What’s the Best Hydraulic Oil for My Lift?

When considering hydraulic oil, a question we often receive is “which is better, AW32 or AW46?”  The short answer is that neither is better or worse.  Ultimately, there are several factors that must be considered to determine which is the better option for your lift and your shop.

Oil is rated and identified by its viscosity, which determines its ability to flow at different temperatures.  AW means Anti-Wear.

The lower the number, the thinner the oil and the more easily it flows.  AW-32 is neither “better nor worse” than AW-46.  The numbers refer only to the viscosity, not to the quality.  Quality of the oil is determined by the manufacturer.

For Atlas above ground lifts,  AW-32 (lower number than AW-46) will flow “better” in colder weather than AW-46. Customers in colder climates (with unheated garages or service areas) may want to use AW-32. Above ground lifts located in heated garages (or warmer climates) may use either AW-32 or AW-46. If your lift is located in a region that has a colder climate and you intend on using your lift (frequently) when the temperature is below 32 degrees, then you may want to consider automatic transmission fluid rather than hydraulic oil. We do not recommend the use of transmission fluid because its thinner viscosity (5W) can allow the oil to “weep” (around hydraulic cylinder seals) and transmission fluid may also reduce the “life expectancy” of the pump seals.

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