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#4531288 - 10/01/17 03:59 PM How often change Differential fluid?
Pajero Offline

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 772
Loc: Rio Rancho, NM
I have 1994 Montero SR 3.5 DOHC. I am original owner and it's garage kept. I 've always changed the diff fluids every 30,000 miles. The owners manual doesn't mention the diff fluid, except for specs. When I had it done at the Stealer, they told me that they don't service the diffs unless there are problems. I'm OCD I guess.....What are your opinions?


Always remember "Planned obsolescence."

1994 Montero SR 3.5 DOHC, 128,xxx
Fram Ultra/ Snorkel with Pre-filter

#4531296 - 10/01/17 04:06 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
OneEyeJack Offline

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7323
Loc: S California
For the dealership, there's no profit in a drain and refill of a couple of pints of diff fluid but there is for a repair. Differentials often go the life of the vehicle with no checks or maintenance of any kind.

I change the Red Line in my 03 V8 4Runner 2x4 every 30-50K when I think about it. At 160K+ of desert driving and towing there's been no noise or any other indication of a problem.

#4531298 - 10/01/17 04:07 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
dparm Offline

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13450
Loc: Chicago, IL
30k seems very frequent unless the truck is constantly being used in extreme conditions.

OEM recommendations are kind of all over the place. Some claim lifetime, as you said -- which I interpret to mean "warranty duration + 1 day". Some OEMs make it easy by saying "every 3rd/4th/5th/etc oil change" which makes it easy. Others just stick to "every X years".

Here's my two cents: pay for an analysis and see if the fluid is getting contaminated, breaking down, etc, and then adjust your intervals from there. I suspect that a 30k interval is pouring good fluid down the drain unless those diffs are notorious for destroying gear lube. As anecdotal as this is, but my old BMW M3's rear differential had the fluid changed every 3 oil changes and it was still fine (which included hard driving on a race track).
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

#4531305 - 10/01/17 04:12 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
2015_PSD Online   content

Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 7086
Loc: SE Texas
On a new vehicle, I dump the FF at 10K miles or so. The majority of the wear happens very early in an axle's life. You can then extend the OCI out quite a bit from there, even with towing. To get an idea of what I mean take a look at the UOAs of the rear axle in my retired 2010 FX4; note how much iron was generated at the first OC, but less and less per mile even though the subsequent OCs were run much longer.
2018 AMG GLC 43 Coupe.........Factory Fill
2015 F-250 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel.........Delo 400 LE 5W-40 + CQ Blue (WIX)
2014 Explorer 3.5L Limited...................M1 AFE 0W-20 + FU

#4531349 - 10/01/17 04:55 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
oldhp Offline

Registered: 06/28/12
Posts: 1498
Loc: USA
^^^^^^This^^^^^^ I've changed out the FF on my new rear gear differentials OR first thing on any used one. RedLine is my choice also. grin

#4531389 - 10/01/17 05:40 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
blupupher Offline

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4259
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
I agree with the above. An early change (10,000 miles or so) the get the initial wear metals and such out, or first thing when you buy a used vehicle.
After that, "regular" use is 50,000 miles or so, if "severe duty" (off roading, water crossing or submersion, frequent towing/hauling etc), then more often, how much more varies depending on use (like a long water submersion, ASAP).
'94 VT1100C/Peak 15w40/TG/3k
'02 F150/GTX HM 5w20/EG Syn/1yr

'12 xB/QSUD 0w20/CQ Blue/5k

#4531431 - 10/01/17 06:20 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
Panzerman Offline

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 4160
Loc: Port Orange, Florida
Dodge Lifetime warranty requires every 15,000 miles with Synthetic 75w90 which is insane. It looked bad the first time grayish and ugly after that it's a waste of oil and money. Comes out golden and new. I think one early change and then every 100,000 if using a top name synthetic.

2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Hemi 4x4
2016 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

#4531521 - 10/01/17 07:48 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
HoosierJeeper Offline

Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1204
Loc: WI
I (embarrassingly) just changed the diff fluids on my LR3 for the first time this weekend - 160k miles and the fluid wasn't terrible. Put in Mobil 1 75w90. Still brown. I change the diff fluids in my Liberty every other year (or 20-30k miles), as I wheel it so there's a chance of water getting in. I don't use synthetic in it.
15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)

#4531536 - 10/01/17 08:00 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
alcyon Offline

Registered: 12/10/13
Posts: 359
Loc: Kuala Lumpur ,Malaysia
Diff fluid is the same as manual trans fluid ? 75W-90 ?
Kyosho Optima Mid SWB, LWB and Lazer ZX
1991 Proton Saga 1.3S

#4531543 - 10/01/17 08:05 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
dubber09 Offline

Registered: 02/09/17
Posts: 137
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Keep doing it every 30K miles. I'd suggest doing first one sooner thou, after 10-20K miles or so.

#4531573 - 10/01/17 08:38 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
donnyj08 Offline

Registered: 08/12/12
Posts: 2965
Loc: Cincinnati
I do one early in the vehicles life. Less than 30k miles. After that on a 40k mile interval, at least for my Silverado. I always do front and rear at the same time.

Transfer case before winter every year.

Edited by donnyj08 (10/01/17 08:40 PM)
2008 Silverado Z71 LT 88k Maxlife FS 5w30
2010 Ford Escape 161k PP 5w20
2016 Yamaha XSR900 10k, Rotella 15w40 Yamaha Filter.

#4531574 - 10/01/17 08:39 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
Kestas Offline

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12154
Loc: The Motor City
I agree with above, changing the initial fluid early after break-in. It usually comes out looking like metallic paint. Afterward, changes aren't as important, especially if synthetic fluid is used.

#4531580 - 10/01/17 08:51 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
ddtmoto Offline

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 277
Loc: Utah
No, GL4 and GL5 are not interchangeable. Not the same.
Mustang GT 5.0 Brembo '11
ram 5.9
'09 GTZ1400 Concours

#4531591 - 10/01/17 09:09 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
Chris142 Offline

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16319
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Jeep recomends 12k on my jeep.
02 Wrangler super-s 10w30
87 F250 proline 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 Lucas 10w30
KLR250 Maxima 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40

#4531601 - 10/01/17 09:25 PM Re: How often change Differential fluid? [Re: Pajero]
Silk Offline

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 4240
Loc: New Zealand
These days Mitsubishi have 45,000km for gearbox and transfer oil changes, and 60,000km for final drives. Or half that for severe service.
1987 BMW R65 - Penrite V Twin 20/50
2005 Nissan Expert - MSL 5/30
1996 Volvo T5 - Penrite HPR15 - 15W-60. Ryco syntec filter.

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