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.


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Recent Differential Output Seal Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(4)

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Luis

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

Maxwell

18 years of experience
390 reviews
Maxwell
18 years of experience
Jeep Cherokee - 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

Chad

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

Krystal

17 years of experience
106 reviews
Krystal
17 years of experience
BMW 328i - Differential Output Seal - Dolton, Illinois
Krystal was prompt, professional & fast. I hope she does my next repair!

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