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How to Drain Oil From an S10 Differential

by Russell Wood

The rear axle of a Chevrolet S-10 pickup has a center section called a differential, which holds the gears that turn the axle shafts. This center section needs to be lubricated to keep the gears working, and it's filled with differential fluid to do the job. Although the differential fluid doesn't have to be changed, if the rear axle shows signs of wear or something breaks internally, you'll want to drain the fluid to access the parts inside.

Raise up the rear of the vehicle using the jack and set it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is secure before you proceed forward. Place the drain pan underneath the differential.

Unbolt the differential cover from the rear of the axle, which is the only accessible cover on the back, and is centered in the axle. Start by using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket to remove the top bolts and then work your way down the housing, alternating sides until the bottom three bolts remain. This will help keep the fluid inside the differential and prevent making a mess.

Unbolt the remaining three bolts on the bottom of the differential while holding the cover against the axle with a free hand. Once the final bolt is out, slowly pull back the differential cover. Depending on the strength of your seal, you may have to pry the cover back slightly at the bottom with the flat-head screwdriver.

Allow the fluid to drain into the pan. Once it's done dripping, use the shop rags to soak up any remaining fluid on the bottom of the housing.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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