Q: Does a differential fluid change include opening, scraping, and replacing the gasket seal?

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After a day of some hard racing (around 100 mph or so) with some quick acceleration, and decelerations, i came home to park, and i noticed a puddle under my cars rear differential. I moved the car into the street, and since then only 2 drops have fallen. not driven since then. no sounds or difficulty shifting during that last driving. does the fluid replacement involve opening and changing gasket? my car is due for that, anyway. some cars require opening to drain fluid, but i'm not sure if my model does. its my fun daily driver, but i like to be able to let it loose every once in a while, and i want it to be safe when i do that. please let me know the process and any additional recommended upcoming services for my mileage. i really love and take care of my car well. thanks!

My car has 98000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello. Depending on which way you choose to service the fluid, it may be necessary to remove, clean, and reseal the differential cover. As there is no drain plug on this differential housing, draining the differential fluid will either require a siphon pump be used to extract the fluid, or the differential cover removed so that the fluid can be evacuated. If you choose the latter method, you will need to replace the gasket when reinstalling the cover. If the gasket that was used was of the RTV silicone type, then you will have to clean and scrape free both mating surfaces before reassembling the components. If a one piece gasket was used the cleanup will be easier. As you are approaching 100k miles a few other things to look at would be the brakes, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and your engine filters.

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