What is a differential fluid replacement?

During this service, the mechanic will drain the old contaminated fluid and replace it will new fluid. If your vehicle does not have a drain plug, they’ll also remove the differential cover and install a new gasket.
The total cost of parts and labor can range from $70 to $150 to replace the differential fluid. Depending on the car you drive the oil itself can cost between $30 and $80, while labor fees will vary by the auto repair shop.

How to replace the differential fluid

Replacing the power steering fluid is a relatively cheap and easy process. The mechanic will complete these steps to change the differential fluid:
  • Check the fluid level
  • Remove the differential cover or pull the plug
  • Drain and fill the fluid
  • Install a new gasket if necessary
  • Add the correct amount of oil
  • Test drive the vehicle to make sure there are no leaks
Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for the correct amount and specification of oil, if you decide the change the differential fluid yourself.

When do I need to replace my differential fluid?

You should have your differential fluid changed between every 15,000 and 50,000 miles to replace old contaminated oil.
If the differential fluids run low the gears can seize and lock up your wheels. To prevent low fluid levels, have a mechanic check the differential fluid level during regular maintenance services and top off as needed.

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