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Rear Differential servicing

I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 4x2 quad cab.Almost every time i go into the dealership to get an oil change they tell me my rear differential needs to be serviced.How often does it really need to be serviced?Thanks

I have serviced trucks with mileage in excess of 400,000 and the factory lube was still in them and all was well. Possibly Dodge has an ongoing problem with some rear axles and servicing them would benefit in greater longevity but the dealership should make that known, wouldn’t you think?

No more often than is listed in the scheduled maintenance in your owner’s manual. Which is usually never.

With the Fords I am familiar with the severe service schedule is shorter than normal service with dino oil. With synthetic, the interval goes to infinity.

As others have said, check owner manual and ask the dealer why they want to change it if not called for. If they say it is a good idea, ask them to see a service bulletin.


It depends on the use of the vehicle. If you look in the owner’s manual it will give you the recommended service interval. Also, if it’s a limited slip rear end, then you WILL need to service it regularly. My Jeep (also made by Chrysler) has a recommended service interval of 30K miles (for schedule B). I look at it as cheap maintenance, especially if you can do it yourself. It also alows me to inspect the gears every so often, which isn’t a bad thing.

Good point on the limited-slip.