What is the Differential Gasket?

Your front differential is the part in your car that transfers power from the transmission to the horizontal axis. As is the case with most car components, it needs lubrication, which in this situation comes from differential oil. The front of the differential is sealed with either silicone or a gasket to handle the fluid inside, and is bolted in position. If the seal leaks and the fluid is low, you may notice grinding or whining noises from the front and the possibility of differential failure.

Bear in mind:

  • Front differential gasket seal change is included as part of regular maintenance if the fluid is being replaced.
  • Contamination in the differential fluid issues from debris or metal shavings.

How it is done:

  • The car is put on jack stands then front and rear wheels are taken out. A drain pan is placed under the front and rear differentials and they are drained of fluid.
  • The defective front differential gasket are changed following the removal and installation process detailed in the respective service manual. The front differential is then refilled.
  • The rear differential cover is then taken out. The new gasket is mounted and the differential is filled.
  • The tires are reinstalled and the jack stands are taken out. The tires are torqued to correct specifications.
  • The car is road tested to ensure proper operation of differentials.

Our recommendation:

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 spoilt, and then your car will be rendered useless. If you notice or are aware that the differential gasket is leaking, have an expert mechanic check it out and change it if necessary.

What common signs indicate you may need to change the Differential Gasket?

  • Puddle of fluid under the car compartment that looks like motor oil, but smells different
  • Grinding noise from the front when four wheel drive is engaged because of low fluid

How vital is this service?

Unless you have a huge fluid leak, you can continue to drive your vehicle for a while. However, like all fluid leaks, this requires repairs eventually, so you should have it addressed by an expert mechanics at your earliest convenience so that the problem won’t drag on forever.