What is a differential output seal replacement?

If your differential output seal is allowing fluid to leak onto the differential, you’ll need to have a differential output seal replacement as soon as possible. 
While differential seals are simple, they are an important part of keeping your car running. Differential seal failures cause a lack of lubrication to your car’s internal components, which can lead to gears and bearings overheating and seizing.  
You cannot check the fluid level of a differential with a dipstick—so if there is a leak, you will not know how much (or how little) is left. Taking your car to a mechanic is the best way to diagnose problems and have them fixed.

How to replace a differential output seal

Do not try to replace a differential output seal on your own. This is a service that should be completed by a certified mechanic. Here’s what they’ll do:
  • Verify that the differential output seal needs to be replaced
  • Lift the vehicle onto jack stands
  • Remove the CV axle and defective differential output seal using a seal removal tool
  • Install the new differential output seal, then reinstall the CV axle
  • Refill the differential and test for leaks
  • Remove the vehicle from the jack stands
  • Test the vehicle for proper operation of the differential output seal

When do I need to replace my differential output seal? 

The differential fluid should be part of routine car maintenance. You’ll usually need to replace it around 25,000 miles.
There are a couple of common signs that indicate you need a differential output seal replacement:
  • Oil leak—drips or puddles beneath your car
  • Whining or grinding noise from the rear of your car
If your mechanic notices a small leak during normal maintenance, it’s possible to wait on the repair. If the differential leak is significant, it’s best to have it replaced immediately to avoid serious internal damage.

How to find cheap car insurance

Replacing your differential output seal is not a high-ticket item, but ignoring it can lead to more extensive repairs. While insurance won’t cover wear and tear, saving money on your policy can free up cash for unexpected car servicing. 
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