In order to keep the steering & suspension of your vehicle in good shape, you have to change the differential fluid within intervals. Hearing this, we know, the first thought that comes to mind is the cost.
As a committed vehicle owner, apart from the cost of the job, you may wonder when to get it replaced, how to minimize the price and many more. Covering all the queries that can invoke your mind, we decorated today’s write-up for you! Keep reading!
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Differential Fluid?
Comparatively speaking, changing the differential fluid is not too expensive. You can get the job done within an affordable range.
Overall, the fairly cheap differential fluid changing cost is about $70- $150, accounting for the labor & oil. The differential fluid itself will cost about #30 to $80 & a roughly estimated labor cost of $40 to $70.
The changing fluid cost will vary depending on the model of your vehicle, where you take it & how much fluid your vehicle requires.
[Note: The estimated changing cost mentioned above applies only to the single differential housing. If you have an all-wheel drive, you may have to pay double depending on the interval of the oil maintenance.]
Front Differential Fluid Changing Cost
The front differential fluid changing cost differs from the cost of the rear one.
When you just have the front fluid differential fluid change, it will cost you about $70 to $130. Here the average labor cost is $40 to $60 & estimated cost for the parts is $30 to $70.
Rear Differential Fluid Changing Cost
If you are changing your vehicle’s rear differential oil, it will cost you about $80 to $150 for the cars.
The labor will range from $50 to $70 for changing the rear differential oil & it is between $30- $80 for the parts.
Cost to DIY
You can deduct the cost of differential fluid change by changing the oil yourself.
In case you want to complete the task by hand, the cost & the other things will be included-
- Cost- $20 to $24
- Difficulty level: Beginner
- Parts required: Gear oil & gasket maker
Differential Fluid Change Cost Comparison [Estimated From Reputable Suppliers]
While changing the differential fluid in your vehicle from the experts, depending on the services they provide to their customers, the price may vary here.
To get a better idea, here is a comparison chart of differential fluid change estimated from reputable suppliers when you are thinking of booking the service with the experts.
|Reputable Suppliers||Differential Fluid Cost||Labor Cost|
Differential Fluid Change Cost For Different Vehicles
You know, the cost of differential fluid change varies depending on the number of differentials as it differs from vehicle to vehicle.
Most cars have only rear differentials & on the contrary, some have only front differentials or both. Moreover, different cars have different oil capacities.
That is why we charted some of the vehicles’ differential fluid change costs here for a rough idea.
|Models||Parts Cost||Labor Cost||Total Cost|
Price Of Differential Fluid From Different Brands
Initially, different vehicles have different oil capacities & with different numbers of differentials.
When changing your vehicle’s differential fluid, you may need one to four quarts of oil to fill up each differential, depending on the vehicle model.
So below the cost for differential fluid of different brands will help you to get an idea of differential oil cost of different brands in your vehicle.
|Brands||Differential Fluid Price [Per Quart]|
|Valvoline High Performance||$12|
Factors Affecting Differential Fluid Change Cost
A few factors can affect the differential fluid change cost in the vehicle. Based on these factors, you may see a difference in the price range of the differential fluid change.
That’s why it is better to have an idea about it prior to getting the job done. We’ll look at some of them in detail below.
1. Number of Differentials
Most of the vehicles nowadays have a single rear differential in the back of the car. But in some cases, there are both front & rear differentials.
In addition to some models of vehicles, you may also see a type of middle differential in which you also have to change the fluid within intervals. You have to buy different fluids for each & you have to spend more money as you have to fill more ports of it.
Besides, if you are only getting the fluid change of the front differential, generally, it will be comparatively more costly than the rear one as it is more difficult to access the parts in the front area of the vehicle.
2. Labor Rate Based On Locations
Depending on your locality or dwelling place, the changing differential fluid cost can differ. Some areas have cheap labor rates for this job, while others have not. Like in the country, the labor cost is much lower than that of the city.
Besides, if you take your vehicle to the dealer, you are sure to cost more. That is why local techs are always a good choice when you are wanting to save money in getting the job done.
