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Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? #4649695
01/29/18 01:02 AM
01/29/18 01:02 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 785
Chicago
bowlofturtle Offline OP
bowlofturtle  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 785
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.


My toys
-05 Infiniti G35x 121k
-03 Suzuki SV650N 8.5k
Maintaining
-16 Jetta 1.4T 7k
-98 Nissan Maxima 145k
-09 Toyota Camry V6 86k

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649697
01/29/18 01:10 AM
01/29/18 01:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,478
Malaysia
zeng Offline
zeng  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,478
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 .

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649704
01/29/18 01:47 AM
01/29/18 01:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
S California
OneEyeJack Offline
OneEyeJack  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
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.

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649711
01/29/18 02:31 AM
01/29/18 02:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,391
Wisconsin
Black_Thunder Offline
Black_Thunder  Offline
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,391
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.


I'd buy Callahan autoparts if I could.
Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649719
01/29/18 03:08 AM
01/29/18 03:08 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,570
ROCHESTER, NY
Char Baby Offline
Char Baby  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,570
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.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX
Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649728
01/29/18 03:31 AM
01/29/18 03:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,692
Indiana
dlundblad Offline
dlundblad  Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,692
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.


03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 186k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 153k Synpower 5w30 Supertech ST3980 (Ecore)

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649741
01/29/18 04:33 AM
01/29/18 04:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,588
'Stralia
Shannow Offline
Shannow  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,588
'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.

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649757
01/29/18 05:38 AM
01/29/18 05:38 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,837
N.Ohio
Lubener Offline
Lubener  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,837
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.


The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649758
01/29/18 05:48 AM
01/29/18 05:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 3,044
SE British Columbia, Canada
Snagglefoot Offline
Snagglefoot  Offline
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 3,044
SE British Columbia, Canada
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.


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649775
01/29/18 06:29 AM
01/29/18 06:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,594
Planet Earth
2015_PSD Offline
2015_PSD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,594
Planet Earth
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.

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649789
01/29/18 06:52 AM
01/29/18 06:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,283
WI
HoosierJeeper Offline
HoosierJeeper  Offline
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,283
WI
Only if there's a leak.


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)
Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649792
01/29/18 06:53 AM
01/29/18 06:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,385
VA
Gebo Offline
Gebo  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,385
VA
Nope. I just check old level upon refill. Never been a problem.


'98 LEX LS400 280K
'00 LEX GS300 195K
'02 4Runner 225K
'05 Lex LS430 85K
'06 Toyota Highlander 145K
'09 Lex IS350 85K
'07 Lex GX470 60K
Amsoil in all engines, transmissions and differentials

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649817
01/29/18 07:22 AM
01/29/18 07:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,930
Florida, Cape Coral
Eddie Offline
Eddie  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,930
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


CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649883
01/29/18 08:36 AM
01/29/18 08:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 497
Ottawa, Ont CANADA
2K2AcuraTL Offline
2K2AcuraTL  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 497
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..


02 Acura TL-P
13 Acura MDX-Elite
Both on PP and PP Ultra & Petro-Can Duradrive synth ATF

Re: Does anyone ever just check diff fluid? [Re: bowlofturtle] #4649921
01/29/18 09:17 AM
01/29/18 09:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,821
Katy, Republic of Texas
blupupher Offline
blupupher  Offline
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,821
Katy, Republic of Texas
No leak, no check.


2018 Hyundai Santa Fe: Dealer oil and filter/5k
2012 Scion xB: QSUD 0w-20, CQ Blue, 5k
2002 Ford F150: GTX HM 5w-20, EcoGard, 1yr
1994 Honda VT1100c: Peak 15w-40, PSL, 5k




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