A Step-by-step Guide for Changing the Rear Differential Fluid

Rear Differential Fluid
You do not have change the rear differential fluid of your car too often, however, when you need to, you must know how to do it properly. In this article, we will check out the procedure for changing the rear differential fluid of a vehicle.
Your vehicle consists of an important part called differential, it is actually a set of gears that transit the transmission power to the tires of the vehicle. It is called rear end differential as it is situated in the center of the rear axle. This fluid plays a significant role as a coolant and a lubricant, thus preventing burning and overheating in the differential. This fluid color is clear, and compared to the transmission fluid and engine oil, it's thicker in texture. Now we will move on to the changing part.

Changing the Rear Differential Fluid

Material Required
  • Spanners of different sizes
  • Jack
  • Metric wrench set
  • Metric socket set
  • Rear differential oil / fluid
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Crush washer
  • Torque Wrench
Steps to Follow
  • Drive the vehicle for some time (probably 20 - 30 minutes), so that the differential gets warmed up. Park the vehicle on an even surface and then lift the vehicle on a jack.
  • Find the differential drain plug and place an oil catcher underneath the drain plug.
  • Now detach the drain plug from the vehicle and let all the differential fluid drain out.
  • In the meantime, as the fluid drains, clean the differential drain plug. You might find some pieces of metal and debris of other harmful material which needs to be cleaned up.
  • As soon as the fluid drains out completely, change the differential drain plug. Use a new crush washer and adhere to the torque settings as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Now take out the differential fill plug and fit a new crush washer to seal it tightly. This would help you when you start with the re-installation procedure.
  • Here comes the core step! Refill the differential with a good quality differential fluid, and then fix in a new differential plug with the specified torque settings. Do not worry about the rear differential fluid cost, as it would not cost you much!
  • Take your vehicle for a short test drive. Check for a fluid leak for a few days. If no such leaks are found, then you have successfully completed the procedure, and should have no problem whatsoever.
Tips and Warnings

The procedure may seem simple after reading, but you need to take care of a few things nevertheless. Whenever you remove the differential drain plug, remember that the rear differential fluid is quite hot at the time. Therefore, be careful while doing this part. The hot fluid can damage your garage flooring. So to prevent the damage, you can keep a newspaper or a cloth over the surface and let the fluid drop on to it. Coming back to our question, is changing the this fluid really necessary? Well, if you are speaking of a front wheel drive vehicle, then the answer is no! Because in a front wheel drive, the fluid is shared with the transmission. However, if you are talking about a rear wheel drive vehicle, then the response is yes, but over a period of time! One last piece of advice, it you think you are not too sure what to do, then do let a professional handle the task, so as to avoid any related problems in the long run.
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