But it is also undeniable that the dealership of your vehicle guarantees you are getting factory OEM oil which can enhance the life span of the vehicle over different viscosity oil & heat issues in the car.
3. The Gear Oil Of The Vehicle
Differential oil ranges in price as it changes a lot in properties and consistency. For example, Synthetic oil will cost you more. Besides, if you have more than one differential, you have to use different types and amounts of gear oil for each differential.
For example, Ford F150’s rear differential takes 1 gallon of 75wx140, whereas the front one takes about ½ gallon of 80wx90. The difference is obvious!
The amount & type of gear oil required differs depending on your vehicle. You can get to know about it in the user manual of your specific vehicle.
Read Also: Why Does Radiator Fluid Get Pressurized
When To Get Differential Fluid Change In The Vehicle?
Luckily, the change interval of the differential fluid is much longer than the engine oil. The only obvious sign indicating a fluid change is that the gear oil looks contaminated.
Once diagnosed faulty, you should replace the oil as early as possible because prolonged contact with dirty fluid can damage the differentials.
You should get the differential fluid changed between every 15,000 to 50,000 miles. Besides, you should follow the recommendation of your manufacturer in this case.
You should get the differential fluid change in your vehicle more often than is recommended. The sooner you get the fluid changed, the more you can prevent the damage of the differentials.
Rear Differential Fluid Change Interval
In case of changing the rear differential fluid, most of the car manufacturers recommend replacing it within 30,000 to 60,000 miles. The change intervals get shorter if you have harder drives in your vehicle.
Front Differential Fluid Change Interval
Suppose the front differential of your vehicle has a housing with a manual transaxle. In that case, the fluid may need to change around 25,000 to 30,000 miles. As the manual transaxle & the front differential share the same gear oil, and you are technically changing both simultaneously.
How To Save Money On Differential Fluid Change?
If you want to save money on differential fluid change of your vehicle, then you can do it yourself. It’s a relatively easy task besides it is easy to diagnose.
When you notice the differential fluid is dirty or low, you can change it yourself. You only need to be careful about accessing the correct gear oil. This DIY fluid changing service can be easy, simple & cheaper [The DIY cost we already mentioned above].
The Danger of Not Changing Differential Fluid
Changing the differential oil is a vital part of your vehicle maintenance. If you wait too long to replace the differential oil of your vehicle & continue driving, it can damage the gear & seals of the axle.
In case you notice extra metal in the fluid, be sure that the gear is totally damaged & needs to be replaced now. Here replacing the gear cost will be much more expensive than replacing the differential oil.
Read Also: Dodge Ram 3500 Transmission Fluid Type
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope you get to know every point of the differential fluid change cost. Apart from these, we came up with the answers to several questions to understand more about the matter.
Is it worth changing differential fluid?
You know you have to change the differential fluid at the recommended interval. Because metal to metal friction produces heat which wears down the surface & weakens the gears. It can lead to differential failure in your vehicle, which is costly.
Can I change the differential fluid of my vehicle?
You can change the differential fluid on your own. Although it is messy, changing the differential fluid is more straightforward than changing the engine coolant or oil. Besides, there are different differential fluids for different vehicles. So, choose according to the recommendations.
What happens if you drive with low differential fluid?
Initially, when the differential fluid level drops in your vehicle, you can feel pronounced humming & will start hearing growling. In any case, if you ignore the matter & continue driving, the sound will become progressively louder & you will feel the increase in vibrations.
How can I check my differential fluid?
The fluid of the rear differential reaches the service port. Insert one finger in the service port of your vehicle & bend your finger slightly to see whether it comes in contact with the differential oil. If your finger touches the oil, then there is sufficient fluid.
Does differential fluid affect steering?
Thinner differential oil increases rear traction & off power steering. Less oil can lead to traction & steering being grabby & consistent. Besides, too thick differential oil reduces the off-power steering. Replacing the front differential oil affects the overall steering activity.