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Do I need to replace the Differential Fluid?

I have a 2000 Ford Explorer Sport. I was getting an oil change and they SAID I needed to get new differential fluid, but I don't know if I should trust this shady place. How often do I need to change the differential fluid, and is there any way to know other than time?


  • edited November 2010
    This is covered in your service schedule that came with your owner's manual. If you don't have it, go to and register as an owner. Then you can download a pdf of it.
    (Yes, it is supposed to be changed every so often. No, you shouldn't have this or anything else done at one of those iffy lube type places.)
  • edited November 2010
    I'll bet the owner's manual lists a time and a mileage interval for replacement of the differential fluid.

    I'd trust the manual. Why are you having ANYTHING done at a shady place?
  • edited November 2010
    Have you ever changed the differential fluid (you have 2, one in front and the other in the rear if you have a 4X4), the transfer case fluid, and the transmission fluids?

    You don't mention the miles but if it is over 50K and these things have never been changed, or you don't know if you bought it used, then all these fluids would be due for a change.
  • edited November 2010
    It's at 175,000. I've been taking it to a reputable garage for the past 5 years, so I'm sure they did it if they were supposed to (honestly I don't know for sure though - I'll have to see if they have records). I'm now in a different location and looking for a new mechanic (thus the one-time speed-lube necessity).

    Thanks for the help!
  • edited November 2010
    Many manufacturers consider manual gearboxes to be "lubed for life" and that works fine for most people..But at 175K miles, it would not hurt a THING to change ALL the fluids in the vehicle. After a while, even gear oil gets tired. So does brake fluid, power steering fluid, anti-freeze, none of it lasts forever..These fluids get contaminated and break down over time..
  • edited November 2010
    Make sure yo have no leaks,if you dont,just check the level it should drip as you loosen the nut if its full.

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  • edited November 2010
    If its not leaking don't worry
  • edited November 2010
    If the fluid looks dirty, it would make sense to change it.
  • edited November 2010
    I would get it changed, but not at a "shady place" I don't trust.
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