Driveline Fluid Evaluation
Office of Automotive Engineering

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Standardized and specialized test programs are performed on a broad variety of driveline related fluids including transmission fluids, gear lubricants, tractor and industrial hydraulic fluids. Test programs are also conducted on components that utilize these fluids.

Standardized protocols include industry standard procedures from SAE International, ASTM International, JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization). These procedures and DIN (German Institute for Standardization) are used along with many manufacturer testing specifications including those for Allison, Caterpillar, Denison, Eaton, Ford, General Motors, John Deere, Komatsu, Mack, New Holland, Rexroth, Vickers and others. These procedures are performed in more than 40 individual test stands.

Complete lists of test procedures performed are included in the links below:

SwRI has axle efficiency test stands that measure overall axle efficiency according to industry-recognized test procedures. A typical test will measure efficiency at different lubricant temperatures, loads, and vehicle speeds. The test is useful for studying the effect of improved gear lubricants and of improved axle designs.

Additional special purpose stands are available to evaluate driveline and component mechanical efficiency. These test stands are capable of discerning small improvements in efficiency due to fluids, lubricants or component materials and coatings in equipment such as:

  • Automatic transmission fluid pumps
  • Automatic transmission gear assemblies
  • Axles and differentials
  • Mechanical transmission gear boxes and transfer cases
  • Torque converters

Specialized test stands have also been developed to support development and product qualification testing of on and off-highway equipment. Typical test set-ups are designed to evaluate transmissions, hydraulic system components, clutches, and final drives. Additional facilities are available to evaluate hydraulic accumulators, pumps and motors for use in hydraulic hybrid vehicles.

Related Terminology

driveline fluids  •  driveline  •  fluids  •  transmission fluids  •  transmissions  •  gear lubricants  •  hydraulic fluids  •  automatic transmission fluids  •  gear lubricants  •  hydraulic fluids  •  tractor fluids  •  axle efficiency  •  efficiency   •  lubricant  •  hydraulic accumulators   •  torque converters  •  gear boxes  •  axles  •  clutches  •  SAE International  •  ASTM International  •  JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization)

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.