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Unread 10-31-2014, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default Differential Fluid Leak

I just got an oil change at a typical franchise lube shop and they pointed out that there was oil around the differential at the center of the back axle area of my car. It did look wet with oil and there was a drop of oil kind of hanging there that was about to drip. They told me that I needed to replace the seal before the fluid went dry or it would ruin the differential. They said there was no way to check how much fluid was left in the differential and it could run empty any time, sooner or later. They also said there was no way for me to add fluid without special tools. They wanted $375 to replace the seal, and repair the problem.

The vehicle is a 2006 Toyota Rav4 with all time 4WD and about $130K miles on it. I have a concrete driveway and I've never seen any oil drips under the vehicle. Any recommendations on how to proceed?

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Unread 10-31-2014, 07:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daknife View Post
They told me that I needed to replace the seal before the fluid went dry or it would ruin the differential.
Correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by daknife View Post
They said there was no way to check how much fluid was left in the differential and it could run empty any time, sooner or later. They also said there was no way for me to add fluid without special tools.
Wrong

The plug on the top is the fill plug. Remove it with a 3/8 ratchet. Stick your finger in and reach down, below the hole. If your finger tip is wet the oil level is good. If you can't touch oil with your finger, it is too low.


80W-90, about a 1/2 qt. You can buy a bottle with a nozzle to squirt it in.
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Last edited by Mr Car Guy; 10-31-2014 at 07:32 PM.

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Unread 10-31-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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Exactly
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Unread 10-31-2014, 11:26 PM   #4
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As I expected. Thanks for the replies.

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Unread 11-09-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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Default '

I got out this morning and found the plug. I stuck my finger in and the fluid level was a little below the bottom of the hole but just by sticking my little finger in from the last joint down I could get the end of it wet with oil. Looks like I'm good and I'll just monitor the level rather than going for an expensive repair. Thanks for the help.

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Unread 11-09-2014, 06:02 PM   #6
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Yep, thats where it should be. No reason to be worried. Just keep an eye on it.
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