How Long Does a Differential / Gear Oil Last?

The differential is normally located at the rear of your vehicle and underneath the car. It is essential that it stays lubricated with differential or gear oil for it to work properly and your vehicle to go smoothly down the road. The oil needs to be changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, unless your owner’s manual states otherwise.

The differential is a part in your vehicle that compensates for the difference the inner wheel and the outer wheels travel when you turn a corner. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential will be in the back with its own lubrication and housing. It uses a dark, thick oil that is heavier than 80 weight. Front-wheel drive vehicles have the differential integrated into the transmission housing and share fluid. Check your owner’s manual to ensure you have the correct type of fluid/oil for your vehicle.

The differential/gear oil lubricates the ring and pinion gears that provide power from the driveshaft to the wheel axles. Keeping the oil in your differential clean and changing it on a regular basis is just as important as your engine’s oil, yet it is often overlooked or forgotten about.

Over time, if the oil goes bad or you have a leak in your differential, metal will grind on metal and will wear down the surfaces. This creates high amounts of heat from friction, which will weaken the gears and lead to failure, overheating, or burning. A professional mechanic will replace and/or change your differential/gear oil to ensure your vehicle keeps operating like it is supposed to.

Since your differential/gear oil can go bad over time and needs to be replaced, you should be aware of the symptoms that indicate the oil needs to be changed.

Signs your differential/gear oil needs to be changed and/or replaced include:

  • The oil is contaminated with substances or metal particles
  • Grinding noise as you turn corners
  • Humming noises because the gears are grinding against each other due to low lubricant
  • Vibrations while you are driving down the road

The differential/gear oil is extremely important to keeping your vehicle run smoothly so this part should be maintained.


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Recent Differential/Gear Oil Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(124)

Rating Summary
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Theodore

16 years of experience
1587 reviews
Theodore
16 years of experience
Toyota Sequoia V8-5.7L - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Front, Rear) - Bothell, Washington
Theodore once again did not disappoint. We had scheduled a lot of services to be done on our Sequoia and he finished it all within the estimated time. I would highly recommend him.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
First time using a service like this. Pleasantly surprised with the service and booked the next service needed. Thank you for your professionalism and care of my vehicle.

Henry

34 years of experience
170 reviews
Henry
34 years of experience
Ford F-250 Super Duty V8-5.4L - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Front, Rear) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Henry rescheduled when the weather was poor. He came out Friday and called when his previous job made him run late. Henry worked hard for a couple of hours and did a great job.

Adam

17 years of experience
230 reviews
Adam
17 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler L4-2.0L Turbo Hybrid - Differential/Gear Oil Replacement - Boca Raton, Florida
Adam makes getting your car serviced a pleasant experience. He is very knowledgeable, excellent communication, friendly and efficient! Highly recommend!!

Andrew

14 years of experience
103 reviews
Andrew
14 years of experience
Lexus RX350 V6-3.5L - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Front, Rear) - Tacoma, Washington
Andrew is very professional, knowledgeable and courteous. He took the time to explain the answers to my questions.

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