Choosing the Right Hy Gard Equivalent for Your John Deere Equipment

By Irene Daraman Written by Irene Daraman Expertise: Technology, Learning, and Money Title: - Author and Freelance Writer Education: - Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of La Salette Work Experience: - Registered Nurse with 10+ years of experience in BPO and healthcare industries - Management position in a Fortune 500 company, driving operational excellence and exceeding targets - Designing and implementing business plans and strategies to promote the attainment of goals, including financial (money matter), technology, and internal learning and development - Patient care coordinator in a California-based private practice - Experience as a personal injury medical records reviewer and demand letter writer in a Texas law firm - 5+ years of content/article writing experience, delivering engaging and informative pieces across various domains About: I am a Registered Nurse with 10+ years of experience in BPO and the healthcare industry. With a specialization in public and community nursing, I possess a deep understanding of patient care. Currently working in a management position at a Fortune 500 company, where I drive operational excellence and exceed targets. I am responsible for using technology at work, and driving learning and development. I am an expert in technology, learning, and money related topics from my corporate work experience. Public Profiles:
Updated on September 5, 2023

John Deere is one of the leading manufacturers of large agricultural machinery and heavy equipment. For their equipment, John Deere engineers recommend Hy-Gard or Hydraulic and Transmission Oil to protect and improve the performance of heavily loaded gears, wet brakes, wet clutches, and hydraulic systems. For those looking for a John Deere Hy Gard equivalent, please continue reading.

Hy-Gard’s performance is good, but it is a bit expensive. So, others are looking for possible alternatives to it. However, it is crucial to understand what makes the alternative products as effective as the Hy-Gard.

What can I use as a substitute for John Deere Hy Gard?

John Deere Hy Gard is a very effective and excellent product. But, due to its price and availability, there are those looking for effective alternatives to it that are cheaper. Here are some of the known and recommended brands by the public:

1. NAPA Heavy Duty Tractor Hydraulic & Transmission Oil

Manufactured by Warren Unilube, Inc., NAPA’s 5-gallon product is an excellent alternative to John Deere Hy Gard because it costs $10 less than the latter. According to some users, it meets the JD J20C specification. Some people who use the NAPA brand said there were no differences or irregular sounds in their machines after using it.

2. Chevron Ursa Hydraulic Oil 10W

It is an SAE 10W hydraulic oil. Like John Deere Hy Gard, it comprises 75-95% highly refined mineral oil (C15-C50) and 1-5% Zinc Alkyl Dithiophosphate (ZDDP), which is a potent anti-wear additive that helps protect your hydraulic system.

3. Chevron 1000 THF Hydraulic Oil

 It is a high-quality, multifunctional tractor hydraulic fluid. Its components are almost the same as John Deere Hy Gard. There is only a slight difference in viscosity that is SAE 15W-30 viscosity grade, but in performance, it is as effective as John Deere Hy Gard. However, it’s a bit pricey, with about $ 60- $ 70 a bucket.

4. 5W-30 Hydraulic Oil – AMSOIL

According to the John Deere service manual, owners can use the 5W-30 Hydraulic Oil-AMSOIL on lawn tractors. It is an all-weather Universal Tractor Transmission Oil (UTTO) engineered to protect your heavy-duty equipment. It comes with effective viscosity of ISO68 and SAE30 like John Deere Hy Gard with ISO 46 and 68 grades for heavy-duty- machines.

What makes J20C a good substitute for John Deere Hy Gard (J20D)?

J20C is a good substitute for J20D only in warmer temperature

John Deere machines’ parts require adequate lubrication to prevent friction and metal-to-metal wear and tear. The temperature influences the viscosity of the oil. When it is cold, oil viscosity increases and vice versa. When there is too much viscosity, the friction inside the machine will increase, causing wear and tear on your gears. Therefore, it is crucial to know the right oil for your engine.

The J20D is low-viscosity hydraulic oil engineered for cold climates, whereas J20C is high-viscosity which is ideal in a warm climate. Therefore, you can only substitute the J20C with the J20D when the weather is warm. Otherwise, it is not advisable to switch the two.

Can I use Napa hydraulic oil as a substitute for John Deere Hy Gard (J20D)?

Napa Hydraulic Oil is as effective as John Deere Hy Gard according to many users.

Napa Hydraulic by Warren Unilube is an ISO 22 hydraulic oil with good anti-wear properties for your heavy-duty machines. It is engineered with premium-grade mineral-based hydraulic oils that meet ISO standards for hydraulic oil. Like John Deere, customers also trust this brand and have used this product with no issues. Moreover, it is cheaper than John Deere in almost the same performance.

What makes SAE 5W a good substitute for J20D for Lawn Tractors?

It is safe to switch from a 10W – 30 hydraulic oils to 5W – 30 according to API

John Deere recommends the SAE 5W Hydraulic as an alternative to Hy Gard because it passes the standard of hydraulic oils recommended by the company’s engineers for their machines. However, using 5W hydraulic is acceptable because, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), it is safe to switch from 10W – 30 hydraulic oils to 5W – 30.

What are the disadvantages of using a substitute for Hy-Gard Transmissible Fluid?

John Deere Hy Gard is excellent, but it is a bit expensive. Another, it is not always available in some other places. So, others are looking for an alternative that is as effective as John Deere Hy Gard.

However, there are disadvantages and risks to using a John Deere Hy Gard equivalent or other alternatives. It may meet the viscosity requirement of your machine, but Hy Gard includes a chemical component that cannot be found in other hydraulic oils. Hy Gard is an exclusive premium oil designed by John Deere engineers just for the company’s hydrostatic system.

Since there is no specific classification for hydraulic oil, the other manufacturers’ minimum requirements may not pass the requirements of John Deere. So, using a brand other than Hy Gard may put your machine at risk because it may not meet the standard of John Deere’s machines.