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.


Next Step

Schedule Differential/Gear Oil Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Differential/Gear Oil Replacement. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Differential/Gear Oil Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(115)

Rating Summary
108
5
1
0
1
108
5
1
0
1

Theodore

16 years of experience
1355 reviews
Theodore
16 years of experience
Toyota Sequoia - 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.

Colin

27 years of experience
100 reviews
Colin
27 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C300 - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Front, Rear) - Riverview, Florida
Great mechanic great covid-19 protocol overall a great person will recommend to the whole family thank you five star rateing ☆☆☆☆☆

Alexander

6 years of experience
109 reviews
Alexander
6 years of experience
Land Rover LR4 - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Front, Rear) - Lewis Center, Ohio
Knowledgeable and courteous. Willing to explain and discuss the vehicle generally. The original pricing came in lower than dealer. The revised pricing, based on a closer look at Land Rover differential fluid specs, was about the same as dealership--minus the inconvenience of taking the car in, waiting, and never interacting with the actual mechanic servicing the vehicle. Great service!

Michael

16 years of experience
606 reviews
Michael
16 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Rear) - Smyrna, Georgia
Mr. Straub arrived early for our appointment. He called to let me know he was on site. He is professional and courteous.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Prevent Motor Oil Sludge
Regular oil changing in your car helps prevent sludge. Motor oil sludge can cause worse gas mileage, low oil pressure, and damage to engine parts.
Do I Need to Change My Motor Oil for Hot or Cold Weather?
Outside temperature can change how motor oil works. Multiviscosity motor oil makes it easy to keep your car running efficiently all year around.
What Type of Oil Should I Use?
Changing oil in your car is among the most important car maintenance tasks. Your engine may use synthetic motor oil, conventional, or either oil type.

Related questions

Engine stays running but no power at wheels

Greetings and thank you for writing in with this question! Problems like this can be difficult to diagnose. Does the Check Engine Light illuminate when the car loses power? If so, a local mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) can diagnose...

Low oil light on even though I have oil in car.

Hello. The symbol that you are getting on the dash means that the computer has placed the engine in reduced power mode. This occurs as the engine computer tries to protect the engine from damage due to a condition it...

What does the Low Oil Pressure warning light mean?

The Low Oil Pressure warning light is located on your instrument panel. When the light illuminates, it means that your engine has low oil pressure, which could be due to insufficient levels of oil, or a leak in the system....

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com