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.
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