What is the Differential Gasket all about?
Your front differential is the component in your vehicle that converts power from the transmission to the horizontal axis. As is the case with most vehicle components, it requires lubrication, which in this case comes from differential oil. The front of the differential is sealed with either silicone or a gasket to contain the fluid inside, and is bolted in place. If the seal leaks and the fluid is low, you may experience grinding or whining noises from the front and the possibility of differential failure.
Keep in mind:
- Front differential gasket seal replacement is included as part of regular maintenance if the fluid is being changed.
- Contamination in the differential fluid comes from debris or metal shavings.
How it’s done:
- The vehicle is put on jack stands then front and rear wheels are removed. A drain pan is placed under the front and rear differentials and they are drained of fluid.
- The defective front differential gasket are replaced following the removal and installation process detailed in the respective service manual. The front differential is then filled.
- The rear differential cover is then removed. The new gasket is installed and the differential is filled.
- The tires are reinstalled and the jack stands are removed. The tires are torqued to correct specifications.
- The vehicle is road tested to ensure proper operation of differentials.
The differential gasket is changed when the fluid is replaced. If the seal leaks between maintenance intervals and the fluid runs out, the differential could be damaged, and then your vehicle will be rendered useless. If you suspect or are aware that the differential gasket is leaking, have one of our expert mechanics check it out and replace it if necessary.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Differential Gasket?
- Puddle of fluid under the motor compartment that looks like motor oil, but smells different
- Grinding noise from the front when four wheel drive is engaged due to low fluid
How important is this service?
Unless you have a huge fluid leak, you can continue to drive your car for a while. However, like all fluid leaks, this needs to be fixed eventually, so you should have it addressed by one of our expert mechanics at your earliest convenience so that the problem won’t drag on indefinitely.