You should get a differential service every 30,000 miles (48,000 km) – 50,000 miles (80,000 km) using manufacture recommended fluid. Check your vehicle owners manual for specific differential service interval. When you turn a corner your outer wheels travel further than your inner wheels. The differential is designed to compensate for this difference in distance on driving axles. In most front wheel drive vehicles the differential is part of the transmission and does not require servicing separately. Rear wheel drive vehicles have a differential at the rear. 4-wheel and All-wheel drive vehicles will have 2 differentials. One at the front and one at the rear. Each differential has its own housing and lubrication. The differential fluid lubricates the gears and bearings that transfer power from the drive shaft to the wheels. If your vehicle has a limited-slip differential, it also lubricates all the moving parts in that assembly. Limited-slip differentials may require special fluid or additional additives. It is very important to have a differential service regularly. As with any other fluid, your differential fluid breaks down over time reducing its ability to clean and lubricate the moving parts of your vehicles differential. This can cause premature within your vehicles differential and lead to costly repairs or even complete differential replacement. 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles are equipped with a transfer case that also require servicing.
What is Involved
- Differential fluid is drained and replaced with new fluid
What Can Happen if I Don’t Do a Differential Service
- Differential fluid breaks down over time reducing its ability to clean and lubricate the moving parts of your vehicles differential
- Premature wear of internal differential parts leading to costly repairs
Due to the wide range of vehicles makes and models, this is general information and should not be taken as specific to any vehicle. Please consult manufacturer specifications for the correct specifications and repair procedures for your vehicle. This information is meant to be used as a guideline only.