Boundary element method with constant and isoparametric quadratic elements was used to compute the gear teeth deflections and stresses, respectively. The boundary elements implemented in a computer program compute and accurately predict the problem in relatively little time and are advantageous for searching the gear surface areas of stress concentration for maximum stress positions. The numerical outputs demonstrate that isoparametric quadratic element should be preferred to general machine elements, of which gears are representatives. The results are shown to compare favorably with analogous results obtained by strain gage method. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.