What is a differential/gear oil replacement?

The mechanic will check the fluid level, inspect the rear housing for leaks, and top off your car’s differential oil during this service. If necessary they’ll replace the gasket too.
Depending on the car you drive and the auto repair shop you go to the total cost of parts and labor can range between $70 and $150 to replace the differential oil.
You can save money by changing the differential oil yourself. You’ll only have to pay for the oil itself which usually runs between $30 and $80 depending on your vehicle.

How to replace differential/gear oil

Here are the steps a mechanic will usually complete to change the differential oil:
  • Check the fluid level
  • Inspect the differential case for leaks
  • Remove the cover or plug to drain the oil
  • Install a new gasket if necessary
  • Fill with new oil
If you decide to replace the differential oil yourself, consult the vehicle owner’s manual for the correct oil type and fluid levels.

When do I need to replace the differential/gear oil?

The differential fluid should be changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles to avoid severe damage to the differential caused by metal shavings and debris in old oil. You should also have a mechanic check the differential oil levels during regular maintenance services to ensure the differential is properly lubricated.

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