naturally darkens motor oil.

Some additives in motor oil are more susceptible to darkening in the presence of heat than others. In addition, normal oxidation can darken oil, too. Oxidation occurs when oxygen molecules interact with oil molecules and cause chemical breakdown, just like how oxygen causes a cut apple to brown or iron to rust. High heat accelerates oxidation.

Soot causes oil to turn black

While heat cycles cause oil to darken, soot causes oil to turn black. Most people associate soot with diesel engines, but gasoline engines can produce soot as well, particularly modern gasoline-direct-injection engines.

Soot is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. Since soot particles are less than one micron in size, they typically don’t cause engine wear. For comparison, a human hair is roughly 70 microns in diameter.


If soot particles agglomerate into larger wear-causing contaminants, the oil filter will catch them. Sometimes people who use bypass filtration systems, which can filter contaminants down to two microns, express surprise that the motor oil is still black. Soot, however, can still elude filtration down to two microns. Any finer filtration and the filter could catch dissolved additives in the motor oil.

Oil Myth: The color of the oil indicates when it’s time for an oil change

It’s common to assume that black motor oil has worn out or become too saturated with contaminants to protect your engine and requires changing. Not necessarily. As we saw, discoloration is a natural byproduct of heat and soot particles, which are too small to wear out your engine.

The only surefire way to determine if the oil has reached the end of its service life is to perform oil analysis. Chemically analyzing an oil sample reveals the condition of the oil, the presence of contaminants, fuel dilution and so on. Several companies offer oil analysis services, including Oil Analyzers INCWe keep the kits here in Sioux Falls

Absent oil analysis, it’s best to follow the oil-change recommendation given in your vehicle owner’s manual or by the motor oil manufacturer. The recommended service intervals for AMSOIL products, for example, are based on thousands of data points spanning years of use.

It’s best to trust the data, not your eye, in this case. Otherwise, changing the oil could amount to throwing away good oil.

Time for an oil change? Find AMSOIL product for your vehicle here.

What’s the Minimum I Should Drive My Car? And Other Winter Car Storage Tips

What’s the Minimum I Should Drive My Car? And Other Winter Car Storage Tips

The roads are home to all kinds of vehicles. Daily drivers that clock thousands of miles each year. Seasonal vehicles that only clock hundreds. And then there are some whose odometers move only when being loaded or unloaded from a trailer.

In any instance, winter vehicle storage is sometimes inevitable.

What to consider when storing your vehicle for winter

There are several things to consider when storing a vehicle. Read on for some tips to ensure your vehicle is ready to answer the call when you awaken it from its storage-time slumber.

1) Seek shelter

There are plenty of good locations for storing your vehicle. Here are a few.

  • Garage – If you own a garage, it’s the obvious first choice to protect your vehicle from the elements, pests or thieves during storage. Ensure that all entries are secure, including windows or side doors.
  • Storage facility – If you live in an urban area or you don’t have access to an enclosed space, consider renting space at an indoor storage facility. There are businesses geared toward storing vehicles. Depending on your region’s weather, some offer both indoor and outdoor options.
  • Friends or family – If the above options don’t work, call in a favor with a family member or good friend who has space in his or her garage, shed, barn or other secure building.

Outdoor storage isn’t ideal, but if it’s your only option, buy a quality weatherproof cover that will protect your vehicle from the elements. There are tons out there ranging from low quality to virtually impenetrable, so do your research to find the best one capable of properly covering your ride.

Covers are effective at protecting the body of the car, but consider the underside of the vehicle. Parking on a concrete slab will help avoid moisture from the ground collecting under the cover and causing rust damage from the bottom up.

2) Clean your vehicle before storage

When you let your car sit for long periods of time you want to make sure it’s thoroughly clean. Even small amounts of the following can damage the paint.

  • Water droplets
  • Salt from the road or the air
  • Sand and dirt
  • Bird droppings

Show your vehicle some love by washing it well, completely drying it with a shammy and giving it a proper coating of wax. If you’re really feeling fancy, use a clay bar to remove dirt trapped inside the paint.

Inside the vehicle, vacuum all dirt, debris and crumbs. Even small crumbs will attract insects and rodents.

3) Keep out the undesirables

Speaking of which, mice and other rodents love finding a good stationary vehicle to hole up inside for the winter. They’ll build a nest in an inconvenient place, chew through wires and wreak general havoc during their uninvited stay.

Keep them out by closing off any entry points such as the exhaust and air intakes. Dryer sheets are an effective deterrent, so try placing those in and around the vehicle to deter them from considering your vehicle as a winter home.

4) Check fluids & fill ‘er up

Perform an oil change prior to storing a vehicle. This will keep the engine from holding harmful contaminants for a lengthy period of time.

Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from deteriorating, then fill up the gas tank to prevent moisture from accumulating. AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer is an excellent choice. It’ll inhibit the oxidation process in stored fuel, which will help prevent sludge and varnish from clogging injectors, fuel lines, carburetors and other components. Keep the fuel as fresh as possible since deteriorated fuel makes up the highest percentage of problems associated with vehicle storage.

5) Take it for an occasional spin

Start the vehicle every two weeks and take a short 10-minute drive if possible. A battery that is not used will soon lose its charge and lead to a headache later on.

If you’re looking at long-term vehicle storage, it’s not a bad idea to disconnect and remove the battery entirely. Or, purchase a battery tender and connect that instead. Doing so will deliver a regular charge to keep the battery from losing all power. Look for one with an automatic shut-off feature so it’s not overcharged.

Regular startups or a short drive will also keep the engine and all its components lubricated, which is another important area requiring regular TLC. Just be sure to remove any rodent-repelling measures you may have taken earlier, like the dryer sheets in the exhaust pipe.

If you aren’t in a position to conduct routine starts or short drives, you’ll need something to prevent surface rust from accumulating on engine components. A good coat of AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil sprayed into the cylinders will do the trick.

6) Mind the Tires

This is another important area to consider, as they are what the vehicle rests on for the duration of the storage period. First, make sure the tires are properly inflated to the correct psi before storage. Sitting vehicles can create flat spots on tires that render them useless later on.

If you won’t be driving at all, roll the vehicle forward or backward a few inches from time to time.

You can do this when you conduct the occasional engine start to keep the battery alive and engine parts properly lubricated. For those who don’t mind a bit of extra work to ensure road-ready tires later on, you can also take them off entirely and replace them with jack stands.

Based on your environment you can pick a storage protocol and do the best you can. Just be aware that vehicles don’t like to sit for extended periods and need opportunities to “stretch their legs,” so to speak. They need to be started and moved at least once per year to keep seals from drying out and internals coated with oil. Follow our vehicle storage advice and your ride will be ready for the road when you are.

New ATV/UTV Oil Change Kits Offer Maximum Convenience

New ATV/UTV Oil Change Kits Offer Maximum Convenience

AMSOIL ATV/UTV Oil Change Kits combine everything needed to perform an oil change on the most popular models of Polaris* ATVs and UTVs in one convenient package, including…

To find the correct ATV/UTV Oil Change Kit for your machine, consult the appropriate Product Guide.

Look up My ATV

Look up My UTV

WHY YOU SHOULD UPGRADE YOUR ATV/UTV PROTECTION

Accessories equal weight. It’s common to burden your UTV or ATV with accessories designed to increase power or productivity, especially for UTV owners. Enthusiasts often add roof and door panels, a winch, a plow, skid plates and other accessories. Plus, how often do you haul a load of gravel or pull a trailer or other implement?

This all adds weight, and a good rule of thumb is that extra weight equals extra heat. Heat, in turn, causes lubricants to break down sooner, which places your engine and differentials at risk of wear.

Heat invites engine wear. The oil’s primary job is to form a protective layer on metal parts to keep them separated so they don’t rub together and wear out. High heat from the stress you place on your machine, however, can cause oils formulated for standard service to become thinner (lose viscosity). Oil that has lost viscosity can fail to develop an oil film of adequate thickness or strength to protect against wear.

Plus, high heat invites sludge and performance-robbing deposits inside the engine. Sludge can clog oil passages and starve the engine of oil, while deposits can cause the piston rings to stick or interfere with proper valve operation, leading to reduced engine compression.

Since compression equals power, over time your engine can make less power, limiting your ability to ride or work as effectively as possible. Eventually, deposits and sludge can wreck the engine completely.

Shift to better performance. The story is similar inside the transmission, differential and front drive. All the extra weight and stress of hard work and performance riding concentrates intense pressure on gears. The lubricant coats the gear teeth during operation, guarding against metal-to-metal contact and wear. The added stress, combined with high heat, can break the fluid film and literally squeeze the lubricant from between the gears, leading to wear. As with the motor oil, high heat causes the lubricant to thin, which negatively affects wear protection.

Upgrade to synthetic lubricants. So what’s the solution? Ride more conservatively? Haul lighter loads and work less?

Never. Upgrade to high-quality AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, differential and transmission fluid, front drive fluid and other lubricants, especially if you’ve modified your ATV or UTV for greater power or productivity. AMSOIL synthetic ATV/UTV lubricants don’t contain the impurities inherent to conventional lubricants, meaning they deliver better performance and last longer. Their naturally tough base oils resist extreme heat and maintain a strong protective film better than conventional products.

Think of synthetics as just another performance upgrade. You don’t think twice about dropping a few hundred dollars on a snowplow or work trailer. Over the course of your machine’s life, the few extra dollars you spend per oil change or transmission/differential service is a drop in the bucket by comparison.

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.