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How-to » Transmissions & Drivetrains » Drive Axles & Differentials » How to Check Differential Oil Leaks and Replace Oil
 Note: This is a general guide for all vehicles.

How to Check Differential Oil Leaks and Replace Oil

PARTS
  • Differential Gasket
  • Gear Oil
TOOLS
STEPS
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Moderate
Safety Tip:
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.

1
Secure your vehicle on a level surface, making sure your car will not roll or lean when jacked up.
2
Using a floor jack, lift up the rear of your vehicle.
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3
Secure the vehicle with jack stands on both sides for safety before starting any work. The pinch welds or the frame rails are the two best locations. Do not rely on the jack to hold the vehicle up while working.
4
Inspect the rear differential housing for leaks.
5
Remove the gear oil fill plug.
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6
Clean the bottom of the differential cover to remove debris if not already done.
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7
Place a drain pan under the rear differential. Loosen and remove all of the differential cover bolts, except for the top 2 or 3, and carefully pry the cover away from the housing to drain the oil.
8
Remove the top bolts and pull the cover off.
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9
Thoroughly clean the mounting surfaces of the differential cover and housing
10
Apply sealant to the differential cover mounting surface. Place the new gasket on the cover.
11
Apply sealant to the differential housing mounting surface. Install the cover assembly and torque the bolts evenly to 25-35 ft. lbs.
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12
Fill the housing with the manufacturer's recommended gear oil until the oil has reached the bottom of the fill plug hole.
13
Tighten the fill plug to 20-30 ft. lbs.
14
Lower the vehicle to the ground and road test. Check the rear differential for leaks.
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