It is recommended that you never change the differential fluid by yourself. This is because it is not a single person’s task.
You have to lift the car with the help of a jack and then have to remove the drain plug to change the differential fluid. The whole process of replacing the differential fluid is a little bit challenging.
Moreover, sometimes it can be messy and dirty while changing the fluid, which would increase your workload.
Thus it is better to take your car to a professional or the mechanic shop to get the fluid changed. Also, everyone can’t change the fluid by themselves at home.
Because they do not have the proper gears or the tools for it, that is why it is suggested to take care of your car to a good mechanic shop instead of wasting your time and effort on it.
Table of Contents
- How Often Should I Change Front Differential Fluid?
- What Is A Differential?
- Whining Noise From Transmission Or Differential.
- Benefits Of Changing Differential Fluid.
- Is It Necessary To Change Your Car’s Differential Fluid?
How Often Should I Change Front Differential Fluid?
As you know, the front differential is the part of your vehicle that divides up power so it can be applied to both wheels. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive parts of your car, so it’s essential to take good care of it.
Your front differential fluid needs changing every 40-60k miles for best performance and long life.
Corrosion is a gradual deterioration that accelerates when the fluid gets hot and cools down. Due to the performance of your vehicle’s engine, temperatures can rise in the differential fluid, eventually causing corrosion.
Over time, this corrosion can make the fluid unsuitable for use. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common failure.
In several cases, people were told their front differential was fine and then found out it had failed after taking it off-roading.
Most vehicles use gear lube containing some friction modifiers and anti-oxidants. Unfortunately, these friction modifiers and anti-oxidants may not be enough to protect the metal in the gears and bearings from corrosion after a while.
As you drive your vehicle, metal particles are constantly being ground up by the gears, which have high contact pressures in areas where metal-to-metal contact occurs.
This is by far the scariest problem with front differential fluid.
What Is A Differential?
Differentials are an essential part of every vehicle equipped with axles, basically any car with wheels. A differential’s primary function is to reduce the effort needed to turn the wheels so the vehicle can move.
It accomplishes this goal by distributing torque across both left and right turning forces, allowing them to act on the ground separately.
A differential also provides a mechanical advantage by taking advantage of the gear ratio.
For example, a single-speed axle will have higher leverage on one side than on the other, thus providing more torque on one side instead of another.
This is done by using gears in the differential to which one wheel is connected, and the other wheel is on the outside, providing the higher torque.
Differentials can be opened and be a limited-slip. An open differential allows each wheel to turn at different speeds, while a locked differential forces both wheels to travel simultaneously.
The difference between a limited-slip and locking differentials is that when a limited-slip differential goes off-center, it still allows one wheel to travel faster than the other.
However, when it is locked, both wheels will travel together at the same speed.
Differential parts are manufactured from solid metal components machined down to precise specifications for minimal friction and wear.
Whining Noise From Transmission Or Differential.
If your vehicle ices over and makes a spongy noise when accelerating, it’s probably going to fail. This is also an indicator that one or more tires are entirely flat.
A good solution would be to check the tire pressure on each wheel and inflate them if necessary.
You may also want to make sure that none of the fuses has popped or things like this have happened before giving up on stopping at all.
By the way, any other unusual sounds like grinding gears or blowing smoke should also raise red flags.
Low tire pressure can be a sign of different kinds of malfunctions, including but not limited to: failing brakes, failing differential, and more. The burning smell also can be a sign of differential fluid leaking from the gears.
If you see any sign of fluid leaking from the differential, you will want to act quickly as it could lead to a failure in other parts of your vehicle as well.
Benefits Of Changing Differential Fluid.
Differential fluids are essential for any vehicle to function correctly. Changing them can be a pain, but it could cost you a lot of money when your differential fluid isn’t working correctly.
The benefits of changing differential fluid are as follows:
- You avoid the chance of problems down the road. Differential fluid can become dirty and burnt, which reduces its ability to lubricate your differential.
- Not changing differential fluid can eventually lead to your differential wearing out and breaking.
- Suppose you don’t change your differential fluid regularly. In that case, it could cause the failure of your vehicle’s axle components and create more friction in your axle system, which leads to additional heat that can hurt the performance of wheel bearings, etc.
- Keep on top of things with regular preventative maintenance.
Changing differential fluids helps you avoid costly repairs or breakdowns in the future.
Is It Necessary To Change Your Car’s Differential Fluid?
Yes, it is necessary to change it because differential fluid helps control the speed of a vehicle by offering some resistance to moving parts.
The differential is a gear system driven by the engine and connected to each wheel separately via a half shaft.
Differential fluid allows for smooth power transfer between the engine and wheels, allowing optimal efficiency.
Today, many different differential fluids are on the market, including conventional, semi-synthetic, fully synthetic, and metallic. Most commonly, fully synthetic fluid is recommended during the initial break-in period.
However, after pump pressure has been verified over a few thousand miles, most mechanics recommend that conventional fluid be used instead of synthetic.
The difference between conventional and synthetic fluid is due to adding or removing certain additives. Due to lower manufacturing costs, full synthetic products are now easily available.