Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Differential Gasket

differential gasket

Bad or Failing Differential Gasket Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

The differential gasket is the gasket that seals the differential housing. It is usually an oil resistant preformed gasket, though some differentials use silicone as their gasket. It seals the differential housing, keeping the gear oil inside of the housing so that it can properly lubricate the differential ring and pinion gears. When the gasket fails, it can cause the differential to leak, which may put it at risk of running low on fluid and suffering serious damage. Usually a bad or failing differential gasket will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential problem that should be serviced.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

1. Traces of oil on the underside of the differential

One of the first symptoms of a problem with the differential gasket are traces of oil on the underside of the vehicle. As the differential gasket ages, it may begin to seep oil. Depending on the amount of oil seeping through the gasket, this may leave noticeable traces of oil on the undersides of the differential housing. A seeping differential will usually be okay to drive for a while, however, it will eventually progress into a full on leak as time goes on.

2. Puddles or drips of fluid

Another symptom of bad or failing differential gaskets are puddles or drips of fluid on the ground. If the differential gasket fails, the fluid inside of the differential housing may leak out and leave puddles or drips of gear oil on the floor, underneath the vehicle. Usually leaks large enough to leave traces on the ground will also have noticeable accumulation of oil on the underside of the differential that should be clearly visible as well.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

3. Whining or howling sounds

Whining or howling sounds are another, more serious symptom of a potential problem with the differential gasket. If the differential gasket fails, and the fluid inside of the differential housing runs low, this may cause the gears to whine or howl as they mesh. The howling is caused by lack of lubrication, and will lead to accelerated wear and even damages if continued to run with low oil.

The differential gasket is a simple, but important gasket as it keeps the differential sealed and lubricated. When it fails, it can not only leave a mess, but also cause put the component it is meant to protect at risk of accelerated wear and even serious damage. If you suspect that your differential gasket may be leaking, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the vehicle needs a differential gasket replacement.

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 Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
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: Car barely moving due to bad wheel bearing.

A bad wheel bearing is a safety concern. I suggest you have your vehicle repaired immediately by a qualified technician. YourMechanic offers certified mechanics who will come right to your location, so you don't have to risk driving your vehicle....

Q: Engine oil leak

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2007 Mercury Mountaineer. This is a fairly common issue on many cars. Your car is equipped with a V-8 motor which has two separate "sides" of the motor where the cylinder heads...

Q: Heating unit makes my temperature gauge go up

Hi there. It sounds like there could be the possibility of a low cooling system level. Check the level when the engine is cold and add as necessary. When you turn the climate controls to heat the inside of the...