Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Front Output Shaft Oil Seal

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Front Output Shaft Oil Seal

output shaft oil seal

The front output shaft seal is an oil seal that is installed on the front of transfer cases. As its name implies, the front output shaft seal is responsible for sealing the front output shaft of the transfer case, keeping the gear oil or transmission fluid inside of the unit. The seal is usually round in shape, and made of rubber and sometimes metal, not unlike many other automotive engine and transmission seals. Over time the rubber can dry up and the seal can wear out, which can lead to leaks and other issues. Usually a bad or failing front output shaft seal will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

Fluid leaking from the transfer case

The most absolute most common symptom of a problem with a front output shaft seal is fluid leaking from the front of the transfer case. If the rubber transfer case seals dry out or crack they can leak gear oil or transmission fluid. A fluid leak can put the transfer case at risk of suffering internal damage due to low lubrication. Any sort of puddles, or drips of fluid found underneath the vehicle should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the possibility of damage occurring.

Hum, whine, or growling noise coming from the transfer case

Another symptom of a problem with a front output shaft seal is a noisy transfer case. This problem usually occurs after the seal has been leaking for a while and the fluid has run low. If the fluid runs low the vehicle may produce a hum, whine, or growling sound from the transfer case, that may be especially pronounced when the four wheel drive or all wheel drive modes are engaged. A noisy transfer case can also be caused by a number of other issues, so a proper diagnosis is highly recommended.

Like most rubber automotive seals, the front output shaft seals will eventually dry or wear out as time goes on. If you find that your front transfer case seal is leaking, or perhaps having another issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the seal should be replaced.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...


Related questions

Q: What Is the Problem When the Check Engine Light Comes On?

The Check Engine Light is on most vehicles built in the last twenty years. The light is used to alert the operator of the vehicle that there is a problem that needs to be looked at as soon as possible....

Q: I have a 2007 mdx and the check emission system light came on while I'm driving but not all the time. What can cause that issue?

For the transmission, check the fluid to see if it's low. If the fluid is low, then it will need to be topped off. If the fluid is full and is red in color, then there could be an issue...

Q: I have 16 valve stem seals and then 15 other little things

The valve cover on your engine is held on by 15 bolts. In certain applications, grommet seals, 15 of them, were used along with the bolts. However, rubber grommets were used as seals in only certain applications. Upon disassembly if...