Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Differential Gasket

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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.

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.

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.


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David

23 years of experience
180 reviews
David
23 years of experience
Audi TT - Oil/Fluid Leak - Lady Lake, Florida
David showed up on time he quickly assess the situation and did the appropriate actions. Unfortunately he was given the wrong light bulb so he had to go get different parts but he was very gracious about that
Dodge Dakota - Oil/Fluid Leak - Ocala, Florida
David was great, right on time, found the problems in a timely manner, and Gave me a a great deal of confidence, thanks much!!

Corey

21 years of experience
5 reviews
Corey
21 years of experience
GMC Yukon - Oil/Fluid Leak - Phoenix, Arizona
Corey is the best! Super knowledgeable and very friendly. He explains the problem in-depth and make sure it is resolved. Would highly recommend Corey to anyone and everyone!
GMC Yukon - Oil/Fluid Leak - Phoenix, Arizona
Corey was fantastic! Fixed the problem and was very helpful in explaining what was going on and giving advice for the future. I would highly recommend him!

Verne

16 years of experience
14 reviews
Verne
16 years of experience
Ford Freestyle - Oil/Fluid Leak - Benicia, California
Vern was great. He was on time and very knowledgeable. He diagnosed the problem quickly and provided a quote for the repair.

Edmar

20 years of experience
156 reviews
Edmar
20 years of experience
Toyota Solara - Oil/Fluid Leak - Keller, Texas
Edmar is so knowledgeable and showed me things I knew nothing about! Very personal and professional! Will request him back again for any of my vehicle needs!

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