Like any fluid in your vehicle, differential oil will eventually break down and require replacing. When this time comes, the job is easy enough to do with some basic tools, the correct fluid, and a little help from this video.
Here's how it's done.
What you need:
Pop into your local Supercheap Auto. And with the help of a team member or self service tablet; select the correct fluid for each differential – taking note of the recommended amount. You will also need a drain pan, some basic hand tools, a sump plug removal kit, and a fluid pump such as this one from ToolPRO.
Step 1 - Prepare the Vehicle
Warm the differential by taking a good long drive. This will help the oil drain easier. Back in your garage, park the vehicle up on a flat level surface, engage the park brake, and place the transmission in park - or in gear. Chock the wheels, and if necessary; raise the vehicle using a jack and axle stands.
Step 2 - Crack Filler Plug
Rather than removing the drain plug first, crack the filler plug to ensure you won’t end up with an empty diff and a stuck filler plug. Removing this first will also allow the oil to flow quicker.
Step 3 - Drain Differential Oil
Drain the differential and take note of the colour and smell of the oil. Milky oil indicates water in the diff, while a strong burned smell could be an over worked diff or LSD clutch packs.
Step 4 - Replace Plug
Replace the drain plug, torqueing it to factory specification, and proceed to pump the recommended amount of oil through the filler hole. Many differentials are considered full when the oil level reaches the bottom of the filler plug, although first check a workshop manual to confirm this.
Step 5 - Job Done, But Don't Forget to Check In!
Once the filler plug is correctly torqued, the job is done! Be sure to check these plugs periodically for correct tension, and remove the filler plug to check the oil level from time to time.
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