Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Differential Output Seal

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Differential Output Seal

Common signs include whining sounds and oil leaks coming from the differential. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Differential Output Seal Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2004 Chevrolet Tahoe $191 $120.91 $70.00 16% $228.41
2007 Ford Expedition $262 $16.77 $245.00 33% $393.02
2009 GMC Sierra 1500 $321 $12.66 $308.00 33% $485.66
2009 BMW 328i $280 $161.20 $119.00 18% $343.95
2003 Audi A6 Quattro $309 $29.34 $280.00 32% $459.34
2007 Ford Mustang $153 $12.66 $140.00 32% $227.66
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Differential Output Seal?

differential output seal

The differential output seals are the seals located at the output shafts of a vehicle’s differential. They usually seal the axle shafts against the differential and prevent fluid from leaking out of the differential as it operates. Some differential output seals also help to keep the axle shafts aligned properly with the differential. They are usually made of rubber and metal, and just the same as with any other seal or gasket on a vehicle, they can wear out over time and fail. Usually a bad or failing differential output seal will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of an issue that should be serviced.

Differential oil leaks

The most common symptom for a problem with the differential output seal is an oil leak. If the seals dry or wear out, they will leak fluid from the axle shafts. Smaller leaks may produce faint traces of gear oil coming from the differential housing while larger leaks will produce drips and puddles underneath the vehicle.

Whining or grinding coming from differential

Another symptom of a potential issue with the differential output seal is a whining or grinding noise coming from the rear end of the vehicle. If the output seals leak to the point of running the differential low on fluid it may cause the differential to produce a howling, grinding or whining sound from the rear end of the vehicle. The sound is caused by lack of lubrication to the gears and may increase in volume or change in tone according to the speed of the vehicle. Any noises from the rear end should be attended to as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of possible damage to any of the vehicle’s components.

The differential seals are simple in design and purpose but do play an important role in keeping the differential, and vehicle operating properly. When they do fail, they can cause problems, and even serious damage to the components due to lack of lubrication. If you suspect that your differential output seals may be leaking or having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to determine if your car needs a differential output seal replacement.

differentials
fluids
seals
sound systems
grinding

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