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#4649695 - 01/29/18 01:02 AM Does anyone ever just check diff fluid?
bowlofturtle Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 761
Loc: Chicago
Just wondering on this, say recommended interval was 30k. At 15k does anyone ever just check the level(assuming you have a fill plug)? If its not leaking, is it just crazy? We all here on BITOG are known to be a little crazy time to time.

I was asked to check the rear diff fluid level on a friend's truck and I couldn't understand why he thought it was a normal thing. Granted i dont deal with RWD/AWD vehicles often, i didn't know if it was normal. I check trans fluid often but its a dipstick in the engine bay. No need to crawl under to check a fill plug.
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#4649697 - 01/29/18 01:10 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
zeng Offline


Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 2189
Loc: Malaysia
I don't.
But I do palm-touch a differential housing 'sensing' temperature once in a year of two, after a >30 minute drive at >60 mph .

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#4649704 - 01/29/18 01:47 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: S California
I change the diff oil in my 03 V8 4Runner every 60K or so and always check the level before draining. It gets a lot of towing and bumpy unmaintained roads. In 165K+ miles I've never noticed a change in the level that I could measure by sticking my finger in the fill hole.

One of these days if I can remember I'm going to check the temperature after some heavy towing in the summer with an IR gun and then after just driving around on good roads with no load.

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#4649711 - 01/29/18 02:31 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
Black_Thunder Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 1286
Loc: Wisconsin
I do now and again.


In automotive vehicles i suppose its not common for the fluid to just be low, but on on larger vehicles semi's etc you'd be surprised how the levels can just be low for not apparent reason.

Often the axles aren't fully filled from the factory or because of high load situation and excessive heat some oil will be lost out the vents, or because of the different hub setups wheel seals will go out at random or bearings will wear out and cause wheel seal issues and oil will be lost out the end of the axle.

I usually just look for leaks or check for oil at the vent hose, but I will try to check it once or twice a year.
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#4649719 - 01/29/18 03:08 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10028
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Not only do I check the fluid, I change it and check the breather(bobble head) at the top of the diff to make sure it's still working. Same with the TC & tranny.
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#4649728 - 01/29/18 03:31 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10049
Loc: Indiana
I topped off my rear diff (7.625) because of a pinion seal leak and kept an eye on it throughout the summer if that counts. As far as I can tell, the seal is no longer leaking too which is nice. Maybe just enough dirt and oil caked on the seal to slow the leak? Who knows.
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#4649741 - 01/29/18 04:33 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39919
Loc: 'Stralia
I've had a transfer case get immensely low, and the synthetic ATF end up nearly purple with absolutely no sign of leaks.

So yes, sort of.

I'll check the diff oil after a week of running usually after I change it.

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#4649757 - 01/29/18 05:38 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2577
Loc: N.Ohio
With a very minor pinion dribble, I check level once a year and a small top off every few years. I never do a drain and refill on a diff.
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#4649758 - 01/29/18 05:48 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
Snagglefoot Online   content


Registered: 12/31/17
Posts: 1763
Loc: Alberta
I also take a look at the inside of the rear wheels. If you blow a seal you’ll see diff oil on the rim and tires;. It did happen once.

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#4649775 - 01/29/18 06:29 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
2015_PSD Offline


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 7243
Loc: SE Texas
Yes; but only because I have a Mag-Hytec cover on the front and rear differentials and they have a magnetic dipstick making it a 2 minute job.
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#4649789 - 01/29/18 06:52 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
Only if there's a leak.
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#4649792 - 01/29/18 06:53 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
Gebo Offline


Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 2127
Loc: VA
Nope. I just check old level upon refill. Never been a problem.
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#4649817 - 01/29/18 07:22 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9574
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
I used to check differential oil level when I was younger and then a light can on. If I fill it properly and there is no sign of leakage then by definition it must still be OK. That's called modern maturity or laziness-your call. Ed
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#4649883 - 01/29/18 08:36 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
2K2AcuraTL Offline


Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 458
Loc: Ottawa, Ont CANADA
In my case.. For the amount of effort required to get to the fill plug.. just to check it..
..
may as well change it..
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#4649921 - 01/29/18 09:17 AM Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle]
blupupher Offline


Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4426
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
No leak, no check.
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2002 Ford F150: GTX HM 5w-20/EcoGard Syn/1yr OCI
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