The differential is one of the crucial components in an off roader and aids in transferring power from the engine to the wheels. Inside the differential specific gears uniformly distribute the rotational energy from the engine to the wheels without any loss of power. Besides its power transfer function, the differential also allows the wheels to spin differently, particularly when the vehicle executes a turn. Due to this, it provides better stability and traction to the wheels when the off road vehicle is in rough terrains.

Apart from the engine and transmission, the differentials are the heavy-duty components in a vehicle. Due to this, it is subjected to extreme stress and pressure that can result in wear and tear of the gear components. Usually, the differentials are filled with a differential fluid that lubricates the gear drives for its smooth functioning. However, the differential oil will get quickly drained due to its continuous operation, and that could cause friction among the parts thereby resulting in wear and tear.

The differential oil must be replaced at constant intervals as mentioned in the owner’s manual of the vehicle. The appropriate differential fluid is available at most automotive and off road parts stores. While choosing one though, make sure that it has the proper rating as mentioned in the service manual. You can change the differential fluid by rightly following the guidelines mentioned below.

  • First, properly secure the vehicle atop a jack lift or any hard ramps making sure it is correctly positioned. Then locate the drain plug that allows draining out the fluid. Now, unscrew the drain plug and drain out the contents into a wide pan.
  • Wipe off the remaining oil from the gears and housing after the differential oil is drained out completely. Clear the fill hole tip of any debris before putting it back in place and replace the drain bolt.
  • Take out the gear oil fill bolt and add in the recommended fluid into the differential using a pump. Stop filling as soon as the fluid starts to overflow from the fill hole and fasten the fill hole bolt with the right torque. After this is done, use a cloth to clean off any excess fluid from the casing.

Note that some differentials may not have a drain plug and require dismantling the housing cover. If you do not know how to proceed with that, take your car to an off road parts service station for differential fluid change. Remember that for differentials that do not have a drain plug, you will have to use a liquid gasket seal before fastening the bolts of the housing. So leaving the job to experts would be the best bet.