The Importance of Regular Gear Oil Maintenance
If you work with machinery, you are probably aware of the importance of keeping your equipment running smoothly and efficiently. One key aspect of this is maintaining the gear oil in your machinery. Gear oil lubricates the gears and bearings in machinery and prevents metal-on-metal wear, which can cause significant damage over time. However, what many people do not realize is that gear oil requires regular maintenance, particularly in colder weather.
The Key to Gear Oil Maintenance: Stable Weather
When machinery sits overnight in cold temperatures, the cold steel starts to contract. As the weather warms up during the day, the steel begins to expand again, which can cause water to form inside the gear cases and mix with the oil. Over time, this can cause corrosion and rust to accumulate on the exposed surfaces of the cases. As the rust flakes off, it can contaminate the oil with abrasive particles that can damage moving parts like bearings and gears.
Once the weather stabilizes and the temperature stays above freezing at night, this issue becomes less common. However, it is still important to regularly check and maintain your gear oil to prevent any potential issues.
What to Do with the Contaminated Oil
In some cases, contaminated gear oil may simply need to be drained and replaced with fresh oil. However, in the case of gasoline or diesel engines, the fuel contains sulfur. During combustion, some of that sulfur separates and mixes with the oil. When condensation mixes with the oil, the water and sulfur can create sulfuric acid, which can attack the exposed walls of the gear cases. In these cases, it is important to take steps to prevent contamination in the first place, such as adding desiccants to the gear cases.
Ultimately, regular gear oil maintenance is critical to keeping your machinery running smoothly and preventing costly damage over time. Be sure to consult the owner’s manual for recommendations on oil change intervals and other maintenance guidelines to ensure optimal performance and longevity for your machinery. You can also reach out to a Team Eagle representative to help assist you further.