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Differential fluid protects the gears in your car, keeping them from wearing down due to friction as they move against one another. So, once that gear fluid is gone or is dirty, it’s not going to be as effective. When that happens, it may be time to change it out.
You’ll only pay somewhere between $80 and $140 for differential fluid change. The labor should be between $50 and $70, while parts can cost anywhere from $30 to $70.
Differential Fluid Change Cost Comparison
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$75-$168|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$77-$175|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$62-$195|
|Parts & Labour||24 months||$81-$152|
What Is Differential Fluid Change?
This relatively simple procedure is similar to an oil change. It’s just a matter of taking out the old fluid and replacing it with new fluid or just refilling the fluid reservoir. In some cases, you may need new gaskets, but even then, the costs are minimal, and you don’t have to worry about this escalating into a very expensive procedure. The process of taking out the old fluid and even examining the fluid may be different from one car to another. The fluid reservoir may be in different places on some vehicles. Your vehicle may also use synthetic fluid, and that can change the cost slightly from what others would pay for similar fluid.
Benefits of Differential Fluid Change
Getting the differential fluid changed out in your car is going to make it run smoother and prevent damage to the gears. Your differential and connected parts will last longer and work better, and that saves you money on car repairs later. This isn’t a complicated, expensive or time-consuming repair job, so getting it done when the mechanic tells you it’s time should be a no-brainer.
What Is Done during Differential Fluid Change?
The mechanic will begin by checking the fluid levels and examining the fluid to see if it’s contaminated. If you don’t drive your car often, it may not be necessary to change it out as often as the manufacturer recommends.
The mechanic will also check for leaks. Anytime a mechanic is examining a car component that houses fluids, they should be checking for leaks. Then the mechanic will remove the drain plug or fluid housing cover. A new gasket may need to be installed, and if so, it will be done at this point in the process. The new oil will then be poured into the reservoir.
When to Get Differential Fluid Change
Your vehicle manufacturer will probably tell you when to get your differential fluid changed out, but if you can’t remember or they simply didn’t tell you when you got the car, then you can always ask them how often it needs to be done for your vehicle. You may need the fluid to be changed out more often than what is recommended, though. There are always things that can go wrong with your car that can lead to a need for repairs and services.
The only real sign you will notice that means it is time to change out this fluid is that the gear oil will look contaminated. That means it needs to be changed out, and it’s best to have this done as soon as possible, so you don’t damage your car. In particular, the car’s differential can be damaged by prolonged contact with dirty fluid. The sooner you get the fluid changed out, the more likely you are to prevent damage to the differential.
How to Save Money on Differential Fluid Change
If you are looking to save a few dollars on this work, then you can always do it yourself. There’s nothing overly complex about it, and it’s relatively simple to diagnose. If your fluids are dirty or running low, it is time to do something about it. Just make sure that you are accessing the right fluid reserve, and it can be in different places on various cars.
You can also compare the rates that various mechanics charge for their services, but you’re not likely to save a lot of money that way, as simple and short as this service is.
Sample Differential Fluid Change Costs