Diff oil is an important service item. This oil has a specified replacement schedule set by the manufacturer. This needs to be adhered to as a minimum standard to ensure premature wear and/or damage does not occur. Your diff oil is checked for quantity and quality during each service. If found that the oil is dirty or contaminated, draining and replacement will be recommended. This can save a costly major repair in the long run and they potential for a breakdown. Also during these checks we can see if a problem is already present and set to repair this issue before it becomes worse and costs more to repair.
We find that many 4×4’s with dirty diff oil due to off road work such as mud driving and water crossings. Water can enter into the the diff via breathers or worn seals. Also performance and commercial vehicles were high loads can cause the oil to need early replacement.
The Picture below is the magnet attached to the drain bung, this magnet attracts worn material from the oil. This one is showing bearing material, an indicator that this diff requires a new set of bearings. If done soon this can save the cost of the gears and other components that can be damaged when these bearings fail. The main photo is of the oil that was drained out of this diff. You can see that it is very metallic silver colour which is the metal material suspended in the oil.
It is essential that the correct oil is used. Each vehicle has a specified oil which must be used. If the wrong oil is used or the oil is dirty symptoms can occur such as:
- slipping LSD
- noisy operation
Just a little information to help you understand the service procedure. Next time your due for a service contact Certified Automotive to ensure the job is done right.