Differential or diff oil serves the function of keeping diff parts well-lubricated so that the vehicle will turn properly. When this oil wears out, the diff will stop working at peak efficiency due to poor lubrication. If diff oil is not changed in good time, it can cause extensive diff damage, which will translate into expensive diff repairs.
To minimise the potential for diff damage, it is imperative for vehicle owners to make sure they change their diff oil before it can start causing problems. If you own a car, this is a job you can do yourself by following these easy steps.
Heat up the oil
Like other motor oils, diff oil tends to coagulate when the vehicle is not operated for a while. For that reason, it is a good idea to run the engine for a couple of minutes so as to warm the oil. This will make it easy for the oil to flow out of the diff when you are draining it.
Change into something suitable for the job
You'll most likely get dirty while you're changing diff oil and oil stains are hard to remove, so it is a good idea to wear some shabby clothes.
Drain the old oil out
Before you can remove the diff housing, you should place a catch or drip pan beneath it to collect the old oil. You can then proceed to remove the casing by removing the screws holding it in place with a screwdriver. If the casing is bolted, you can use a wrench or socket to remove the bolts. Place the screws or bolts where you won't easily lose them.
Once you've removed the diff casing, let all of the old oil drain out. If your diff has a fill-hole plug, you'll need to remove it to allow the oil to flow out.
Wipe clean your diff and add new oil
Once all of the old oil has drained out, use a clean, lint-free rag to wipe out any oil remaining in the various parts of your diff, including the bearings, shafts, and the diff cover itself. Once most of the oil has been effectively removed, you can fill up your diff with fresh oil. Make sure you use diff oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
By making sure you change your diff oil in good time, you can keep your diff functioning properly for longer, but also avoid the need to perform costly diff repairs.Share