How Long Does a Differential Output Seal Last?

The differential is located either in the front or rear of your vehicle, depending on what make and model you drive and whether it is or front- or rear-wheel drive. When you turn your vehicle, the wheels need to rotate at different speeds, which is what the differential does to ensure your vehicle stays stable. The differential output seal is the part of the differential that connects the driveshaft to the transmission or rear differential. The output seal keeps oil or fluid from leaking out of the differential, and therefore keeps the part lubricated.

The oil in your differential should be changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, unless your owner’s manual states otherwise. Over time, the differential output seal can leak and allow fluid to escape. When this happens, the differential will not be lubricated so the bearings and gears can overheat. If these parts start overheating, there can be extensive damage to the differential that may render your vehicle inoperable until your differential is repaired.

An output seal leaks more while you are driving on the highway, so oil drops in your vehicle may not always be an indication your differential output seal needs to be replaced. If fluid is leaking out, you will notice the transmission starting to slip, so this may be a better indicator than looking for oil drops on your driveway. Preventative maintenance is a good way to ensure your differential seal output stays in good condition. While a professional mechanic changes the oil, they will inspect and replace the differential output seal as needed. In addition, they will check if there is oil splashed around the seal which indicates it may need to be replaced as well.

Since the differential output seal can go bad and leak over time, it is important to know all of the symptoms that indicate the part needs to be looked at by a professional.

Signs that show the differential output seal needs to be replaced include:

  • The transmission is slipping while driving at higher speeds
  • Transmission fluid or differential oil is constantly low which indicates a leak
  • Grinding noises when you turn corners

If you are having any of the above issues with your car, make sure you get in contact with a professional mechanic to have your problem diagnosed and make any repairs as necessary.


Next Step

Schedule Differential Output Seal Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Differential Output Seal 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 Output Seal Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(4)

Rating Summary
4
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
0

Joe

43 years of experience
821 reviews
Joe
43 years of experience
Honda Odyssey V6-3.5L - Alternator - Tampa, Florida
My sons best friend suggested this company. We were doubtful but Joe was great !!on time didn't take longer than estimated...it was a great experience and we will deff use him again as my husband hates working on my van ...
Pontiac Grand Am - AC Compressor - Holiday, Florida
Joe is very professional, friendly and honest, my car was broken down on my driveway, he came to my house, was on time and worked in unpleasant weather until the job was done in less hours than estimated. He found that I did not have to replace one of the pumps that was already paid for and refunded me for it. Thank you Joe is was a pleasure to deal with you.

Luis

12 years of experience
78 reviews
Luis
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 V8-6.2L - Differential Output Seal - Isleta, New Mexico
Excellent work

Chad

16 years of experience
76 reviews
Chad
16 years of experience
Jeep Grand Wagoneer V8-5.9L - Differential Output Seal - Richmond, Virginia
Chad is the best. Knowledgable and reliable.

Maxwell

18 years of experience
390 reviews
Maxwell
18 years of experience
Jeep Cherokee L6-4.0L - Differential Output Seal - Conroe, Texas
I booked Maxwell on line. My granddaughter drives a 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport which was given to her by her Grandad with the stipulation that only Grandad would work on it. Well Grandad has health issues so a mechanic needed to be found. Based on reviews we chose Maxwell. Professional, punctual and he did not talk down to my daughter in law as some mechanics will do. I am so very pleased with his work that I will be driving my 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport down to Conroe just to have him do the work, that is over 100 miles but I can see the kids AND get my automotive work done. What particularly impressed me was that Maxwell knew what our Jeep is and did not see it as an older car but rather for the " bullet proof" vehicle that it is. Very knowledgeable and very respectful.....he is our " go to mechanic" Very very please with the reasonable cost also A++++++ experience

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

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Vent Oil Separator
Common signs include smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, the Check Engine Light coming on, excessive oil consumption, and sludge under the oil cap.
How Long Does an AC Accumulator Last?
Your Your vehicle’s air conditioning system is a complex system of components, each of which plays an important role. However, not all the components will continue to work properly if they come into contact with moisture, and that is where...
How to Find the Source of a Coolant Leak Faster and More Accurately
Keeping a good coolant level in your car is necessary to avoid overheating. If you think there is a leak, find where it's coming from to fix it.

Related questions

auto transmission leak,when cold would take long time to shift down and then fine, suddenly leak from around bottom bell housing
The transmission cooler lines go into the radiator to keep the transmission fluid cooled. It may be possible that the engine radiator leak has caused the transmission to get hot and now the transmission front pump seal or front shaft...
Oil leak on the hose which came form valve cover to air intake . Engine is new and recently worked on.
Hi there. By looking at the photos that you have provided is shows that the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve is blowing by and causing engine oil to go through the PCV tube. Since your engine has a turbo on...
oil pressure light came on shut engine I add pint of oil no light yet
If the oil level is low, oil should be added until the level reaches the full mark on the oil dipstick (no higher though). Adding oil to the full line on the dipstick will give you a safety margin just...

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