How to Change the Front Differential Fluid on a Chevyby Ashton Daigle
The differential on your Chevy works in conjunction with your transmission to turn your wheels. Rear-wheel drive vehicles only have rear differential fluid. However, front-wheel drive vehicles and 4-wheel drive vehicles have front differentials too. Differential fluid, or gear oil, is added to your differential to keep the gears inside it lubricated and functioning properly. The front differential fluid in your Chevy should be changed about once every 60,000 to 70,000 miles.
Jack up the front end of your Chevy and put jack stands in place under the front frame. Lower the Chevy down onto the jack stands
Locate your differential gear box. Exact location will vary with different Chevy models. However, the front differential is generally located in a square gear box right at the center of the front axle. Consult your owner's manual or Chevy dealer to pinpoint the location if need be.
Slide drain pan in place and open the bottom drain plug on the case using your socket set. Allow the fluid to completely drain and then replace the plug.
Attach your hand pump to the container of new differential fluid. Hand pumps vary, but many are similar in use to a caulking gun. Slip the tube of grease into the hand pump with the nozzle end facing forward. Clip the plastic tip off the end of the differential fluid container and slip the hand pump's hose end over it. Slide the rest of the body of the canister into the pump. When you depress the trigger it will exert pressure on the tube and will release the fluid.
Open the top differential "fill" plug. It will be located directly above the drain plug. Insert the end of the hand pump into the differential fill hole and pump the oil in. Your Chevy will take about 2 pints of differential oil. Remove the hand pump and replace the top fill cap with your socket set.
Remove the jack stands and lower your Chevy.
- "Chevrolet Silverado GMC Sierra: 1999 thru 2006 2WD and 4WD Haynes Repair Manual"; Ken Freund; 2008
- "Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care, Maintenance and Repair"; Michael E. Gray and Linda E. Gray; 2007
Things You'll Need
- Jack stand
- Socket set
- Drain pan
- Differential fluid
- Hand pump
Ashton Daigle, a New Orleans native, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1998 and went straight to work as a journalist. In 2005 he tackled the biggest news story of his life - Hurricane Katrina. Daigle is writing a collection of essays: What It Means to be a Saints Fan.