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Keeping Your XTV Lubricated: Engine Oil, Transmission Oil and Grease

You may be familiar with keeping engines, bearings and other components lubricated on cars and ATVs, but what about your XTV? With its unique construction, it’s easy to leave parts unserviced, leading to wear and tear that could have been prevented. Here’s what you need to do to keep your XTV lubricated from the engine to the axle bearings.

Engine Oil

The oil can be drained by removing the drain plug on the base of the engine or by using a vacuum pump. Argo offers a pump specifically for this purpose.

Kohler Aegis and Command Pro oil recommendations:
10W30 above 0ºF
5W20 or 5W30 conventional oil below 32ºF
5W20 or 5W30 synthetic oil below 40ºF
Synthetic is recommended for easier starting below -10ºF

On Aegis engines, change oil and filter after the first 20 hours, then every 150 hours of operation.
On Command Pro engines, change the oil every 100 hours and the filter every 200 hours. To remove the drain plug, use a 5/16″ Allen socket wrench.

Kohler KDW1003 Diesel oil recommendation:
5W40 API SJ oil approved for diesel engines under all operating conditions

Change the oil and filter after the first 50 hours of use, then every 150 hours. To remove the drain plug, use a 22mm hex socket wrench.

Transmission Oil

Check the oil level before each use. Change the oil after first 20 hours, then every 150 hours thereafter. Warming up the engine will help the oil drain faster. 80W90 HYPOY-C Gear Oil is recommended.

On models without a dipstick, including the XTI and XTD, the level can be checked by removing the firewall and looking at the sight glass next to the transmission drain plug.

The drain plug on the Admiral transmission is too high to completely drain the oil. Use a vacuum pump to remove what’s left in the transmission.

Wipe off any metal shavings that have collected on the magnetic drain plug before re-installation. It’s normal to see shavings after the initial break-in period.

To fill the transmission, remove the fill/vent plug on the top of the transmission case. Add fluid until it reaches the full mark on the dipstick or the middle of the sight glass. Oil capacity on all transmissions is 1.27 quarts (1.2 liters.)


If your XTV doesn’t have an automatic chain lubrication system, apply Argo Aerosol Chain Lube every 10 hours. After every 100 hours of use, remove the chains, clean them with a degreaser and re-lubricate them.

Automatic Chain Lubrication System

The automatic chain lubrication system should be filled with regular automotive oil, not chain oil. The weight will depend on operating temperatures:

-40 to 32ºF – SAE 10 or 5W30
32-104ºF – SAE 20 or 10W30
104ºF or higher – SAE 30 or 10W40
A biodegradable oil is recommended when operating in environmentally sensitive areas.

The system runs on a timer, cycling for 5 seconds every 15 minutes the ignition is in the run position. The override button can be used to prime the system after refilling or applying oil after the chains have been cleaned.

The first time the system is used, it needs to be primed and checked. Remove the firewall and front and rear floor pans. Turn the key to the run position and hold down the override switch. It can take up to two minutes for the oil to reach the drip tubes, and it will take a few seconds for the oil to reach the rear outlets after dripping out of the front. The oil should fall onto the side plates of the chain. If it doesn’t, loosen the bolts holding the drip tubes in place and move them so the oil drops onto the correct spot.

Axle Bearings

Each housing holds 6.7 oz. (200 ml) of 80W90 HYPOY-C gear oil. Replace the oil after the first 20 hours of use, then every 150 hours thereafter.

To check the level, remove the side plug. The oil should come up to the bottom of the hole. To check the condition of the oil, remove the bottom plug. If water or milky-looking oil comes out, drain the axle and add fresh gear oil.

Output Shaft

The spline couplers on the output shaft, located next to the service brake and next to the frame, should be lubricated with a Lithium-based NLGI #2 or #3 grease. Wipe away any excess grease to prevent brake contamination.

Get the Help You Need to Keep Your Argo Running

Shank’s Argo is one of the largest dealers in the East, and we’ve helped customers with their outdoor equipment since 1984. If you need parts or service for your XTV, visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We’re one mile east of I-81 via Exit 10/Marion. Need parts or special tools for your Argo? Visit

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