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Rear-wheel drive vehicles get power from the transmission to the rear wheels by using a drive shaft and differential. The drive shaft attaches between the transmission and the differential, turning with the powertrain. The differential takes that power and then splits it horizontally between the two rear wheels. The differential is filled with fluid, which is necessary to lubricate and keep the internal gears lubricated. The point at which the differential and drive shaft intersect is a weak point, where fluid could leak out if not prevented. A pinion seal is used here. It’s located behind the pinion flange, which is what attaches to the driveshaft flange (or propeller shaft, if you prefer).
Like all other seals on your vehicle, the pinion shaft seal is subject to heat and wear and tear. It will need to be replaced at some point in the vehicle’s life.
With a leaking rear pinion oil seal, your differential will eventually run dry and cause immense damage to your vehicle. While leaks are easy to spot, replacing the seal isn’t a simple process. Have it replaced by a one of our expert mechanics if it is leaking.
For rear-wheel drive vehicles, an operable differential is critical. A leaking rear pinion shaft oil seal can compromise that by allowing fluid to leak out and damage the differential. Have any leak at the pinion shaft diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible.